Fleet News

Act now on rising fuel costs

Despite pump prices being at record levels, a half of small fleets are still taking no action to keep their fuel bills under control.

A new survey found that 49% of smaller fleets – those that run under 50 vehicles – have taken no steps to minimise the impact of the massive increases in pump prices, despite some very effective and simple steps being available.

In addition, 29% of larger fleets – those running more than 250 cars and light commercials – are also taking no action to keep fuel costs under control.

However, the survey of more than 500 fleet decision-makers by Northgate Vehicle Hire did reveal that many companies are taking action over their fuel bills and are seeing results.

Measures include cutting journeys, with fleets running between six and 49 vehicles most likely to be insisting their drivers reduce mileages.

Some fleets are telling their drivers to stop using company vehicles for private use, while others are insisting that meetings should only be arranged when there is no alternative, such as video-conferencing, teleconferencing or a simple phone call.

Bauer, which runs a fleet of 672 cars, told its drivers to follow simple, no-cost rules to help it reduce fuel costs.

Its fleet manager Debbie Floyde told the company’s drivers to take simple steps such as checking tyre pressures, changing to the highest appropriate gear as soon as possible and maintaining a steady speed using the highest gear possible.

“The most efficient speed is 50mph. Driving at 70mph uses up 15% more fuel than driving at 50mph,” she said.

She also told the company’s drivers to minimise the use of air conditioning, the use of which can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%.

She also asked drivers to consider: “Is the journey absolutely necessary - have you considered video conferencing or similar?”

One-fifth of fleets have taken a more long-term step of introducing more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Unsurprisingly, it is companies operating fleets with more than 250 vehicles that are leading the way in this respect.

Other measures include introducing telematics to improve journey management.

Almost one-fifth of all fleets are now using telematics to help manage their vehicle movements.

While, many fleets are also promoting driver training and eco-driving, as well as using websites to help drivers locate cheaper fuel outlets.

Now, to help fleets reduce their fuel costs further, new customers renting a vehicle on Norflex from Northgate in July for a minimum of 28 consecutive days can fill up their tank with diesel at just 99p per litre.

“Fuel management and fleet efficiency is crucial for all businesses with diesel prices accelerating at an alarming rate,” said Ross Clarkson, marketing director of Northgate.

“Our new diesel at 99p per litre offer is designed to underline just how rapidly pump prices have risen and therefore to encourage fleet decision-makers to focus on introducing fuel-saving initiatives.”



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