How to find fleet vehicles when you’re in a crunch
Your company just hired a new employee and you need to get a vehicle – and fast. But with all of the order cut-off dates passed, what can you do? Especially when you have to make sure you get the car you need without having to wait or pay exorbitantly high prices.
As your fleet management company, we recognize these things come up sometimes, and as much as we try, not every instance can be accounted for or planned. Sometimes you just need to accomplish a task quickly. With that in mind, we conveniently offer four alternative methods to order a vehicle to help you when those unplanned events come up.
Ask your fleet provider for the secret stash of brand new vehicles
Every year, manufacturers publish their order cut-off dates. Certain manufacturers also set aside a small pool of their own of specific vehicles in the event that a last-minute order is needed. Depending on the make and model you are looking for, this option may be available to you. This is the fastest alternative option if you are looking for a new model quickly, with an order-to-delivery time of two to four weeks, on average. While speed is a definite benefit, be aware that this is not a guaranteed option for all vehicle types as only certain manufacturers do this and often only have a limited stock. In the event that a manufacturer pool does not have the vehicle you need, there are other options still to explore.
If upfit is required, know your options
This type of pool consists of already-assembled vehicles on consignment at upfit vendors, awaiting sale and upfit. Most notable about this option is the likelihood of receiving the vehicle at factory order pricing as this is the case with most vehicles from upfitter pools. Trucks and upfit vehicles with ship-thru capabilities are the most common segments available and a manufacturer agreement is needed in order to obtain the vehicle through this method. On average, vehicles are delivered four to six weeks after order, saving you about six weeks from a factory order.
Stay calm and order your cab-over chassis from exclusive pools
General Motors (GM) and Isuzu both have cab-over chassis pools available at port locations for immediate reassignment. GM vehicles can be purchased at factory order pricing while Isuzu vehicles are offered at stock purchase pricing. All vehicles available in this option are cab-over chassis with diesel and gas engines, so this stock is for a very specific need. Like the upfitter pool, cars purchased through this option are available within four to six weeks. Unlike the previously listed options, however, GM vehicles must be ordered through a fleet management company as factory units, and Isuzu orders are stock purchased through a dealer.
Check dealer inventory as a last resort
This is the fastest option available but it should be used as a last resort. As to be expected, speed comes with a price. Coming from a local dealer’s inventory, it may be more expensive than factory and have limited customization choices. All vehicle segments are potentially available, but it depends on what is currently built and on dealer lots. If you are willing to pay a higher price in order to save time, though, you can have your vehicle typically within 10 business days. This type of purchase must be reported as fleet with the proper coding for any commercial assistance program discounts to be applied correctly at the time of sale.