A fleet manager who tried to limit choice to keep fuel bills down found drivers were deliberately running out of fuel in a bid to make a point.
The manager said: ‘Drivers couldn’t get their loyalty card points and we have had cases where they have broken down because they say they can’t reach a fuel station. They have always tended to use the most expensive fuel in the past so they can get points.’
Members of the Association of Car Fleet Operators southern region heard that restricting fuel choice had to be considered carefully, based on driver locations, availability of fuel and whether expected savings really were available.
There was a danger that drivers would waste time trawling roads looking for the right brand of fuel to fill up with, wiping out any potential savings at the pump, members heard.
But the meeting was told that there were other potential solutions.
One fleet manager said: ‘Set drivers targets – it’s much easier than changing the fuel policy.
Manage the people to manage the cost and offer them prizes for buying the cheapest fuel.’
Another said: ‘We tell our drivers to find the most competitive price and we have a link to a national database available online. It shows that often, the cheapest can be some of the big brands. However, although we make drivers look, we don’t mandate it.’