When you run your own business, some of the greater factors to consider are saving costs, managing time more efficiently and handling the workload with smarter processes. For owner of corporate gifts and stationery business Ryan Yim, 26, he spends a significant amount of time on the roads doing sales as well as making deliveries. As a result, when it came to picking out a company vehicle, he decided to get a light commercial vehicle (LCV).
Most entrepreneurs dedicate their lives to their work, integrating work into their lifestyles with utmost dedication. Getting an LCV then makes a good solution by recognising the need for a vehicle, in service-oriented businesses especially, and thus is able to serve the purpose of being both a passenger and goods vehicle. Primarily to ferry light goods, these LCVs are also legally allowed to carry employees in the cargo space (if registered as a Goods-cum-Passengers Vehicle).
"I clock about 1,200km a week and hence it is important for me to have a vehicle that has relatively low running costs. I run around a lot doing sales and at the same time I also need to deliver goods. Instead of buying a passenger car for personal use and then another van for the company, I thought it made more sense to get a light commercial vehicle that fulfils the best of both worlds," said Ryan who has been driving the Fiat Professional Doblo for four years now.
He added, "Other than helping me to save vehicle ownership costs (getting one instead of two vehicles), an LCV also has low fuel consumption and the passenger area is as comfortable as a car. The utilitarian area in the back gives me a lot of versatility as well."
Another entrepreneur Willy Foo, CEO and founder of LiveStudios Photography, has also been using an LCV for the business since he started it almost a decade ago.
Willy said, "Specialising in 'live' photography and instant photo solutions for events, the nature of our business requires space in the vehicle for all our photography equipment. A passenger car is not big enough to hold the team and our equipment, while a full-sized van is too big and isn't able to enter some car parks, especially those of shopping malls where our clients' events might be held at."
While sourcing for a company vehicle, Willy did the sums and realised an LCV is the most cost-efficient.
To better understand what Ryan and Willy meant, I went on a test drive of the Fiat Professional Doblo Maxi to gain some insight about this emerging trend of business owners investing in LCVS rather than purchasing both a personal car and a company van — also a solution of combating the rising COE prices.
This Doblo Maxi is the long-wheelbase version of the Doblo that Ryan drives daily and comes with 1.6-litre MultiJet diesel engine in both manual and automatic transmissions. There is also a 1.3 litre diesel engine that is of a shorter wheelbase and smaller cargo space.
The Doblo Maxi drives like a normal car, has a sizeable load area, is practical and comfortable. Advanced technologies are also found within, such as the Start&Stop function that cuts the engine off temporarily when the vehicle is on idle to save fuel. The presence of an auxiliary jack also means having the ability to connect your MP3 device to the in-car audio system to have your personal music collection onboard.
In terms of cargo, the Doblo Maxi can take a payload of up to 900kg and an impressive load volume of 4.2 cubic metres. Access to load cargo into the Doblo Maxi is also made easy with side sliding doors and rear doors that can be opened 180 degrees.
Granted, driving an LCV may not be as sexy as driving a coupe or a luxury SUV, but the practicality and cost factors are crucial when every penny counts in the art of doing your own business.
Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at www.cheryl-tay.com.