Fleet News

Fuel efficiency folly costs £450m

BRITISH businesses are losing £450 million a year because their fleet managers are failing to monitor fuel bills. A survey on behalf of the Department of Environment, Transport and Regions of 235 car and van fleets, involving some 18,000 vehicles, has found that only 10% of fleet chiefs knew their fleet's total fuel expenditure and even fewer knew how much their vehicles consumed.

As well as costing their companies massive sums of money unnecessarily fleet managers' ignorance is damaging the environment since nearly two million tonnes of carbon dioxide are needlessly being pumped into the atmosphere. The survey was commissioned by the Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme (EEBPP) and carried out by DataBuild, which questioned all industry sectors including insurance companies and banks, retailers, manufacturers, electronics, utilities, telephone companies, police forces, local authorities and NHS trusts.

Marcus Jones, consultant with the Energy Technology Support Unit, which manages the EEBPP jointly with the Government, said: '77% of respondents had information about the miles travelled by the vehicles in their fleets. However, only 10% knew their fleet's total expenditure on fuel and only 7% knew how much fuel their fleet consumed. Only 22% of respondents could mention without prompting the measures they had taken or considered taking to increase efficiency. Worst of all about 10% of respondents were not interested in fuel efficiency at all. Yet experience shows fuel consumption falls by about 5% when drivers are aware that fuel costs are being monitored.'

The main reasons given for the lack of interest in fuel efficiency were the low priority it was given in the company and the lack of time fleet managers have to investigate and implement measures. 'These firms are missing out on making substantial savings with minimum effort. Claiming a lack of time is false economy. For a comparatively small investment they could reap significant savings which go straight to the bottom line. With fuel duty set to rise annually by 6% above inflation there has never been a better time to control fuel costs,' said Jones.

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