Commercial Fleet Auto Maintenance Costs Rise 7 Percent in 2012

18 Apr 2013

Business expenses, across the board rose in 2012 over expenses in the 2011 calendar year. One of the notable increases for businesses that operate commercial fleets is the rise in maintenance costs of seven percent in 2012 over maintenance expenses in 2011.This trend is forecasted to continue, which means businesses operating fleet vehicles must look for ways to reduce these rising maintenance expenses.

“The forecast is for overall passenger car maintenance expenses to rise slightly in 2013,” reports the March 2013 edition of Automotive Fleet magazine. This year’s report marks the 18th annual maintenance study for commercial fleet passenger vehicles conducted by GE Capital Fleet Services.

One significant detail the report notes is that repair costs were notably higher for fleet vehicles that had been in service for more than 37 months than those that has been in service for lower amounts of time.

Additionally, the report suggests that it’s more cost effective to cycle older vehicles in order to reduce costly repairs and the potential for driver downtime while repairs are taking place. Once vehicles pass the 60,000 mark on the odometer, the average costs for repairs increases dramatically.

Another factor having a significant impact on fleet maintenance expenses is tire replacement cost. Compared to 2011, the average replacement cost per tire and cost-per mile, rose 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

What to Do About Increased Fleet Maintenance Costs

Unfortunately, not all businesses have improved profits in 2012 by a wide enough margin to easily accommodate the rising expenses of maintenance. As a result, many businesses are focusing their attention on new ways to reduce their maintenance costs for 2013.

GPS fleet tracking is one of the most cost-effective tools many businesses have found to help reduce the maintenance costs of their fleet vehicles, in addition to other benefits. This tool helps in many ways business owners expect, but also provides a few unexpected benefits when it comes to keeping maintenance expenses lower.

Fleet tracking tools help businesses manage the routes their vehicles take in order to find routes that will be more fuel efficient, add less mileage to the vehicles, and add less wear and tear to tires. Since higher vehicle mileage is a significant contributor to higher repair costs, this can save businesses a great deal of money throughout the course of the year.

GPS fleet tracking tools send out email alerts when the time for vehicle maintenance arrives. It doesn’t simply do this for calendar month scheduled repairs however. Fleet tracking tools help business owners keep up with regular maintenance based on engine on-time as well as vehicle mileage. Proper, on time, maintenance helps prevent breakdowns and saves businesses a lot of money on unexpected maintenance and downtime.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to rising maintenance costs seen in 2012 and beyond, preventing higher maintenance expenses with regular preventative maintenance makes sense and saves a lot of dollars in the process.

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