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Should your business invest in a commercial vehicle?

It can be hard to determine if your business could benefit from a commercial vehicle, especially if you’re using a private car for work or deliveries.

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Commercial vehicles are a useful tool for a variety of businesses, but they also constitute a large investment. It can be hard to determine whether your small business would benefit from purchasing one or more commercial vehicles, especially if you’re currently using a personal vehicle for business travel or deliveries. Will your small business benefit from adding some commercial vehicles to your roster?

First, look at your business

Your first step is to take a look at your business. Do you do deliveries? Do your employees have to travel long distances to meet with clients or obtain materials that aren’t delivered to your storefront? Are you paying out a lot in mileage to your employees every pay period to help make up for the wear and tear on their personal vehicle?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it is entirely possible that your business could benefit from the addition of commercial vehicles.

Budgeting for commercial vehicles

Step two in this process is to take a look at your budget. As we’ve mentioned before, adding commercial vehicles to your fleet is quite an investment. In addition to the cost of the vehicles themselves or the auto loan/lease, you will also have to budget for things like:

  • Registration and licensing
  • Commercial automotive insurance
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Mileage
  • Tolls
  • Parking fees or garage rent

Be sure you include these things in your budget if you’re planning on adding commercial vehicles to your business.

Tax write-offs

Adding commercial vehicles to your fleet isn’t just good for efficiency and your payroll—it can look good at the end of the year too when it comes time to file your taxes.

Many of the costs of maintaining a commercial fleet—even if that fleet only contains a couple of vehicles—can be written off at the end of the year as a tax deduction.

budgeting

Adding commercial vehicles can be a costly investment, make sure to double check your business’ budget. (Photo by DepositPhotos)

Everything from the depreciation of your vehicles to the mileage that they are driven to the interest on your auto loan if you have one can be written off as a tax deduction. If you have an accountant, talk to them. You might be surprised what you can write off as a deduction.

Accuracy and efficiency

If you’re currently using personal vehicles, chances are your tools and inventory aren’t as organized as they could be—especially if things are getting moved from vehicle to vehicle depending on who is on the clock. Commercial vehicles such as cargo vans can eliminate some of that mess and help keep your tools and inventory more organized.

This can help increase efficiency as well, simply by having everything well organized. Your employees won’t have to go digging around in a cluttered toolbox looking for the right tool or sorting through a messy drawer trying to find the exact piece that they need to finish a job.

It’s not the perfect solution, especially if you have messy employees who don’t put things back where they’re supposed to be, but it’s much better than trying to shift everything you use during the day from car trunk to car trunk.

It can cost quite a bit to purchase commercial vehicles for your small business, but you have to weigh that initial cost against the benefits—tax write-offs, more efficient work days and a better functioning business. If you or your employees are doing a lot of work out of your personal cars, consider investing in a couple of commercial vehicles. You might be surprised how much time and even money you save in the long run, as long as you can look past the initial investment.

DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation for writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.

Megan Ray Nichols is a freelance technical writer and the editor of Schooled By Science, a blog dedicated to discussing the latest scientific news and discoveries. She regularly contributes to IMPO Magazine, American Machinist and Cerasis. When she isn't writing, Megan enjoys going to the gym, watching MARVEL movies or curling up with a good book.

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