Today, a vehicle forms an integral part of most businesses. Not only does it make it easier to haul products and workers, but it also ensures we get a lot more done within a short period.
Consequently, acquiring a business car is a critical undertaking.
There are two ways through which you can acquire a car for business. One is through car rentals, and the other is through a car purchase arrangement. Each of these has its benefits.
Whether you opt to rent a business car or purchase one, there are vital considerations that should always be at the forefront of your mind.
Getting a car that satisfies these elements not only gives you value for money but also assures you of a vehicle suited for your needs.
Here are the five things you should consider when buying or renting a business car.
- Utility and Size
Before embarking on your car hunting expedition, you need to be clear on the purpose for which you will use the vehicle.
An honest appraisal of your business needs in this regard will help you avoid being easily distracted by the offers you are likely to meet out there.
More importantly, it will guarantee that your ultimate choice does not disappoint.
To help you formulate a utility profile to be met by your target vehicle, you could ask yourself some pertinent questions.
Will the car be used on city roads? Or do you need an off-road vehicle? Who will be driving it? Is it to ferry persons or goods? How big an engine do you need? How often shall it be used?
These considerations will help you have an objective appreciation of the amount of power that your vehicle should have.
That is important because it is best to spend your money only on the deliverables you need.
For example, there is no point in leasing or hiring an expensive car with a large, powerful engine if it will only be designated to tow lightweight items.
- Affiliated expenses
The amount you spend on a car does not stop at the purchase/ hire price.
For that reason, it is crucial to consider the post-acquisition expenses you are likely to incur when you go for a particular model.
These include fuel expenses, insurance charges, service and maintenance, and any licenses that may apply.
A good rule to observe is aiming to buy fuel-efficient cars such as the Toyota Camry.
Another helpful tip when considering the expenditure connected to a particular car is to also look at the tax incentives that come with the vehicle.
In some countries, businesses can write off car hire costs as a business expense for tax purposes. Is yours such a country?
Closely related to this is whether you can write off the purchase price as a tax expense under your country’s regulations.
In countries where tax write-offs are only available for car hires, it might be worth considering renting the business car instead of buying it.
- Car’s features
Depending on the purpose of the car, consider the optional extras that come with the vehicle.
Some of these add-ons include sophisticated security and safety features. For instance, the GPS navigation feature is a valuable tool to have in a car used on routes that may be unfamiliar to the driver.
These include businesses involving deliveries and pick-ups such as cabs. The GPS will aid your driver find his way around more efficiently, thus saving fuel and time.
Also, some cars come bearing impressive luxurious features designed to appeal to the comfort of the occupants. Such car brands include Mercedes Benz, BMW, and other high-end luxury cars.
Therefore, if your business entails availing chauffeured vehicles to your high-end clients for specific periods, renting a Mercedes Benz for this purpose is sure to make a definite statement.
- Finance options
After doing the cost-benefit analysis we mentioned earlier, it is now time to evaluate your payment options.
Will you purchase or lease the vehicle? And if you are set on purchasing, what are the available payment plans?
Here, consider whether you are eligible for loan financing and the interest payable. Also, evaluate whether the seller is willing to extend you a reliable payment plan and at what cost.
While at it, when taking a loan for the purchase of a business car, it is essential to evaluate whether the business returns generated by the vehicle warrant the loan cost.
That is because cars are depreciating items whose worth to a business is only as good as the amount they help your business make.
For that reason, the cost of acquiring the car must be economically viable to your business in the long term.
Having an aesthetically pleasing vehicle resplendent with your company logo can sometimes determine how prospective clients perceive your business.
In the same spirit, having your workers moving around in a ratty old jalopy does not earn your business any merit in so far as perceptions are concerned.
Balancing between having an affordable yet efficient business car can be a daunting process. However, the good news is that there are dozens of low-maintenance yet sleek and reliable models available.
These are cars that present your company in a profound and positive light without being punitive to the company’s bottom line regarding acquisition and maintenance costs.
What’s more, the aesthetic style you go for is entirely dependent on your type of business.