Fleet News

Five-point plan to cut fuel costs

A five-point fuel plan has been issued as the price of petrol and diesel continues to rise.

In most parts of the country, the £1 litre for both types of fuel has become a reality - and prices continue to edge upwards.

In response to requests for advice from fleet managers, cfc has put together the plan, which is designed to provide a blueprint for controlling fuel costs.

1. Measure your fuel use
A large number of fleets simply don't know how much fuel they use overall or per driver or per vehicle. You need to put a monitoring system in place. The easiest way to do this is to buy all petrol and diesel through specialist fuel cards. You can then access the information collected as paper or software generated reports that will give you an overall picture and highlight individual problems.

2. Formulate a fuel policy
Having a policy on fuel use is a signal to your organisation that you are taking the issue seriously. There are a number of areas to consider but even simple steps can produce good long term results. For example, don't add cars to your fleet that do not meet a pre-agreed Government combined average fuel consumption figure.

3. Manage the issue
With the information provided by your fuel cards, you will be able to manage your fuel use proactively. Software is useful here. For example, you can set up what you believe to be acceptable bands of fuel consumption for different types of vehicle and ask the system to notify you when drivers or vehicles fall outside of these. You can also use your fuel card to closely manage fuel spend - for example, by specifying that drivers only use outlets that you consider to be price competitive, such as supermarkets.

4. Consider the green angle
One of the good things about taking a proactive stance on managing fuel use is that you will also be able to manage your carbon footprint more effectively. This can make the whole issue easier to deal with internally because you can stress the importance of corporate responsibility - for example, it may be easier to encourage drivers to share cars or take more care planning routes on environmental than cost grounds.

5. Cancel out fraud
Most fleet managers will tell you that rising fuel prices also tend to lead to higher levels of fraud among drivers. If you operate a fuel card system and link each card to a vehicle, then fraud is almost impossible. However, if you simply allow drivers to reclaim fuel from receipts submitted, it is all too easy for them to fill up their spouse's car using company money once a month. The administrative burden of a pay-and-reclaim system means that it is unlikely they will ever be caught.

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