Identify and Use Savings Potential in Your Vehicle Fleet

Could you show us on the spur of the moment where you can reduce your fleet expenses? With these 6 tips saving becomes child's play - so you recognize saving potentials in time and can use you effectively, in order to lower your fleet costs.


Saving money on the company fleet often begins with the simple realization that the vehicle fleet is often the second largest cost factor after personnel. It is therefore worth making the efficiency check a matter for the boss in order to increase the savings potential. The high capital investment is often overlooked because the company fleet is not part of the core business. Vehicles are a means to an end to provide other services. It is worth taking a look at these points to develop a feeling for efficiency in your core business.
With the following tips you can sharpen this view.

1. Take advantage of manufacturer discounts for fleets

It is important to do without intermediaries. If you want to buy vehicles, it is best to go directly to the manufacturer and negotiate with the responsible key account managers. Don't forget that as a fleet manager you are a great customer for the manufacturers: You buy several vehicles at the same time, so the costs for initiating business per car are extremely low for the manufacturers. So negotiate at eye level. They are so interesting for manufacturers that they are willing to bypass their dealers. For this reason, the manufacturer discounts for fleets came into play in the first place. Keep this in mind when contacting key account managers. They are responsible for large orders and are willing to offer substantial discounts. According to a study by the Center Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen, discounts of between 10% and 20% can be achieved. In the maximum case these can amount to up to 35%. The greatest potential for reducing your fleet costs is therefore here, in the purchase of vehicles.
You can save a lot of money if you are willing to buy many vehicles of the same model with the same equipment. This gives manufacturers planning security and lowers their costs.

Some manufacturers offer so-called user chooser offers, where fleet managers can consider the equipment wishes of their drivers.

If you want to save money, don't let up here and assure your negotiating partner that it's perfectly all right for you to buy a group of cars with the same equipment.

If you order standardized car configurations, you can negotiate additional discounts. So you don't just buy cars with the same equipment, you also buy cars with different equipment.

2. Don't give in for depreciation

The following applies to leasing users: The biggest cost traps are depreciation due to accident damage or the associated repair costs. Leasing providers usually use the price list of authorised workshops as a basis. These are often more expensive than necessary. In many cases, independent workshops can offer the same quality at a significantly lower price. However, the selection of workshops is negotiable. Show yourself well informed and discuss the calculation basis with your leasing provider. It is often possible to agree on the use of selected independent workshops as a compromise.

3. Use also independent workshops

Authorised workshops are usually reliable partners. However, as fleet managers, you are not obliged to have every little thing put in order there. It is often worthwhile to only have repairs carried out that contribute to the warranty extension. For everything else you can use independent workshops, as long as it is a master workshop. The leasing provider can warn against repairs at other workshops as insufficient.

4. Fuel cheaper with fuel cards

Fuel cards, which are offered by almost all petrol station chains, enable drivers to benefit from volume discounts, as suppliers want to increase their customer loyalty. The product fuel has no brand value, it makes no difference for the customer whether he refuels with Aral or Shell. Compare, therefore, which provider offers the best conditions to get you and your drivers to refuel regularly at his filling stations.

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5. define the excessive use of leasing contracts concretely

Some leasing providers try to claim excessive use when returning the leasing and demand compensation for this. First of all, remember that normal traces of use are covered by your lease payment. In addition, the burden of proof for an above-average claim lies with the lessor.
The lessor can therefore only enforce his claim if he can substantiate the concrete damage with photos and detailed explanations. Some providers will present expert opinions in order to make claims. Don't let this unsettle you, but check whether the expert opinion is detailed enough. This has already been decided by court rulings.

In August 2012, the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt am Main ruled this way:
"An arbitrator's report on the reduced value of a vehicle returned after the expiry of the leasing contract term is non-binding if it is based on an incorrect procedure for determining the reduced value.

In order to avoid such annoyance, you can limit your discretion during the leasing contract negotiations. So agree with your leasing provider on a concrete definition of what excessive use means.

6. Manage your costs digitally

In order to determine the savings potentials in fleet costs mentioned above, a clear cost management is required. A first step is the complete digitalisation of all documents.

If, for example, all workshop invoices are digitally available, fleet costs can be better compared. The same applies to leasing contracts and discounted offers. Designing the entire fleet management with state-of-the-art technology and digital offers further potential for savings. If, as a fleet manager, you save a lot of time when processing information, you gain time for acquiring the cheapest partners - be they workshops, leasing providers or manufacturers' key account managers.

AZOWO has optimized the collection and processing of data for fleet managers so that you can get an overview of the cost structure of your fleet or selected sub-areas with just a few clicks.
This complete cost and schedule transparency thanks to the digitalisation of all vehicle, trip and driver data helps you to do a good job.

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Get to know us in the scope of a personal consultation and learn more about our products. Schedule a live demo free of charge with us and we’ll show you how you can benefit from our solutions.

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