A lot of advice relating to how to save money on buying commercial vehicles boils down in the end to saying the equivalent of “go out and look for some good deals.”
In all probability though, that’s something you had already thought of!
However, ACF Direct would like to highlight a few perhaps less obvious things that you may wish to be taking into consideration.
New versus old commercial vehicles
There are all sorts of pros and cons here and the situation can vary significantly depending upon the precise type of commercial vehicle under discussion.
Even so, it might pay to question whether you really need a brand new as opposed to nearly-new used vehicle. That’s for the obvious reason that vehicles depreciate and often lose a substantial percentage of their asset value in the first 1-2 years.
There can sometimes be a very strong argument for allowing someone else to take that depreciation hit and then to purchase the vehicle at a much keener price. Of course, you need to ensure that it really is in tip-top condition, as buying an “old banger” might prove to be a false economy in the medium term.
Consolidate your purchasing
Dealerships are always desperately keen to offer incentives to give them more of your business.
So, if you are considering buying commercial vehicles at the same time as upgrading your company car, plus even perhaps family vehicles, talk about consolidated deals with dealerships.
There may be so keen to get your substantial order that prices will tumble and they may even throw in a number of extras.
Make sure you have sized your vehicle requirements carefully
It’s not unknown for a large or specialist commercial vehicle in a fleet to only really be used to its full capacity or capabilities for a relatively small percentage of the year. For the rest of the time, it might be engaged in work that could easily be accommodated by somewhat lesser vehicles.
That could be a waste of money.
So, be absolutely certain that the vehicle you are purchasing is needed and will be heavily utilised to its full capacity. If you’re not sure, it may be more cost-effective to purchase a smaller vehicle which will be fully utilised, then to rent that larger or more specialised vehicle only when required.
Be clear on your financing
Having your own commercial vehicle finance deal in your pocket before you go out to look for your vehicle or vehicles, means you are in the driving seat. You’ll be able to look and select the financing that is most attractive to you well in advance.
If you’re trying to do that at the same time as being pressurised in a dealership for a sale, it might complicate things and put you on the “back foot” in terms of driving a hard bargain with the dealer when buying commercial vehicles.
Research the most appropriate times in the year to buy commercial vehicles
Dealerships are particularly “vulnerable” towards quarter and year ends.
Their sales personnel and indeed management will probably be under intense pressure to make targets. That’s something you can potentially work to your advantage in terms of pushing for discounts when buying commercial vehicles.
By and large, such quarter ends normally fall around the end of the quarter months (March, June, September, December) in the year. You may be able to add to that picture with some modest on-line research.