Selling your fleet vehicles is an important part of the fleet management lifecycle. Ideally, your fleet and business are going to last longer than the useful working duration of your vehicles.
This means planning for the full cycle; acquisition, maintenance, and resale for the best possible value to fund the vehicle's replacement. Then you start the whole cycle over again.
Each new vehicle added to your fleet will go through this cycle and, eventually, you will sell them. What are the best strategies for selling fleet vehicles, and how can you get the best price when reselling a vehicle that you have worked hard?
1. Know Each Vehicle's Maintenance and Value Lifecycle
First, know your vehicles. Your fleet management plan should include a chart of predicted maintenance costs over time and you should also be tracking monthly to annual mileage for each vehicle and route. Know the lifecycle of every make, model, and year in your fleet. Know if they will become costly to maintain in the future and when their value cliffs drop off after a certain number of miles or years.
2. Sell Before Landmark Value Cliffs
Value cliffs are certain points in a vehicle's lifecycle when they lose significant value. This varies by make and model, some vehicles age better than others, but there will usually be a year or a mileage number where your vehicles enter "old age" on the automobile market. Sell before this point. Sell several months to a year before this point so that you can ensure a fair and compensatory price when reselling fleet vehicles.
Calculate the approach of these value cliffs and make your vehicle sale arrangements before the cliffs are reached for each vehicle in your fleet.
3. Longer-Value Vehicles Minimize Turnover Cost
As we mentioned, some vehicles age better than others. They need less maintenance over the years and their value cliffs are further off. If you prioritize these types of vehicles in your fleet, you can minimize the cost and disruption of vehicle turnover. Many fleet managers favor long-lifespan vehicles, especially when purchasing so that reselling is a long way off and the cost of maintenance is kept reasonably low.
4. De-Lettering and Market Prep Boost Resale Value
Preparing your fleet vehicles for sale is a critical phase when seeking a good price. First, you'll need professional de-lettering to remove your logos and branding elements without damaging the paint in the process. You will likely want to take care of small repairs and tune up the vehicle so that it is in top condition for sale. Touching up the paint and doing a little paintless dent work will make your vehicles look like new.
Interior detail cleaning is a must and, most likely, you will also have some work equipment to uninstall from any fleet vehicle that is leaving the fleet.
5. Have Your Replacement Vehicle Already Lined Up
When the time to sell one or more fleet vehicles is approaching, make sure you have the replacements lined up and read. Whether these are interim leased fleet vehicles or purchases already prepared to mirror your vehicle sales, you don't want to leave your fleet lacking. Being short-staffed is bad enough but being one vehicle down can throw off your entire business model.
Have replacement vehicles ready, in the garage, and kitted out for service by the time you actually take your re-selling vehicles and your routes. This will minimize to eliminate any downtime caused by vehicle turnover.
6. Sell Through a Partner to Minimize Disruption
Selling a vehicle is not something that a fleet manager must do like a consumer. Unless your ex fleet vehicles are especially snazzy, you will find the best prices (and the least effort) selling through fleet management and leasing service. They have access to a networked market of buyers, particularly for work trucks and fleet models, and can also handle the professional de-lettering stage on your behalf due to their experience onboarding and offboarding fleet vehicles.
Are you getting ready to sell a fleet vehicle, or need to make a plan that includes eventually selling a vehicle in your fleet? Wilmar Inc. is here to help. Our professional fleet building and management services put us in the perfect position to help you build a strategy or actively market and re-sell your fleet vehicles. Contact us today to find out more.