When purchasing a vehicle for your ministry or reassessing vehicles owned by your ministry, Adventist Risk Management, Inc. (ARM) recommends a few points to keep in mind.
Avoid 15-Passenger VansThe North American Division (NAD) working policy prohibits the use of 15-passenger vans. As both ARM and the NAD have stated, 15-passenger vans should not be a choice vehicle for any ministry. They are dangerous and should not be used to transport members or children in any situation.
Rather than combat the risks and dangers that come with 15-passenger vans, it is best to stop using them altogether and opt for a safer vehicle. A few alternatives are minivans, SUVs, and school buses. Learn about other transportation options and what makes them safer here.
Make Sure the Vehicle is in Good Working ConditionRegular inspections are the best way to determine if your ministry’s vehicles are in good working condition. Schedule inspections for each vehicle and always follow up on repairs and maintenance. Use ARM’s Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection form to check if your vehicle is ready for a ministry outing.
In your church equipment files, record the last dates of each vehicle’s inspection and maintenance. You should also note essential items such as:
- When the next oil change is due
- What mechanical parts were repaired or replaced
- If the vehicle is ready for another church trip
Stay Up to Date with Required InspectionsIn some states or provinces, vehicles must receive periodic inspections. If you have recently purchased a new vehicle for your ministry, find out when the deadline is for the required inspection. Schedule it as soon as possible to avoid penalty fees. Keep a record of the inspection dates for each vehicle so that you know when the next inspection needs to occur.
These inspections often come with a fee. Make sure there is room in the ministry budget to take care of these required inspections. If it is not currently part of your budget, bring it up at your next budget meeting.