Fleet News

Reducing fuel costs and preventing fraud top list of fleet concerns

Person using fuel pump in filling station

Fleet managers are struggling to manage costs, compliance and fuel-related fraud without fit-for-purpose reporting systems, claims Barclaycard Fuel+ and The Miles Consultancy (TMC). 

A survey of more than 200 fleet managers has suggested that they face multiple and increasing challenges when it comes to managing expenses and security.

The most critical challenge which fleet managers claim to face is the issue of reducing costs, something a third (33%) are struggling to achieve.

Less than half of fleet managers surveyed are able to capture the data that enables them to review spending effectively, such as reason for journey (42%), fuel costs in pence per mile (41%) and business/private mileage (36%). Furthermore, only one in five can capture total-reimbursement of private mileage (21%), and just one in six (16%) monitors real-life MPGs. 

John Bostock, account development director at Barclaycard, said: “Our research brings home not only the great number of challenges facing fleet managers today, but also highlights the limitations of traditional fuel management systems to meet these changing demands. A more holistic approach to fuel management is clearly needed.”  

The survey also revealed that only one in five (19%) use fuel cards in their management activity, while more than half (57%) use a system which allows them to monitor miles driven or total fuel cost (56%). 

Despite 31% of fleet managers citing fraud as their main concern, only half (49%) are equipped with fuel purchasing systems that allow them to monitor fraud and security issues.

Additionally, just three in ten can monitor whether a second car is being filled up (30%) or check the accuracy of distances claimed (36%) and the validity of a business journey (35%). 

There is also an absence of tools to monitor driver behaviour; only a quarter can see missing mileage/trips (25%) and 28% find  distinguishing between fuel used for business or personal travel a challenge .

Just one in six can capture data relating to personal purchases rather than fuel purchases (15%) or when drivers deviate from the most efficient route (14%). 

Outside of business demands around cost reduction, meeting regulatory requirements is proving challenging for businesses. More than a quarter (27%) say that adhering to HMRC standards is one of the biggest issues they face, along with complying with duty of care (18%), fulfilling environmental regulation (17%) and a lack of data to support policy making (13%).

Of those fleet managers who have had a HMRC audit, 43% found the process difficult for reasons including it being time consuming, complex, and requiring data to be gathered from multiple sources. 

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  • Dr Michael Coyle - 14/12/2015 14:44

    There is a telematics solution to all of these problems. It tracks the route, records the distance and fuel consumption for every leg, where the ignition is switched ‘on’ and ‘off’ as well as recording the usual driving style variables. It enables matching of fuel purchase records against fuel consumption to catch fraudulent activity. I use the system when conducting fuel efficiency projects and intervention testing with customers.

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