For entrepreneurs who use company vehicles, fuel can be one of the biggest expenses. You may not be able to cut back on the number of vehicles you have on the road, but you can reduce your fuel expenses. Here are three ways you can manage fuel costs for your business fleet.
1. Perform Routine Maintenance
Making sure your vehicles are regularly serviced cuts down on fuel costs in the long run. According to Emily Brandon of U.S. News and World Report, “Even simple changes like replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage by up to 10 percent.” Dirty air filters restrict airflow, making your air intake system work harder, which reduces fuel economy.
Also, getting the oil filter changed prevents the buildup of contaminants in the engine. The more contaminants from the filter that move into the engine, the less efficiently it runs, making it require more fuel than normal. If the filter gets really dirty, the engine could overheat and seize, driving up your maintenance costs. Also, be sure to inflate your tires to the right pressure and make sure the engine is properly tuned to increase your fuel efficiency.
2. Purchase Fuel Cards for Your Drivers
To reduce your fuel costs, you first need to understand how much you’re spending. One way to keep track of these costs is to purchase fuel cards from iCompario for your drivers. Fuel cards can be used to pay for petrol, diesel and other fuels at service stations. They can be used for other station services, too, like oils and lubes, car washes or parking. You can choose to pay the pump price or a weekly/commercial price, which is often lower than the price advertised at the pump.
Everything purchased with the card is recorded so you can monitor what each driver is spending. Any inefficiencies can be caught and corrected quickly, saving you money. Fuel cards also provide an extra layer of security for you and your employees. Drivers don’t have to be given company credit cards or large sums of cash to pay for fuel on the road, and since employees know that all transactions are monitored, there’s less chance of fuel fraud.
3. Fill Your Tank Up Properly to Manage Fuel Costs
Making careless mistakes at the fuel pump can add up to hundreds of wasted dollars over time. To start, make sure you always choose the gasoline with the lowest octane level approved for your car. If you’re unsure, check your owner’s manual or ask your fleet mechanic on your next tune up. Purchasing high-octane gas when it’s not needed only adds to your costs.
Next, before you pull into the gas station, make sure you’ve compared gas prices in your area. Maybe a certain chain offers business discounts you could take advantage of or another station always has the lowest prices in the neighborhood. Check gas price apps to make sure you’re getting the best deal. Lastly, plan your fill-ups ahead of time. Don’t wait until your vehicle is close to empty before filling up the tank. If you have drivers, consider creating a policy for when they must fill-up, such as when the gas level reaches a certain point. This gives you the chance to pick the best-priced station versus whatever is convenient.
These are only three tips to help reduce your company’s fuel costs. Do you have others? Share them in the comments.