Rising fuel costs affect us all; however, if you use your vehicle for your business, these increasing costs can be the difference between making a profit, breaking even, or even making a loss. What other options are available?
New vehicle options
With proposed tax increases on diesel vehicles – traditionally favoured by tradespeople – coming into effect in 2018, this type of vehicles may no longer be the most cost-effective option, and some may be looking to replace their older diesel van. According to the Daily Express, tax for diesels will increase unless they meet strict emissions limits.
If you are looking to replace your van, electric and hybrid vehicles may well be an option, depending on the type of mileage you do and the availability of charging points in your area.
Modifying your existing van
For those who want to cut fuel costs but keep their existing vehicle, converting to LPG – liquefied petroleum gas – might be a suitable solution. What does this involve?
While the ongoing cost to run an LPG vehicle can be up to 20 per cent cheaper than standard petrol, there is quite a significant initial outlay of up to £2,000. The conversion needs to be carried out by an authorised LPG autogas installer; as with any fuel, it is not a job you want to do yourself.
There can be some downsides to running an LPG vehicle, which is why some owners opt for a dual LPG/petrol system. LPG fuel is not available at all petrol stations and you don’t get as many miles per tank, as it is smaller. This means you need to plan a little more carefully if you do a lot of miles or are not close to an LPG filling station.
As a self-employed business owner, managing all your costs is important right across the board. This includes vehicle insurance premiums. Modifying your van to run on LPG is something that you should definitely tell your insurer about and it may affect your premium. You can also modify your vehicle in other ways, such as adding van locks from specialists such as http://www.vehicle-accessories.net/Security/Van-Locks. This can help to bring down premiums.
Dash cams that record what is happening on the road around you can also help to bring premiums down, as can removing tools and equipment overnight.