Top 5 factors in choosing new fleet vehicles

Supplied by Fleet Auto News
Woman buying car
Woman buying car

There’s no question many considerations go into choosing which vehicles to add to your fleet. But it may surprise you to learn that the things buyers consider as most important shift year to year. This has been reflected in the results of a recent survey, first reported on by our friends over at Fleet Auto News.

The survey was released in the Australian Corporate Fleets Insights Report, and was a follow up to a 2018 survey on a similar topic. The report by ACA Research and AFMA aimed to identify  the five main trends that impacted corporate fleets, and from this determine the needs of businesses. Then, other organisations within the industry can step in to help businesses overcome the challenges they face.

Somewhat surprisingly, given the unstable economic conditions of 2020, the report showed that corporate fleets have increased 10% since 2018. Not only that, the number of fleet vehicles have grown by 16% to an estimated 2,513,000.

Within the survey, respondents were asked to order the criteria used in deciding on a new fleet vehicle by what they found to be most important. Interestingly, safety, or ANCAP rating, didn’t make the top five factors. Unusual, considering the efforts of fleet managers and industry bodies to promote the benefits of safer vehicles for both employees and other road users.

According to the survey, the top considerations were:

1. Reliability
2. Fit for purpose
3. Warranty period/coverage
4. Fuel consumption/economy
5. Load capacity

The winner, reliability, was echoed across fleets of all sizes. Which makes sense on one hand, as reducing vehicle downtime due to breakdowns is obviously important for business. On the other, given the quality of vehicles sold today, it could be argued that reliability is more of a certainty and that things like safety and Total Cost of Ownership should now attract more consideration. Perhaps it’s because breakdowns are a more immediate and tangible threat to the daily operating of a business that they continue keep fleet managers awake at night.

Coming in second, fit for purpose, is a testament to one of the golden rules of fleet management; ensure a vehicle is suited to its intended use. This applies to things like load carrying, distances driven, and conditions, i.e. highway vs city driving.

Total cost of ownership and ANCAP ratings ranked only for those running fleets of more than 250 vehicles, which might be disappointing, but given that these fleets made up 61.7% of the vehicles counted in the report, this is encouraging for the safety of road users in the future.

For smaller fleets of 20 to 49 vehicles, warranty period/coverage, load capacity, and fuel consumption also garnered a mention when selecting new vehicles. This gives some insight into the needs of small business owners who use their vehicles to carry goods; reducing running expenses and avoiding unexpected maintenance costs.

All in all, some interesting results, especially in seeing that what managers class as important varies according to their fleet size. That’s why we tailor our roadside assistance packages to suit your business needs. If you have any fleet vehicles that need cover, give our team a call on 1300 750 633.

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