Whether you need a vehicle to travel and engage with clients or you need a work van to transport equipment, it is important that you understand the steps you will need to take before purchasing a car for your business. Here are ways on how to purchase the right car for your business.
Plan of Action
Before you begin the process of finding the right car for your business, you will need to come up with a plan of action that can help you understand what car will work best for your business. Having a plan in place will help you know exactly what steps and appropriate measures to take, as well as eliminating the risk of any problems that could occur. You will need to list all the priorities you are looking for in a business vehicle such as the size and performance, so you can ensure you are making the right choice for your business.
Finding Specialist Dealers
When choosing a car that is suitable for your business, you will need to take the time to research into local dealers who have a background in selling business vehicles. A good way to do this is by speaking with other business owners who will be able to give you recommendations. Looking online can also put you in touch with small business organisations and local trade associations. Also, make sure to visit a dealership on a weekday as opposed to a weekend as they are likely to be less busy. This will give you more time to look around as well as the salespeople giving you more attention. You may also be able to get better deals and special offers towards the end of the month, especially if a salesperson needs to hit any set targets so being in the know and having relevant tips and tricks can help save you money in the long run.
If you are needing more than one vehicle for your business, going direct to a manufacturer is recommended for fleet purchases. However, each manufacturer will have their own restrictions and regulations regarding fleet purchasing so you will need to shop around to ensure you are getting the best deal. Looking on the internet for fleet purchasing websites will help you get a better understanding on what type of vehicles are on offer and how they can benefit your business.
If you are not planning to pay any upfront money for the car, you will need to look for the best possible financing plan for your business. However, depending on your business, you may qualify for special deals and offers with zero percent financing, especially if your business has a solid credit background. The time of year you decide to purchase a vehicle can have an enormous impact in financing options. Make sure that you look at financing options towards the end of the model year as dealers typically tend to slash prices and offer better deals. Conducting some research to find out about the model year will help put you ahead and know when the right time is to act.
Using a Lease
When you are unable to afford to pay for a vehicle with cash, using a lease can be a great way in getting a lower down payment as well as paying smaller monthly payments than if you were to have financed the purchase of the car. Before you decide on a lease, you will need to take time to carefully consider how many miles you plan to drive each year as well as how long you intend to have the vehicle. For example, if you plan to use the vehicle primarily for deliveries, you will be on the road for thousands of miles a week, so a lease may not be the right option for you, no matter the price on offer.
If you are planning to use the vehicle for business purposes only, you will likely have to purchase insurance. You are likely to have to show evidence of the insurance before you complete the remaining purchasing paperwork. Also, if your vehicle is to be used for delivery services or pick-ups to the general public, you may need to have a higher level of liability insurance coverage.
Registering Your Vehicle
Once you have purchased a vehicle for your business, you will then need to register it. It is important that you gather all the necessary evidence and documents as well as proof of identity. To do this, you will need to fill in all relevant forms and send them to the DVLA (driver & vehicle licensing agency). Make sure that you research into what forms you need to send as it will depend on your circumstances.
Have Your Vehicle Inspected
Your vehicle may also need to be inspected to pass any emissions and safety regulations. You will usually need to complete any inspections before you are able to use your vehicle. Inspections can take place for a variety of reasons and are usually in place to make sure that the vehicle exists and that is has been assembled and sorted into a complete vehicle. The log book (V5C) will also need to be in your name. An inspection may also need to be carried out so the DVLA can update their records on any changes you have made to the vehicle. If an inspection needs to take place, the DVLA will send you a letter. Also, you will not have to pay any fees for an inspection on your business vehicle.
Unique Number Plate
Having your own number plate for your business vehicle can be a great way in making your car stand out and give it a unique edge. Personalised plates can help build your brand and make customers aware of your business. Whenever your car is on the road, people will be able to recognise and identify with your brand which can be a great marketing and promotional tool. Companies like British Car Registrations specialise in making personalised and unique number plates. They have over 50 million personalised number plates so there’s plenty available for you to choose from. If your desired plate isn’t available, they will help you out.
As your car will be used for your business, you will need to consider all expenses that will be made at the beginning and throughout the duration you have the vehicle. To pay for expenses, you could use a business credit card or bank account that will enable you to be in control and help separate your personal and business expenses. If your employees pay expenses such as buying petrol while working and making deliveries, make sure that you reimburse them for their expenses out of your company funds. It is also important to keep track of all receipts for expenses including maintenance costs, fuel and insurance. Also, the expenses of your vehicle are tax deductible.
Following all the steps listed will enable you to purchase the right vehicle for your business. If you are still unsure on what type of car is right for your business, have a look at competitors in your area to see what sort of cars they use. You will want to make sure that your vehicle is practical and good value for money so make sure not to rush your decision.