What Are the Real Costs When Your Fleet Vehicles Are Unreliable?

You’ll be out cash and time, yes.

And that is painful.

But your business reputation can also be impacted when you’ve got trucks and cars breaking down all the time.

Especially if you start running late (or start getting sloppy) on deliveries and deliverables.

Here’s one way that we work with a business and their fleet vehicles:

A woman who works for a business in the spa & personal care industry came to me because the business’s vehicles were breaking down all the time. Their broken down fleet vehicles were costing the business a lot of cash.

We suggested a plan to maintain the vehicles in great working order, so she wouldn’t have breakdown maintenance, only regular car, truck and van maintenance so she could consistently plan and budget for, without the high pressure of an emergency breakdown.

Assessing each vehicle

We started with a comprehensive vehicle inspection for each vehicle in her fleet. We recorded exactly where everyone and their vehicles were, in terms of what was happening, what was needed and what would need care and attention in future.

Then we prioritized those items from safety down to maintenance items, so our client would have a frame of reference in order to choose what would need doing next, according to her business’s budget and priorities.

Making it easy for her to choose & budget

She was able to pick and choose off the list since she had some context of the big picture, as well as what was needed for each vehicle.

Eventually each of her vehicles (in this case vans) got to a level where everything was repaired and reliable. Now every van in her fleet is on a maintenance schedule.

Now we plan ahead

We are on the same page with our fleet auto repair clients. Everyone knows when the bigger 30k, 60k, 90k & 120k maintenance visits are for each vehicle, as well as all of the regular maintenance items like brakes that wear out that are a normal wear-and-tear.  

But because we’re seeing them on a regular basis, we’re being proactive and preventive, instead of reactive.

When a van gets towed in, it’s stressful!

It is really bad when you see a commercial van come in on a tow truck.

That vehicle is clearly down and now the client has to scramble to figure out what to do.

  • All their tools are in there.
  • The team’s schedule needs to be reworked to get as many jobs done, and crew members working as possible while the van is being repaired.
  • The customer’s job may be delayed or need to be rescheduled.
  • There’s a question of how long the vehicle will be out of service and what to do in the interim, which can also affect other crews and customer jobs.


If breakdowns are happening frequently

If a company is falling through on deliverables, or late, and their customers are impacted, that’s not good for their business reputation.

Plus, they are out the cash of a whole vehicle not only being temporarily out of service, but likely a more expensive fix than regularly scheduled maintenance would be too.

First step for your fleet

Schedule one vehicle for a comprehensive vehicle inspection and begin to get your fleet onto regular maintenance that you can budget for with your business’s time, cash and crew, with the supportive local team at Tom’s Automotive.

Start with one car, truck or van and then work with us to get your whole fleet on a good plan, where each vehicle is continually maintained and ready for business.  

Our Reviews

Tom's Automotive Service
Reviewed from Google

4.7 out of 5 stars

Andrea Honer
Andrea Honer

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Tom’s is great. I took my vehicle in for a transmission issue. They were thorough with their diagnostic and communicated my options every step of the way. Honest and reliable service.

Meg Halverson
Meg Halverson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

Everyone at Tom's cares about delivering great, expert service and keeping your car or truck in excellent mechanical condition. I have a 2001 Yukon XL which is a 3/4 ton towing vehicle and has been serviced at Tom's for 14 years. It has 187,000 miles on it, and I credit their commitment to excellent service and workmanship for the vehicle's longevity. They are the best in the business, and we are super fortunate to have them in West Seattle.

Tamara Gillest
Tamara Gillest

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 month ago

Tom's Automotive is open and honest. They have a friendly staff and are helpful in getting answers that work for the budget. I never feel pressured to do something that I don't want to do and they are willing to present options. Thanks, Tom's!

Cory c
Cory c

5 out of 5 stars

posted 4 months ago

Hands down the best auto shop I've ever been to. Tom's is always friendly, accommodating and takes time to explain the issue. Recently they went the extra mile on an issue with our car and spent time (that the dealer wouldn't) diagnosing, finding and fixing the issue. All for a fair price and with an incredibly helpful attitude. Don't hesitate for a minute to go to this locally owned small business who consistently knocks it out of the park. We've been going to them for 10+ years and always had A+++ customer service.


5 out of 5 stars

posted 6 months ago

I called in to get oil change for my 2018 car and the guy who took my call told me about the importance of going back to the dealer for the first oil change so that we wouldn’t have any warranty issue in the future. He told me that he would be happy to work on our car next time. I’m definitely taking our car back there! Hard to find a place like this nowadays 🙂