Essential fuel advice for growing businesses
As your business grows and expands, you may be edging closer to adopting a fleet-based operation.
This is a big step for any business – not least because of the added costs involved. Along with the prices of the vehicles, you also need to budget accordingly for fuel usage.
Managing your fuel effectively is essential for healthy profit margins. Embracing best practices before you adopt a fleet means you’ll get started in the right gear and keep a lid on your costs. Here, we provide some useful advice.
Managing your fuel: The three “M’s”
When it comes to managing your fuel in the best possible way, you should take care to remember the three “M’s”: Minimising, Maintenance and Monitoring.
Before you supply vehicles to members of staff, you need to know they will treat them well and adhere to eco-friendly driving practices. This will ensure that fuel goes further – meaning you’ll spend less on filling up as a result.
To minimise fuel consumption, it’s worth training staff to drive vehicles in a fuel-efficient manner. As you grow, you may want to consider appointing a “fuel champion” too – someone who is responsible for shaping, endorsing and integrating fuel-efficient driving habits.
It’s also worth researching the most fuel-efficient vehicles to increase your mile-per-gallon ratio. Built-in satellite navigation systems are a worthy asset, too– successfully guiding your staff from A to B without wasting fuel on wrong turnings.
UPS delivery drivers are told not to make right-hand turns in the US unless absolutely necessary, even though it takes them longer to reach destinations. Rather than looking at the shortest routes, vehicle routing software instructs drivers not to turn into oncoming traffic, which saves fuel and minimises the chance of accidents happening. The company estimates that it uses 10m gallons less fuel and emits 20,000 tonnes less carbon dioxide, yet delivers 350,000 more packages every year, thanks to its data-led fleet policy.
Keeping your vehicles in the best possible condition will go a long way to reducing fuel costs. That’s why it’s crucial to perform standard maintenance checks on a regular basis.
Some of the major areas worth assessing include:
- Fuel/oil levels :Are there any leaks? Is the fuel cap fixed in position? Unidentified spills can lead to big wastage.
- Tyre pressure: Are tyres inflated correctly? Is there any sign of considerable wear and tear? If wheels aren’t in prime condition, it can play havoc with fuel tank levels.
- Exhaust emissions: Are there unfamiliar emissions coming from the exhaust? Are you seeing black smoke or detecting a strange aroma? These are tell-tale signs of engine trouble, which in turn will cause considerable fuel to go to waste.
It is important to monitor all the fuel your company cars use, as this will allow you to gain a tighter control on costs and submit accurate figures to HMRC.
One of the best ways to keep track of all your fuel spends in one convenient location is with an Allstar card. These cards are designed specifically for filling up – with all transactions accompanied by a HMRC-approved invoice that’s ready to submit at a moment’s notice.
We have different cards available for every type of organisation, but as a small business that is expanding, a good choice may be Supermarket+: offering access to lower priced fuel across the UK.
Browse our range today and start managing your fuel costs efficiently right from the off.