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As an archipelago with more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines faces unique logistical and mobility challenges that make fleet leasing an attractive option for businesses and foreign investors. According to Automotive Fleet Magazine, multinational companies perceive the country as the third largest vehicle fleet market in Asia, only behind Japan and India, with the industry dominated by local and small lessors.

When mulling over the right automotive for your fleet in a diverse and geographically complex country like the Philippines, several factors must be considered to ensure efficiency, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness that meets business needs and regional demands.

According to Web-based fleet system Chevin, one of the most important things to consider whether to buy vehicles, finance fleet purchases, or lease vehicles is its utility to its users. Although some brands of car manufacturers are more appealing than others, focusing on car features and capabilities directly impacts the performance, reliability, and efficiency of the vehicle fleet and can be more practical and affordable.

Finding out the right size, style, and carrying capacity of a vehicle is essential in the operation of a fleet. The type of vehicle needed for urban deliveries is different from those required for long highway hauls, off-road operations, or even business meetings. To match a vehicle’s capabilities with its intended use is important to ensure efficiency and practicality.

Besides vehicle utility, choosing the right vehicles for your fleet also means sticking with a budget and finding one that will be the best value in the long run. It is important to look beyond the initial purchase price of a car fleet and consider the total cost of ownership throughout its operation.

In budgeting for a car fleet, some components must be considered to reduce costs and be more economically efficient.

With gas prices fluctuating weekly, fuel economy becomes critical as it impacts the operating costs. Although their prices differ depending on the model and make of a vehicle, maintenance and repair costs can unexpectedly affect the budget as well. Additionally, car insurance costs vary based on vehicle type and frequency of use. Finally, potential resale value should also be evaluated, as it can be considered possible income and offset initial expenses when it’s time to replace or upgrade the fleet.

One way to help ease these costs is through standardizing certain specifications across a fleet of vehicles can help ease these costs by simplifying maintenance and ensuring consistency in performance. An article from Chevin suggests that through setting up guidelines for fuel types, engine sizes, or vehicle features, businesses can streamline maintenance programs, and optimize technician training and parts inventories.

Safety also needs to be a consideration in choosing the right vehicle for a fleet. According to data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, road traffic deaths increased by 39% from 7,938 deaths in 2011 to 11,096 deaths in 2021.

Ensuring that the vehicles chosen have strong safety records can help protect drivers and passengers while minimizing risks. Investing in additional safety features such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning systems, and blind-spot monitoring must also be considered as they can reduce accident-related costs and improve fleet safety.

With increasing pressure to reduce carbon footprints and combat climate change, the environmental impact of vehicles must be a pivotal consideration when selecting a fleet. While options like hybrid or electric vehicles are currently sparse in the country’s fleet leasing market, businesses can explore various strategies to mitigate environmental impact.

According to an article by US-based fleet leasing company Ewald Fleet Solutions, an alternative option comes in the form of advancements in petrol engine technology that have enabled car manufacturers to produce vehicles with smaller engines that emit lower carbon emissions. This development offers a viable substitute for fleet leaders seeking to reduce their harm to the environment without immediate access to hybrid or electric vehicles.

Lastly, Ewald Fleet Solutions suggests that the appearance and type of vehicles chosen for fleet leasing can influence how a company is perceived by its customers, stakeholders, and the general public. Selecting vehicles that are in style, modern, and in top shape can convey professionalism, reliability, and a commitment to quality service while outdated or poorly maintained vehicles may project a negative image, and impact customer trust and satisfaction.

Similarly, the type of vehicles chosen can also reflect company values like sustainability and innovation. Choosing eco-friendly or technologically advanced automobiles can be perceived as showing care for the environment and positions the company as forward-thinking.

Considering image and branding in fleet selection decisions makes sure that vehicles fulfill operational needs with a bonus that contributes positively to a fleet leasing company’s reputation and public relations.

Selecting the right automobiles for a fleet needs careful assessment of different elements such as vehicle utility, budget constraints, operational requirements, and environmental impact. By considering thoroughly the said different factors, businesses can choose the vehicles that will suit their needs and so better navigate the logistical challenges they face, and in turn have long-term success and positive impact. — Jomarc Angelo M. Corpuz