How to choose the right vehicle for your fleet

Photo of author
Written By RandyYoumans

To empower, educate, and entertain our readers with high-quality content that deepens their understanding of the automotive world and fuels their passion for cars.





It can be difficult to purchase vehicles for your fleet. This is a major investment that often requires substantial capital outlay. Larger companies often require fleet vehicle purchases to be approved by senior management. This requires extensive background checks.

How can fleet managers make the right decisions about buying fleet vehicles?

The following are elements of a great fleet buying decision:

  • For fair and accurate comparisons of vehicles, as well as for management reporting, you need to have exact vehicle performance data
  • Data that is easy to access and quickly collect for decision making
  • All vehicle data is accessible to everyone within the company, regardless of their tenure.
  • This data includes the total and full cost of vehicle ownership (TCO).
  • Data is representative, resulting in objective decisions

Buy on emotion?

Many fleet managers make the big mistake of buying a car for emotional reasons. Although it is not something that anyone admits to, buying a vehicle based on emotions can happen – quite a few!

This is what car manufacturers know and they market their cars to appeal to your emotions. Car advertising isn’t about numbers and facts. The fluffy stuff is what you want, and it may give you the warm fuzzy feelings but it’s not the best basis to buy fleet vehicles.

Save money by keeping your car buying decision rational

How can you avoid buying for emotional reasons? Make sure your purchases are based on the best interest of the fleet and overall profitability of the company.

It’s all about having reliable information that you can use to make a decision or prepare a business case report, if necessary.

It is important to start collecting accurate vehicle data early. In fact, the earlier you begin gathering information about your fleet, the more precise your decisions will be and the more customized your fleet’s use will be.

GPS vehicle tracking is the best and most accurate way to track and report on your vehicles. You can use GPS fleet tracking to evaluate a variety of vehicle metrics. This includes more than just how many miles they have covered. It must be part of a fleet management system in order to make it useful.

Fleets can monitor vehicle metrics using Telogis Fleet and GPS tracking devices.

  • Fuel economy (actual vs. anticipated)
  • Maintenance downtime
  • It is a waste of time
  • Fuel costs
  • Cost per mile
  • Productivity percentage

You can assign specific tags to your vehicles when you set up Telogis Fleet. This allows you to track different vehicles. You could, for example, compare single-wheel axles to dual-wheel ones. They are more costly to operate. How about Japanese cars compared to European ones? Toyota versus Hyundai? Utilities versus vans? There is no limit on the number of vehicle tags that you can attach to a vehicle, or group of vehicles. You can report on this later for precise comparisons.

You can measure a variety of vehicle costs metrics and look at the total cost per kilometer. Some vehicles use less fuel but they may be more costly overall if they break down more frequently or have higher maintenance costs.

Making better fleet buying decisions

Although you can use the specifications of the manufacturer and estimated vehicle running costs, they don’t know your business or the conditions under which you operate.

The only way to accurately measure the performance of a vehicle is to use GPS fleet tracking. This will allow you to not only find savings by switching to cheaper vehicles, but also help you make better decisions about which vehicles are best for you.