If you’re a business owner or the manager of a business fleet looking to buy fleet vehicles, you won’t have time to sift through all the hype which is normally associated with shopping for vehicles. Whether you’re looking to purchase large delivery trucks, pickup trucks, or service vans, you’ll want to purchase the very best vehicle at the best price, and you probably won’t have time to spend hours at a time sifting through all the sales information. The tips referenced below will help you to cut through all that and make sound business decisions based on your company’s needs.
Find A Specialist in Fleet Departments
Sales representatives for fleet departments will be aware that you don’t want to spend a lot of time listening to all the sales hype which might be associated with the business. They can usually offer you some fairly competitive pricing right up front, without all the negotiating which might be representative of individual vehicle sales.
In many cases, it takes hours to conclude typical retail purchases of vehicles, but when you work with a fleet sales department, it can be much more efficient, and cause you a whole lot less stress.
Don’t Go for the Cheapest Vehicles
The cheapest vehicles may fit best within your budget, but they are often not the right vehicle for your particular business. For instance, the cheaper vehicles may be underpowered, or they may be inadequate to do the task you have in mind for them. If you were to buy fleet vehicles like this, you will have spent too much, regardless of the bargain that you got price-wise. In order to make sure you’re getting the right vehicle for your business needs, you should consider a few crucial questions.
First of all, you should keep in mind exactly what you will be hauling in the vehicle and how much space will be needed. Do any vehicles you purchase need to be equipped with shelving, ladder racks, or possibly toolboxes? How many people will normally operate and/or travel on the vehicles? This could dictate whether you need a regular cab, a crew cab, or an extended cab.
You should also consider whether or not your vehicles will need to be hauling a trailer, and if so how much weight will they be required to haul? You need to know whether or not your vehicle should be a four-wheel-drive vehicle, and whether you will drive the vehicle off-road so as to require a four-wheel-drive.
Focus on the Invoice Price
The invoice price is the amount that a car manufacturer charges the seller for a vehicle, and that should be your starting point for determining what you should pay for it. Of course, the dealer will need to make a profit, so you can’t expect to simply pay the invoice price for any vehicle. You’ll have to include a reasonable markup above the invoice price and make that your target price.
Many fleet buyers take the approach of negotiating a discount based on the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) since that’s how most vehicle sales are presented in the retail vehicle business. The problem with that approach when you buy fleet vehicles is that even if you are presented with a significant discount by a sales representative, well below the MSRP, you might still be paying way too much for the vehicle because it is been marked up so high.
That’s why you should pay much more attention to the actual invoice price, and concede a fair markup to the seller, before settling on a reasonable price for the vehicle.
Apply for a Fleet Number
There are quite a few discounts available to registered fleets, and some of these discounts can provide you with savings of a few hundred dollars and even as much as $1,000 for each vehicle purchased. A standard qualifier would be something like 15 vehicles purchased for your fleet.
When an automaker assigns a fleet number to your business, you can use it to purchase vehicles from any company which happens to sell the brand of vehicles the automaker makes. This can result in tremendous savings when applied to purchasing a number of vehicles for a fleet.
Get a Dealer Fee Waiver
You can always ask the sales rep to waive your dealer fee. This fee amounts to somewhere between $100 and $600 for vehicle purchase, and according to sales reps, it’s necessary to prep the vehicle for delivery and to process all the paperwork. The truth is that it’s just one more way that a dealer can profit by vehicle sale, and it’s an amount that could accumulate into significant savings for you when you’re buying multiple vehicles.
Some fleet departments will automatically waive these dealer fees, but you should always inquire to see if you can have them waived on any purchase you’re considering. Ask if there is the total pricing involves a dealer fee, and it will be worth your while to negotiate a fee removal.
Take Advantage of Manufacturer Incentives
You will often find that discounts on fleets and retail incentives are not really very compatible. However, there are occasions when some retail programs can offer much larger savings than the fleet program.
For this reason, it will be worth your while to have a sales fleet representative calculate sale prices with both sets of incentives, so you can figure out whether the retail program or the fleet program is more advantageous for you. If there is a significant difference on one or the other, that’s the sales incentive you should select, so as to save yourself some significant cash.
Deal with Trade-ins
After you have finalized a purchase price to buy fleet vehicles, you should decide whether or not it’s advantageous to trade in any vehicles you no longer have use for. It might be that it’s more beneficial for your company to sell those vehicles outright, or possibly even to retain ownership for them.
Whatever makes the most sense financially for your business is the right choice, and if you can achieve significant savings by it, you should certainly trade in any used vehicles you’re looking to discard.