The Fuel Card Group is so confident that its MileageCount system, with GPS dongle, will benefit fleets that it is offering fleet managers a free 60-day trial.
Group marketing manager Steve Clarke said: “Some fleet managers might be sceptical of just how good MileageCount is, especially when used with the GPS dongle, so we are challenging them to try it for a couple of months, without charge. We would be very surprised if anyone wants to give it back at the end of the free trial.”
The GPS dongle is normally offered as an option with MileageCount Ultimate, the most all-encompassing of the three MileageCount service levels.
The Fuel Card Group says it ensures complete mileage accuracy through satellite tracking.
The driver plugs the dongle into their vehicle’s cigarette lighter socket then waits a few seconds for the green light to show that it is ready.
The dongle has a short start-up time, with a fast signal acquisition that typically means the first fix within 30 seconds if starting from cold. A hot start, under an open sky, can take less than a second.
Every week – or whatever other interval is most appropriate – the driver simply removes the dongle and plugs it into the USB port on their computer.
By following the simple prompts, their complete journey history will be uploaded in seconds.
After the upload, MileageCount uses trip co-ordinates to log each journey’s start and finish postcodes.
The dongle is accurate to within ten metres but postcodes can be amended if they are slightly out.
MileageCount uses Google maps to plot journeys, which can be viewed for reference. It can also display the shortest distance for the journey from Google maps, if this is different from the route actually taken.
Each journey can be marked by the driver as a business or private trip. If a journey is marked as private, the person approving the journeys will not see details of that journey, only the distance travelled.
Clarke said: “There are so many powerful benefits to MileageCount Ultimate that using GPS dongle tracking to ensure HMRC reporting compliance is only the start.
"This is complete fleet management automation, covering everything from checking employees’ driving licences to verifying the insurance and MOTs of ‘grey fleet’ vehicles.
“There is a wealth of options covering everything from training to duty of care. The only way to really get to grips with it is to have a free trial.”
The 60-day free trial of MileageCount Premium, with GPS dongle, is offered with no obligation, no contract and no minimum or maximum number of drivers.
There is a deposit of £35 per dongle, but this is fully refundable if the equipment is returned in good condition. At the end of the trial, fleet managers simply sign up or switch off.
Anyone using the MileageCount service can also benefit from a range of discounts and special offers, using the new Discount Service Card. This includes savings of up to 50% on servicing, tyres, exhausts and batteries.
The Fuel Card Group card allows even the smallest firm to enjoy the same buying power as major fleets. The Discount Service Card is available free upon request to any business using MileageCount Plus, Premium or Ultimate.
Major fleets expect to enjoy bulk purchase discounts on everything from MOTs to maintenance, but the Discount Service Card makes such benefits to any size of organisation.
Even a firm with just a single vehicle can benefit, and coverage extends to those ‘grey fleets’ where employees and sub-contractors use their own vehicles.
It can also be used as a ‘perk’ for employees whose jobs do not include driving.
Use of the card is not restricted to company vehicles, so employees may use it in looking after their own cars.
Clarke said: “The big savings will be especially important to smaller organisations that would not otherwise have access to the benefits of bulk purchase.
“Many firms will see the elimination of hassle as the biggest advantage of the Discount Service Card.
“When servicing, maintenance or repairs are needed, for example, the cardholder can make just a single call to a qualified motor engineer to discuss technical matters. It removes any need for dealing with garages and the vehicle is collected and returned without charge.”
The cardholder can expect typical savings of between 40% and 50% on retail dealer service and maintenance prices, says the Fuel Card Group.
Similar discounts can also be expected on tyres, but even greater savings may be made by taking advantage of a nationwide network of approved independent garages.
Other services include a free 24-hour Driver Helpline. This offers comprehensive support around the clock, covering help with accident management, breakdown assistance, technical queries and warranty claims. There is also a full guarantee on workmanship and replacement parts obtained via the Discount Service Card.