What to Consider When Choosing a Full-Maintenance Plan
One of the biggest challenges associated with operating vehicles for business use is determining the best way to maintain them. Do you employ someone in-house to perform maintenance? Do you outsource all of the maintenance to a local garage or dealership? Who determines what repairs are required and when? In fact, many companies end up deciding that the headache isn’t worth their effort, and instead elect to implement a full-maintenance program through their fleet management company. But how do you know that the full-maintenance plan being proposed is right for you? In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most important things for companies to consider when contemplating a full-maintenance plan.
Is It Comprehensive?
One of the very first things that should be determined when considering the implementation of a full-maintenance plan is what’s covered and what’s not covered. Some fleet management companies offer more inclusive plans than others, so it’s important to clarify. The most inclusive plans will truly cover from engine work to brakes pads, and everything in between (except fuel). Other plans may not cover every component of the vehicle, excluding things such as wear-and-tear items, or place limitations on repairs (more on that later).
Where Can I Have Repair Work Performed?
Another element to consider when reviewing full-maintenance plans are restrictions on where work can be performed. Almost all fleet management companies have National Account locations that drivers can visit for their convenience, however, some fleet management companies require that repair and maintenance work be performed only at a specific location. This can be incredibly burdensome to the drivers, as the required facility may not be in a convenient location. Other fleet management companies allow their vehicles to be serviced at whatever location is most convenient for the driver. This allows drivers to utilize their preferred mechanic and get back on the road quickly. In general, warranty work is usually required to be completed at a local dealership.
Are There Limitations?
As mentioned earlier, full-maintenance plans often vary in the scope of coverage. Additionally, plans may also vary when it comes to limitations on repair work. For example, some plans spell out that they only cover a certain number of tire replacements, or limit the number of brake pads that will be covered. There are other, more comprehensive, full-maintenance plans that do not place restrictions on their coverage. Avoid a potentially costly oversight by thoroughly reviewing any potential limitations in coverage prior to program implementation.
What Happens If a Vehicle is Over Mileage or Past Term?
With almost any fleet, there are going to be times when vehicles are retained past their term, or go over their allotted mileage. One thing that companies often forget to inquire about is what happens to their full-maintenance plan for these vehicles when that occurs. The answer is that it depends on the fleet management company. Some fleet management companies elect to terminate the vehicle’s full-maintenance coverage upon meeting its months or mileage limit. Others will allow you to keep coverage, but raise the price of the program to compensate for the increased expected maintenance costs associated with older, higher mileage vehicles.
What Does It Cost?
There is no easy answer to this question as every fleet management company is going to price their programs differently depending on a multitude of factors, such as: vehicle, term, mileage, anticipated use, etc. One thing that you may want to inquire about is whether or not the plan you’re considering carries a deductible. Either way, it’s important to find that out prior to signing up.
For more information on full-maintenance plans, or to inquire about possibly introducing a full-maintenance program to your fleet, contact us today at 800-243-0182 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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