Vehicle age is on the rise across industries, new research from IHS Markit reveals. The average age of light vehicles in the US has risen to 11.9 years in operation. It should come as no surprise then that more businesses are considering updating their fleets as their vehicles age. Updating at the right time avoids unnecessary repair costs and unforeseen delays in service.
So when you start researching a new fleet, what questions should you ask? Signature Graphics has listed nine questions to ask to help you make the right choice for your fleet needs.
1. What are your business needs now?
Five years ago when you were just starting out, you may have only needed a fleet of four commercial vans. But now that business is booming is your small fleet holding you back? Additionally, have your offerings changed? For example, you may not need a refrigerated truck if you’ve dropped delivery from your offerings. As your business demands and products shift, it may be time to upgrade your fleet entirely or add vehicles to satisfy specific needs.
2. Is your fleet meeting fuel efficiency standards?
The energy needed to power your fleet can represent a large line item in your budget, especially if you haven’t upgraded in a long time. Business owners can check how the fuel efficiency of their fleet stands up against newer models by speaking with a dedicated representative at a dealership’s fleet department.
3. How safe are your fleet vehicles?
Safety is key both for fleet drivers and your business. Go online or call a local dealership to see if there have been any manufacturer warnings about your vehicles. You can also speak to an insurance agent to determine how a new fleet would impact your monthly premiums. In some cases, the total amount you would save because of improved safety might be reason enough to invest in a new fleet, not to mention boosting your employees’ safety when they hit the road.
4. Does your fleet look like it popped out of a time machine?
Good branding matters. Your branded fleet is a moveable billboard, so driving around a 1989 model with peeling graphics sends the wrong message no matter how good your service is. Plus, if you invest in a new fleet, it could give you an opportunity to revise your graphics to create something more eye-catching and iconic.
5. Is your fleet reliable?
When you first started your business, perhaps you went for a model that wasn’t quite top of the line but fit your budget. However, an unreliable vehicle will affect your entire team – not to mention your budget. If one driver’s car breaks down, someone else may have to pick up the slack, or you may just miss out on some business. Check your records and ask, “When was the last time my fleet had a breakdown?
6. Should You Reface or Replace?
You don’t always have to start from scratch. If your fleet is up-to-date or has more years left in it, then maybe all you need is a branding reface. Refacing a fleet is an inexpensive method that covers your current branding with digitally printed vinyl to make it look new. But it’s important to know when to start fresh. At Signature, we offer proprietary software called brandRESPONSE that lets you manage the refresh of your entire fleet all in one place. If your fleet is damaged, unstable and breaking down, it’s time to turn over a new leaf with a complete replacement of the vehicle and its vinyl graphics.
7. Do you have a plan for keeping fleet graphics fresh?
What happens if your fleet has aged well, but your branding hasn’t? If that’s the case you need a plan to keep your graphics fresh, new, and engaging. A bold, colorful display makes a huge impact on potential customers and generate 30,000 impressions per day. The benefits of fresh graphics are endless: you can achieve cost-effective advertising method, create a lasting impression, build brand awareness, and protect your vehicle.
8. Did you add final mile vehicles, and can your brand adapt?
Closing the final mile with customers is more important than ever. Customers have come to expect rapid delivery times, putting pressure of fleet managers to add more light and medium-duty vehicles. While these vehicles are great, they can disrupt the fleet and disjoint consistency in your brand—and in branding consistency is key. Brand adaptation requires a bird’s-eye view of planning your branding and delivery across the board.
9. Do you have the right partner?
Don’t trust your branding to just anyone. Feel sure that your company messaging is the right hands by partnering with a trusted graphics company that can deliver a team of experts. At Signature Graphics, we’ve perfected the art of guiding customers through the vehicle wrap process so it’s virtually painless. We specialize in staying attuned to your individual needs and adapting as your project evolves.
Contact Signature Graphics for Your Fleet Graphics
Signature Graphics is ready to apply our 40 years of experience on behalf of your business. Our clients love our excellent customer service, pioneering ideas, and data-driven branding strategies. We’re a 3M Graphics Partner and Omnicom Group member, so you can trust that you’re getting the best quality for your fleet graphics. Contact us today to start updating your fleet graphics.
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