When private security companies sell their vehicle fleet, that money will often be reused to buy newer, more efficient models. And as security companies scale their vehicle fleets, the difference in value per vehicle can make a huge difference down the road.
So how can you ensure that, when it is time to resell your company’s security vehicles, you get the best possible price that will save the business money? These 4 areas make a huge difference in the resale process for private security fleet vehicles:
- Factors that affect security vehicle resale value
- Knowing a fleet vehicle’s resale value
- How effective fleet management maximizes the resale value
- The methods for reselling fleet vehicles
If you want more information on effective fleet management, check out this Management Tactics for Large Scale Security Vehicle Fleets webinar with Korey McGuinness!
Factors that Affect Security Vehicle Resale Value
There are 3 main factors that affect the resale value of security vehicles. Knowing what these factors are can help you make better fleet management decisions for your security business and can help set you up for success in the resale market.
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
The VIN will tell you and potential buyers how trustworthy the vehicle is as well as specific vehicle details beyond the Year/Make/Model. Your security vehicle’s VIN is the easiest way to get reliable information about the car and the things that factor into its resale value.
The VIN will include things like:
- Trim type
- Additional features (i.e. AWD, interior fabric/color, GPS system)
- Maintenance records
The more miles you put on a car, the less it will be worth. With private security fleet vehicles, though, you can’t just look at total mileage. Many private security patrol vehicles spend a lot of time idling.
Just because miles aren’t being put on the car doesn’t mean it’s not losing value. Every hour of idle time is roughly equal to driving 25 to 30 miles. Keeping track of miles plus total engine hours will help keep your expectations of resale values realistic.
Accidents are the quickest way to massively devalue a vehicle’s resale value. The easiest fix is to prevent as many accidents as possible. But how do you do that?
Accidents don’t just happen randomly. Unsafe acts like texting and driving, speeding, or not checking blind spots lead to “near misses.” Most insurance companies estimate that every 600 near misses result in 30 minor accidents, 10 serious accidents, and 1 death.
Knowing a Fleet Vehicle’s Resale Value
When it comes time to sell one of your security vehicles, you should know what price range is fair for the vehicle based on a number of factors. Luckily, the internet has made many things easier, and finding resale values for vehicles is one of them.
There are a few websites - both free and paid - that you can visit to better understand how much money you will likely get for your vehicles.
Kelley Blue Book (KBB) - the most widely used and trusted source for checking the values of vehicles. The website is completely free and very easy to use.
National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) - has been around for over 100 years and is another great free resource for looking up values. They work with dealers, government agencies, and the general public to get well-rounded information about the industry out to everyone.
Black Book - a paid resource for better understanding resale values of vehicles. They have helpful reports and data and do offer some information for free.
Maximizing Security Vehicle Resale Value through Effective Fleet Management
Effective fleet management for security companies is complex - especially at scale. But keeping in mind a few basics can make a big difference in the money you get back when it’s time to resell a fleet vehicle.
First, you should be doing everything you can to limit accidents. Every security patrol driver must understand what is expected of them when they’re driving one of your vehicles. You can put together a safe driving employee handbook or offer safe driver incentives to ensure that you are limiting the accidents in your security company.
Security fleet vehicles absolutely need to be taken in for maintenance regularly. Where a standard vehicle is usually serviced about two times a year or every 5,000 miles, security vehicles spend a lot of time idling that also puts wear and tear on the vehicle.
Using the same 25-30 miles per 1 hour idle time is a good way to make sure you are accounting for the additional wear and tear on your vehicles beyond mileage alone when deciding on maintenance schedules.
Regular cleaning and care is a simple and easy way to preserve the physical condition of fleet vehicles and increase resale value. Here are a few tips:
- Wash regularly (generally speaking, 2-4 details a year and/or 1 basic wash a month)
- Always wash vehicles after snowstorms
- Use covered parking spaces whenever possible
- Install cargo mats and seat covers to limit stains from mud or spills
- Discourage security guards from eating or getting in with muddy shoes
Outside of cleaning and simple care, doing touch up work on a vehicle can go a long way to sustaining higher resale value. Make sure you check regularly for even small dings and scratches on the body that you can fix easily and cheaply to keep the exterior of your vehicles looking brand new.
Make sure that any aftermarket work you do to your security vehicle (light bars, push bars, etc.) is removed and completely repaired before the sale. Most people who purchase used vehicles won’t be using them for security purposes.
Lastly, putting the different aged vehicles on the right routes can be a great way to get depreciation to work for you. Newer vehicles tend to depreciate faster, especially when they have a lot of miles on them, so try to keep new vehicles on low mileage mobile patrol routes and older vehicles on high mileage routes.
For more general information on effective fleet management at scale, check out this webinar!
The Methods for Reselling Fleet Vehicles
When it is finally time to resell a security fleet vehicle, deciding how you will sell it can have a massive impact on the money you will get. Each of the following resale methods have different balances between higher sale prices and easier selling processes. You will have to determine the best selling method based on your specific needs.
Private Party Sales
Private party sales typically give you the highest price on your vehicle. The downside here is that private party sales are the hardest to manage.
If you only have a few vehicles in your fleet, this method might work well for you. But, as soon as your security vehicle fleet begins to scale, managing several private sales at once is not sustainable.
One private party method that does work well for security companies of all sizes is to sell old vehicles directly to employees. This way, your company will get close to typical private party prices, your employee gets a good deal, and the management process should be relatively simple.
This is one of the most common methods for reselling fleet vehicles because it’s a simple process. But car dealers have to make a profit off of any car they buy from you, so they will typically offer a lower price.
The wholesale/auction option is another low stress way to resell a fleet vehicle, but like dealer trade-ins they typically offer a lower resale price. If you do go this route, research the auction your vehicle will be sold in to make sure the other vehicles being sold are in similar condition to yours - including mileage, general wear and tear, and vehicle class.
One way to get a little more money from this method is by using a vehicle wholesale broker. These brokers will buy multiple vehicles to then sell at auction. They are usually willing to cover minor repair and maintenance costs while still paying closer to the market value.
Reselling security fleet vehicles can be a complex process. If you don’t know what you are doing or what to look for, you can quickly find yourself in a situation where your resold vehicles don’t return as much money to you as they should.
By using this information, you will have the basis for making better decisions when it does come time to resell your vehicles.
If you want even more tips on how to manage security vehicle fleets - especially at scale - make sure you check out this large-scale patrol fleet management webinar with Korey McGuiness!