Don't risk safety for an EOFY fleet bargain

Don’t sacrifice fleet safety for price when it comes to EOFY car sales – the best bargain isn’t always a reduction in cost, but an uplift in features.

How many times do you hear employees complaining about the quality of the car they have been provided? How many times have you said “that’s the car the company can afford.”

End-of-financial-year sales can provide a great opportunity to get the best value fleet for your dollar, but focusing too much on cost-savings can lead to long-term pain if it comes at the expense of vehicle safety and environmental impact.

Most employers would say that they put a huge importance on their employees’ safety – so ensure your purchase choices reflect that safety-first culture. 

EOFYS provide an opportunity to increase the focus on improving safety while minimising cost.

Rather than focussing on reducing overall cost, consider improving safety at the budgeted cost. So if the company has budgeted $20,000 for a base model vehicle with a 5-star ANCAP rating and at sale time they can possibly get a top-of-range model vehicle for the same money, then consider upgrading rather than reducing cost. The upgraded model will generally provide better safety with lower environmental impact. 

Capitalise on this opportunity to engage with employees in the selection process and let them know about the budget. Set safety and environment-impact guidelines and strive to get employees behind the wheel of a car they feel comfortable driving.

Cost reduction is of course an important part of running a business, but take some time to reflect on your fleet incidents, accidents and the injuries they cause, and the unmeasurable costs you are incurring from these incidents. Reflect on the data your insurance company provides to you to understand the cause of the incidents and accidents, and use this to determine if the vehicles you are selecting are suitable for your employees – or if there is maybe a better choice.

Your insurance company can also provide you with guidance on vehicle selection. Comparing vehicles and establishing minimum requirements help make the decision on your vehicle selection more complete and less just about cost.

Consulting safety and environmental research, claims data experience and risk management tools available from your insurance company will also help you make the right decision.

Set criteria to determine your priorities– environmental, driver and passenger safety and cost budget. If times are tough and you need to tighten the belt, then utilise EOFYS time but do consider the unseen cost and heightened risk exposure if you change the quality goalposts.

Finally, let me share some of the common scenarios we hear as motor risk management experts – all of which would be avoided through better vehicle purchasing decisions. “My company got a great deal on a particular make and model car and that’s all they can get, I get to choose the colour”. In some cases employees have said “I’ve got this massive car and can’t see anything when reversing”. Another classic response is “I get an SUV because I work in rural areas but no one has considered that I can’t get into the car and feel uncomfortable driving at high speeds because I don’t have control of it”.

You know the sales are coming, so do your homework beforehand, consult your staff, and start to get an understanding on what you could do to improve the safety culture in your business.

Find out more about motor fleet insurance.