Fuel is believed to cost commercial fleets around 30% of their total operating costs; therefore, finding ways to reduce fuel consumption is high on the agenda for fleet managers who are looking to cut back on costs. There are many different solutions and technologies on the market, such as telematics and synthetic lubricants, that can help businesses save money on fuel. However, drivers can make a big difference to fuel usage, so it is useful to make them aware of ways they can help.
In this blog post, we share some tips on reducing fuel consumption to help save your business money.
1. Manage personal use of vehicles
It can be tempting for employees to run a quick errand in a company vehicle without a second thought about the cost to your business. If you provide a vehicle with fuel that can be driven for private use, it is important you work out the taxable value, so you’re not left out of pocket. HMRC defines employees’ journeys between work and home as ‘private use’.
To calculate the taxable value, use HMRC’s company car and car fuel benefit calculator.
2. Avoid rush hour
This might not be feasible for all businesses, but for those that have more flexibility with the time of their journeys, travelling during rush hour should be avoided. Stopping and starting a vehicle uses a large amount of fuel, so it would be best to not travel during peak hours.
Fuel can also be saved by trying to preempt what the traffic in front of you is going to do, and travelling at a slow and steady speed instead of accelerating and braking.
3. Try not to carry unnecessary weight
The more weight a vehicle has, the more fuel is needed to move it around, so you should take out any unnecessary items. Golf clubs are usually the chief culprit because it’s a slog getting them in and out of your vehicle, but having them in there when you don’t need them will have an effect on your fuel consumption.
4. Check your tyre pressure regularly
When a vehicle’s tyre pressure reduces, more fuel is needed to move your car. Our advice would be to check your tyres at least once every fortnight. You could also purchase a tyre pressure monitoring system; the small cost of buying one will be recuperated in the savings you make on fuel, plus the tyres will not need to be replaced as often due to wear and tear.
5. Stick to an appropriate speed
According to the Freight Transport Association, reducing your speed from 56 mph to 50 mph will result in a 5% reduction in fuel consumption. Location intelligence can be used to detect and record vehicle speeds to ensure drivers adhere to the requested speed limit.
6. Keep to the vehicle maintenance schedule
Correctly maintaining a vehicle will ensure the most economic driving while avoiding expensive repair bills.