Two white utes on a work site

Questions To Ask When Selecting A Work Vehicle

The wrong vehicle can cost a business more than it should. It can get in the way of employees going about their business and can even give a company a bad image.

By Shell on May 09, 2021

Clearly, the wrong work vehicle is bad news for the bottom line, but how do you ensure you're choosing the right one? Here are some questions to ask before signing on the dotted line.

Why do you need it?

This question is worth asking more than once because you have to be 100 per cent clear about what you need a vehicle for. Will it be ferrying heavy freight, smaller items or something in between? Will it be for a single employee or a whole crew? Will it tow? Will it be driven by a salesperson or executive? Or will it tackle multiple roles?

Pondering how that truck, van, single-cab ute, dual-cab ute, passenger car or luxury contender stacks up to these kinds of questions will help you confirm your chosen configuration, as well as its size and capacity (i.e. passengers, towing, etc).

Where will it be used?

Knowing where a vehicle will be doing its work can help you drill down to the right one, beyond basic configuration.

For example, will muddy worksites be regular destinations? If so, a 4WD option might be better than a 2WD. Is your salesperson's client base more rural than metropolitan? Then a vehicle with an all-road bent (i.e. an SUV) might be better than a small inner-city runner.

Is it safe?

Your own health has its own value for your business. If you're an employer, you're obliged to provide employees with a safe workplace, making it essential that you minimise the chances of driver injury in a car accident. That means you need to heavily scrutinise a vehicle's safety credentials.

What is its ANCAP crash-test rating? How does its safety technology compare to other vehicles? If it's not a five-star performer in the former and off the pace in the latter, you should look for alternatives.

What will it cost to run?

Beyond the entry price, a vehicle soaks up money as it's driven and the cost differs for different vehicles. Few businesses can afford the luxury of unnecessarily high running costs, so find out how your chosen candidate stacks up.

Is its fuel-economy competitive for its class? What are its projected service and insurance costs? Will it retain a competitive dose of its value when you trade it for a replacement?

Look to the websites of vehicle manufacturers, insurers and resale-guide providers for the answers, then do the number-crunching.

Does it have the right image?

A vehicle that serves a company's needs is great. One that also looks like the right vehicle to the outside world is even better.

Take a company with an environmentally friendly image. What would show off the organisation’s eco credentials in a better light, its employees driving an electric, hybrid or otherwise 'green' vehicle, or some old-fashioned fuel-guzzler?

So think about what your business stands for, who it's selling to and how that relates to a particular vehicle's image. At the least, you might avoid choosing something that rubs people up the wrong way.


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