Estimating Cars

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by autoguy70, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. autoguy70

    autoguy70 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80


    We are looking at purchasing 2-3 used/new estimating cars. We currently drive 2500HD's that get 8-11mpg. The only reason we have these is because we use them to plow with during the winter months and haul some materials to our crews if needed.

    I want to find cars that we can still put nice logos on for branding and name recognition . I want 25+ mpg. Some companies run the HHR Panel cars and some run the Scion X-B.

    I'd like something four guys can jump in and go to lunch if needed.

    What have you found to be a good company car for your business?

    I don't know what companies offer "commercial" cars.

  2. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,725

    Id be interested in hearing the car guys explain in detail how this works. The fuel savings is nice but how much will that add up to per year is the question. Assume you get 10 mpg on the 2500s which is low my 4500 gets 14 mpg normally when not loaded. But how many miles do you rack up a year for us its less then 8000 per truck but for easy math lets say 10mpg and 10000 miles so 1,000 gallons at our 3.85 cents per gallon average for the 2011 year. So $3,850 to drive that and now that's going to be cut down too $1750 per year. But we will then have to pay another $1,100 a year for the insurance. That is what we average per vehicle from our 1 year old truck to our 23 year old truck. Plus there is property taxes on it easily 300-500 a year. And then there is cost of it and its depreciation. And vehicles lose 1000s of dollars in worth every year. Which doesn't even take into effect the space to keep the extra vehicles. It seems to me that unless we were driving 25,000 miles a year extra on this it would cost more to try to be green then it does to just use the work truck. As I said id be interested in hearing a car guy explain this in detail and hear his projections for savings.
  3. autoguy70

    autoguy70 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    We are looking at purchasing additional cars because we do actually drive a lot. We are averaging 20,000-25,000+ miles a year for estimating purposes. Our insurance is currently $650 per year for full coverage. License plate stickers are right at $100 per year.

    Gasoline is speculated to hit $4 to maybe even $5.00 this year or years to come.

    For easy math... 10mpg @ 20,000 miles annually = 2000 gallons a year

    2000 gallons at $4.00 = $8,000.00 in fuel per year (if gas never goes higher than $4 a gallon)

    Now we are looking at a car that gets 30mpg

    30mpg @ 20,000 miles annually = 667 gallons a year
    667 gallons at $4.00 = $2,668.00

    The repair and maintenance is a lot less for cars than trucks.

    The key for the post was "estimating cars"... something that is fuel efficient while serving the purpose of meeting with clients and checking on crews.

    With the simple math we could save $5,332.00 annually, per car... if gasoline does not go over $4.00 per gallon. If something should happen and fuel reaches $5.00 per gallon... we could see a savings of $6,665.00 per year per, per car.

    I'm considering keeping the car for around 5 years. At that point the car would have 100-125,000 miles on it. A good used car can still sell for a few thousand. Then start the process over again.

    If you look into the different hybrids they can get upwards of 50mpg.

    I'm not saying we are going to get rid of the work trucks, just looking at alternatives when we are simply just driving to meet with clients.

    Most of the largest landscape and lawn maintenance companies in the United States use fuel efficient cars for the estimators and managers.

    Thanks for the reply.
  4. wbw

    wbw LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,188

    I think the big guys use Prius'
  5. autoguy70

    autoguy70 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I've thought about Prius cars... I've seen the hybrids get 45-50mpg.

    I just didn't know about logos on that size of a car, or the size of the doors?

    I'd hate to see the days of $5.00 dollar a gallon fuel, but who knows.

    Thanks for your reply.
  6. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,930

    I use a 2000 Ford ranger....gets 20mph and its got our logo all over it. If need be I can haul something to a job site. Sometimes we bring samples of rock,block,pavers or mulch to help sell the job or make up someones mind.
  7. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    I had thought about one of those Smart for two cars.
    only holds 2 people.....40 mpg
    I found one used with 15000 miles for 10 grand
    has room in the back for the wheel and other things.
    And it would get attention, if you could see it....LOL

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Why not get a small truck like a frontier or tacoma. Here the big companies and especially tree companies who are constantly running around giving estimates use tacomas because they will get 20mpg and last forever.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 645

  10. Ticolawnllc

    Ticolawnllc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Wall NJ
    Messages: 424

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