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How do you keep track of your fleet fuel costs?

By 30th July 2015No Comments

UK petrol prices have reached a six-month high at over 117p a litre. While the diesel price hike is less visible at the pumps, it still doesn’t reflect the fact that wholesale diesel costs are around 2p a litre less than petrol.

As pump prices continue to rise it’s even more important to ensure that you have your fleet costs under control. Managing fleet fuel costs can be confusing but the good news is that if you’re already using fuel cards you should have the data you need at your fingertips.

It’s important to have a clear view of what you are actually paying for your fuel. There are published prices from the AA and The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) against which you can benchmark your current spend. Once you understand where you sit in comparison to these average pump prices then you can access whether you’ve got a good deal already or if you need to start shopping around for something better.

Coverage is just as important as price, if you have to drive 5 miles to your nearest station then you’re not going to be saving any money. Think about your business strategy, where is your business going in the near future, are you expanding, if so where and factor these in when shopping around. Once you’ve found a supplier that best suits your needs and have switched you must continue to monitor your new prices watching out for any price creep. It does happen !

Of course, there are other considerations with fuel consumption than just pump pricing. Having a fuel efficiency fleet is fundamental, consider converting to hybrid cars if a lot of town driving is required in your business and always ensure the fleet is kept in the best condition possible. Make sure your driver policies are up to date and include guidelines for servicing and general maintenance e.g. regularly checking tyre pressure.

Helping drivers get the best mpg from their vehicles is important. Through your fuel card reporting you will have access to data that will allow you to calculate each driver’s mpg so you can keep an eye on this. There is also some great in-car technology that can help.

Watch out for any premium fuel being purchased. Unless you’re driving high performance sports cars it’s unlikely you’ll be getting the performance enhancing benefits from premium fuel. Averaging 10p a litre difference between premium and standard fuel this can quickly add up.

If you’re not using fuel cards and your team claim expenses for frequent company miles, it might be worth weighing up the pros and cons of fuel cards. Administratively it can mean less work and it’s easier to claim back VAT but fuel cards are not appropriate for every business.

With careful fleet management I’ve managed to save my clients ~6% in fuel costs alone. If this sounds interesting but you just don’t have the time, feel free to get in touch and we’ll have a chat about your fleet needs and how Auditel can help save you money.