A few months back, the DVSA issued a reminder that goods vehicles need to be appropriately laden for their annual tests in 2023.
But it was more than a reminder of a single rule:
It was a reminder of the continual changes and updates that keep being made to the requirements of commercial vehicles — and the ongoing new obligations that workshops and fleet operators can expect to face in the coming months and years.
And if you’re not getting ready to futureproof your vehicle testing, you’ll end up paying for it in the long run.
So what can workshops and fleet operators do to keep their costs down in the face of ever-changing regulations?
The answer is simple:
Bring your testing in-house, and take back control.
Here’s what you need to know about futureproofing your fleet by moving your brake testing in-house:
You can test more often
As brake testing regulations continue to get updated (and inevitably get more strict), you’re likely to need more tests for each vehicle throughout the year.
That’s partly to do with keeping up with any new changes. But it’s also down to the increased likelihood of repeat tests — especially if your vehicles fail to meet the tighter standards of the next generation of regulations.
And if you’re outsourcing your brake testing to a third-party service, those costs are going to add up fast.
That’s why more and more fleet operators are starting to invest in their own in-house brake testing equipment, with the goal of long-term savings as the frequency of tests ramp up.
After the initial investment in your own Brake Testing Equipment, you’ll be free to repeatedly test your entire fleet as many times as you need to — without the extra costs of a third-party service, or the added fuel and time costs of bringing your vehicles to a testing centre.
And the result?
You’ll soon find that your brake testing equipment pays for itself. The more vehicles you have (and the more testing you do), the lower the cost of each individual test — and the easier it’ll be to keep your entire fleet up to date and ready for the road.
You’ll control the costs
When you outsource to a third-party brake-testing service, you’re putting your expenses at the mercy of another company.
You don’t know how much they pay for their premises, equipment, and utilities. You don’t know how much they’re paying their staff — and you don’t know how much profit they’re skimming off on every test you pay for.
In effect, you could be paying for the inefficiencies of another company. And you’re lining their pockets with money that could be invested in the future of your own business.
But when you bring your brake testing in-house, you know exactly what you’re spending on.
You’re paying for your own utilities and overheads. You’re buying the exact equipment that your business and its vehicles need — and you’re paying the wages of the staff you’re already investing in.
And when the regulations change and you need to modify your testing procedures?
You won’t feel the crunch of a third-party test centre that sees an excuse to raise their prices.
You’ll get more from your assets
Bringing your testing in-house comes with some initial costs. But your biggest investments are the ones you already have — and in-house testing helps you to squeeze more value from them.
Your workshops and depots are a fixed cost you’ve already paid. And if you’re lucky enough to have a premises with some unused space, it doesn’t make sense to outsource your brake testing.
Similarly, your teams are a significant investment — one that you’ve already spent significant money on.
So while you could fork out to a third-party test centre — paying for the workforce and premises of another business — you could instead make the most of the assets you already have.
By bringing your testing in-house, you’re improving the ROI of the property you already own, and you’re giving new training and skills to the staff that have helped your business get to where it is today.
You can keep up with a growing fleet
As vehicle technology and safety concerns grow, so will the ongoing updates to brake testing regulations. And for most vehicle-based businesses, that means more testing, more often.
But there’s one other thing that’s set to grow — and that’s your own business and the number of vehicles you service.
As your fleet expands, the increased testing from new regulations gets multiplied further and further, adding even more burden to the costs of outsourcing tests.
And for the largest of fleets, the sheer number of vehicle tests could become a serious obstacle — not just in terms of cost, but the amount of time those vehicles spend off the road when they should be earning money.
So if you’re running a growing fleet (or you’re planning for growth ahead), bringing your brake testing in-house could be one of the biggest money-saving decisions you make.
You’ll be saving on the cost of outsourced tests, the cost of fuel as you travel to the test centres — and your vehicles can spend more time out on the road, earning money.
Looking to futureproof your brake testing?
Whether you’re running a small workshop or operating a larger fleet, you can’t escape the regulation changes ahead.
But you can start to take back control of your fleet — by removing the limits and costs that come with outsourcing your vehicle brake testing.