Van fleets have been warned that they should still be taking proactive measures to manage fuel use – even though petrol and diesel prices have started to fall from recent peaks.
Crude oil prices are now more than a third lower than the July peak of $147 a barrel.
However, fleet software specialist cfc solutions says that although fuel prices have fallen back from their peak, fleet managers still need to be doing everything possible to proactively manage this cost.
Neville Briggs, managing director, said: “The important statistic to bear in mind is not that petrol is eight pence per litre cheaper than it was a few weeks ago but that it is still around 50 pence per litre more expensive than it was in 2002.
“The picture that has developed in recent years suggests that whatever short term peaks and troughs are encountered, petrol and diesel prices will continue to rise well above the rate of inflation and probably faster than any other fleet cost.”
cfc five-point fuel management plan
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.
2. Formulate a fuel policy. Having a policy on fuel use is a signal to your organisation that you are taking the issue seriously.
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 too.
4. Consider the green angle. 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 take more care planning routes on environmental than cost grounds.
5. Cancel out fraud. 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.