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7 signs that it's time to upgrade your fleet

Fleet vehicles have a limited lifespan. This tends to be much shorter than the lifespan of regular consumer vehicles.

By Andrea EastonPublished 10 months ago 3 min read
7 signs that it's time to upgrade your fleet
Photo by Joseph Paul on Unsplash

Fleet vehicles have a limited lifespan. This tends to be much shorter than the lifespan of regular consumer vehicles. It is important to upgrade your fleet in a timely manner.

With that in mind, Andrea Easton, Head of Finance and Operations at FleetEx, shares her insight into indications to look out for, that the time has come to upgrade your fleet vehicles.

A vehicle is five years old

By the time, a fleet vehicle is five years old, there will usually be a noticeable difference in performance between it and newer vehicles. Probably the most visible sign of this will be the state of the onboard technology. In principle, older vehicles can sometimes be retrofitted with newer technology. In practice, however, this is highly unlikely to be cost-effective.

Furthermore, a five-year-old vehicle will generally be out of warranty. This means that repair and maintenance costs will almost certainly start to add up. Fuel efficiency will also have decreased, if not in absolute terms, then at least relative to newer vehicles. Generally, therefore, the simplest and most cost-effective option is just to replace the vehicle.

A vehicle has 65,000 miles on the clock

Regardless of a vehicle’s age, if it has 65,000 miles on the clock, then it has done serious work. This will probably be obvious from the condition it's in. Even if it is still under warranty, warranties only cover manufacturing issues. You will need to cover regular maintenance and repairs and those costs are likely to start rising significantly.

Repairs and maintenance also take time, so you can expect the vehicle to be on the road less. When it is on the road, you are more likely to have to deal with performance issues or outright breakdowns. Overall, therefore, it is usually best just to upgrade the vehicle.

A vehicle’s fuel efficiency is going down

If a vehicle’s fuel efficiency goes down without an obvious (and fixable) reason, then you should probably make plans to replace it. Firstly, its running costs are inevitably going to go up. Secondly, issues with fuel efficiency can be an early warning sign that further mechanical issues are on their way.

A vehicle’s emissions are becoming an issue

Many cities have already introduced “clean-air zones.” It seems safe to assume both that more are on their way and that standards will only increase. If a vehicle is getting close to the emissions limit(s) in the area(s) where you drive, then it is probably a good idea to upgrade it.

A vehicle is regularly in for repair

Assuming you are following a proper maintenance schedule, fleet vehicles should rarely need to be repaired. When they do, there should be an acceptable reason for the trip to the garage. If a vehicle is starting to need to be repaired more often than usual and there is no good reason for it, then it is probably time to upgrade the vehicle.

A vehicle has a poor appearance

Your fleet vehicles are essentially an extension of your business premises, even if they don’t actually carry your logo and especially if they do. If a vehicle is visibly in poor condition, then it reflects badly on your company. After all, if you can’t look after your own vehicles, why should anybody trust you to look after their products?

Drivers do not like driving a vehicle

Given that drivers are, literally, the people behind the wheel of a vehicle, they are often the first people to pick up that something is not right with it. They might not be able to explain exactly what it is, but they will try to avoid driving it if they can. If you have a vehicle that drivers just do not like using, then respect their judgement and upgrade it.


About the Creator

Andrea Easton

Andrea Easton is the Head of Finance and Operations at Fleet Ex who specialise in quality ex-fleet/end of lease trucks and trailers and are global leaders in the trucking industry.

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