A Tradies’ Guide To Managing Vehicle Expenses
December 17, 2018
Republished with approval from Fleetdynamics.
The unavoidable truth of running a trades business is dealing with vehicle expenses. Between on-site quotes, picking up supplies and actually running your jobs, tradies spend a lot of time on the road. Calculating fuel costs, keeping track of log books or trying to find tradies when the customer says they didn’t arrive on site takes time and effort away from you being able to run your business.
With that in mind, here’s our top 6 tips on managing your vehicle expenses.
1. Sort out your fuel cards
Fuel will be one of your biggest expenses and it’s worthwhile using fuel cards to help manage expenses. Fuel cards will help to consolidate your expenses and most fuel card providers will offer reporting and fuel discounts as well. Bonus!
2. Keep a maintenance register
Keeping an up-to-date vehicle asset register which includes licensing, insurance, scheduled servicing and unscheduled repairs will save you dollars as well as administrative headaches. The register should include a budget for your ongoing costs which will become a great reference to find savings with bulk insurance discounts as your fleet grows.
3. Install GPS Vehicle Tracking
Installing GPS vehicle tracking in your trade vehicles allows you to see exactly where your vehicles are at any given time. This helps to eliminate fuel theft and unauthorised vehicle use while increasing customer satisfaction since you’ll be able to tell your customers exactly how far away their tradies are. As an added bonus, you can completely do away with paper log books, time sheets and all the administrative headaches that come with it.
4. Stay on top of servicing
Having vehicles off the road due to unexpected repairs costs more than the vehicle downtime with productivity plummeting while you’re still paying wages for blokes sitting on the side of the road. Servicing your vehicles regularly will keep your vehicles in tip top condition and reduce the risk of breakdowns.
5. Consider Fleet Management
Fleet management isn’t just for the big end of town, or fleets with hundreds of vehicles vehicle expenses. Fleet management companies offer great SME packages which include fuel cards, maintenance, insurance and roadside assistance. Everything you need and nothing you don’t.
6. Don’t Get Caught at Tax Time
Keeping track of logbooks and kilometers travelled is a painful but necessary evil for the tax department. Make sure you and your workers know the ins and outs of what they can claim and what they can’t. And no matter how much they argue, speeding fines are definitely NOT tax deductible.