Drivers and business owners alike want to get as much from their fuel as possible. Not only is it a major factor for your business’ bottom line and drivers’ wallets, but also driving more economically is better for the environment and company vehicles. And by looking after your company vehicles, your drivers are less likely to need assistance from your business breakdown cover provider. So what can you do to make your fuel go that little bit further?
1. Driving style
As well as locating vehicles 24/7, telematics can be used to address driving style. Scores are allocated to each driver depending on how ‘well’ they drive, so why not encourage a little friendly rivalry in the team to see who is the best driver?
2. Fuel cards
If drivers only ever fill up at company approved stations, you’ll be able to better manage fuel costs and make savings by choosing to only visit the most competitively priced forecourts.
3. Car size
Obviously it’s not practical for all companies to use small cars or appropriate for others to have a fleet of large vans. But it’s something worth looking at as the difference in cost between a 60mpg and a 26mpg petrol car is £1,098.38 when driving 10,000 miles. The difference in diesel vehicles is just £632.36.
4. Tyre condition
Correctly inflated tyres are able to travel further on each tank of fuel. So it’s important that fleet managers establish a rigorous maintenance plan, as well as ensuring drivers know how to look after company vehicles properly if they’re away from the main office for long periods at a time.
Tyre condition is just one area in need of routine checking. As a fleet manager or business owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure company cars and vans are well-maintained. Not only is it part of your duty of care to your employees and the public to have safe, efficient vehicles, but if they’re poorly looked after, they will use more fuel, costing more money to run.
By installing telematics, fleet managers and small business owners are able to monitor both vehicle and driver activity. By studying driving data, you can identify which drivers need what type of training and create a more efficient, safer team of fleet drivers – good for business, vehicles, employees and other road users.
7. Fuel caps
It sounds far-fetched but fuel can be easily lost through evaporation if the fuel cap is loose – your vehicle can lose up to 30 gallons a year this way. Make sure your drivers know this and encourage them to tighten caps and report any faults or problems as soon as possible.
8. Plan your journey
Everybody gets lost from time-to-time. Even experienced drivers. Even cabbies. In fact, motorists waste 350,000 tonnes of fuel a year by not planning ahead and getting lost. A GPS device is a valuable tool to get drivers, vehicles and goods to where they need to be efficiently and correctly. And always make sure there is an up-to-date map in your fleet just in case the technology goes down.
9. Remove private fuel benefits
By implementing a company-wide fuel purchasing system, rather than reimbursing drivers, employees will save money and there could be tax benefits for the business.
10. Turn your engine off
Make it a company-wide policy that should drivers find themselves in stationary traffic, they must turn off the vehicle’s engine. This will help reduce your fuel consumption and emissions.
Applying all of these to your fleet will save the company a considerable amount of money that can be invested into the business. But even if you only implement one or two, you’ll see an improvement in your fleet’s mileage and fuel use.