Fleet News

Fuel reimbursement: Payback time

Questions you should be asking...

  • Do we record all business mileage claims plus each car’s total annual mileage (to deduce private mileage)?
  • Do we make sure that claimed mileages and fuel costs are routinely checked and, if necessary, queried with the driver? How would we prove it in the event of a tax investigation?
  • If we don’t use fuel cards, how do we know how much fuel each driver uses and what it costs?
  • Do we know the tell-tale signs of fuel expense fiddling?
  • Are our pence-per-mile rates fair? To the business? To drivers?
  • If some commuting journeys are chargeable as business mileage (which is common in industries like construction), is this being recorded properly and are time limits being observed?
  • Would we be better off
  • incentivising drivers to buy fuel at supermarkets or trying to get a rebate from a fuel company? If we try the latter, how do they set the price they rebate against and would we have to commit to buying a certain amount of fuel to qualify? How far out of their way would drivers have to travel to fill up with the cheapest brand of fuel?
  • Are we maximising our VAT reclaim (which requires provision of individual till receipts to HMRC unless the company uses a VAT-approved fuel card service)?
  • How efficient is our process for paying expenses? Do finance and payroll have to wade through paperwork each month or do we get a payroll-ready data file from our fuel card and/or mileage capture supplier?
  • How easy is it for finance/payroll to collate fuel expense and mileage data at year-end for P11D reporting?


Fuel tips

  • Fleets can take a variety of actions to reduce fuel costs. Here’s the best.
  • Downsizing car/van size and engine size.
  • Pool vehicles rather than one vans for each driver.
  • Crew buses to pick up/drop off workers rather than each one driving a vehicle to the site.
  • Have suppliers deliver goods
  • to a site rather than drivers; enables downsizing, removal of racks.
  • Use wholelife cost in life to address ongoing fuel impact.
  • Bonus service managers to hit fuel cost reduction targets.
  • Use phone and video conferencing instead of vehicles.
  • Create a travel plan and a hierarchy to reduce journeys.
  • Implement a carbon cap and incentivise drivers to choose fuel efficient vehicles.
  • Consider speed or rev limiters on your vans.


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