>> May 2011
>> Remarketing Begins With the Initial Lease
Believe it or not, the best time to begin thinking about remarketing a fleet of vehicles is during the model year selection process. It makes sense to acquire new vehicles in the most popular colors and styles, and with the options that will have the broadest appeal when it’s time to sell. But it’s even more important to select the right size engine to do the job without being overloaded, which could create problems with the powertrain or other mechanical systems and diminish resale value prematurely.
In addition, branding options can impact how easy it will be to sell the vehicle at the end of the lease. Instead of a custom paint job, choose vinyl wraps or magnetic signage that can be removed when the vehicle is ready to be remarketed. Also, spend a little extra on seat covers, cargo mats, vinyl bed liners, side panels, properly outfitted shelving and other items that will reduce wear and improve the appearance.
Smart vehicle decisions may not be enough; it’s just as important to develop and enforce a driver policy that outlines the company’s specific expectations for proper care and maintenance. Rewarding conscientious drivers should be a component of that policy. These steps can go a long way toward ensuring vehicles not only retain their resale value, but also positively represent the company’s image when being driven around town.
Another factor to consider is that holding onto older vehicles with higher mileage can end up being more expensive in the long run due to rising maintenance and fuel costs, frequent breakdowns and expired warranties. One way to control these costs is to institute a replacement program with a professional fleet management company that is staffed with specially trained fleet remarketing professionals. They understand the importance of maximizing resale value and can help clients acquire and replace vehicles in the most seamless, efficient and cost-effective manner possible.
A replacement program ensures vehicles are replaced at appropriate intervals to achieve optimum performance and the best resale value. It can include a detailed analysis of everything from the vehicle’s mileage, style, age and maintenance history to the time of year and current used car sales market. Working with a decentralized fleet management company can help maximize price and reduce costs by encouraging competition, improving access to dealers and establishing strong relationships with each auction.
Finally, any vehicle being remarketed will be more attractive if it is reconditioned. The need for larger repairs may be disclosed to the buyer, who can perform them at his discretion. However, small repairs, detailing, paintless dent removal and related services will improve a vehicle’s appearance, and the return can be more than double what is spent upfront.
For many businesses, a fleet of vehicles represents one of their largest costs. While saving money on vehicle acquisitions is a key way to cut costs, business owners also need to consider long-term decisions, such as how to save money on the back end of a vehicle’s life cycle.