Fuel costs account for a whopping 25% of the total cost of running a fleet. In addition to proper driver behaviour and a well-planned vehicle maintenance schedule, a surefire way to reduce fuel costs is to track your fleet’s fuel consumption.
Why Fuel Tracking Is Important?
There are a couple key reasons why tracking your fleet’s fuel consumption is so important. First and foremost, fuel is the second biggest cost of a fleet. If you’re not carefully tracking your fleet’s fuel usage and reducing your fuel intake wherever possible, you could inadvertently be lowering your bottom line.
Second, your fleet’s fuel usage directly contributes to your company’s carbon footprint. The UK government is gradually pushing companies to run greener fleets and is committed to reducing the impact organisations have on the environment. It’s now offering certain tax incentives to companies that are actively working towards reducing their carbon footprint.
Therefore, it makes sense — both financially and ethically — to track your fleet’s fuel usage and reduce it wherever possible.
Read more: How Fleet Tracking Promotes a Greener Fleet
How to Track Your Fleet’s Fuel Usage
You have three options when it comes to fuel tracking: fuel cards, a fleet management system and a pen-and-paper fuel planner. It’s recommended that you combine two or more of the following fuel tracking methods to ensure you’re saving the most on fuel when possible.
1. Fuel Cards
Fuel cards are a type of payment card that your drivers can use for vehicle-only businesses purposes (i.e. petrol and related services). Many fuel cards condense your fleet’s fuel use into a single account, which makes it much easier to track the fuel usage amongst all of your vehicles. Fuel cards are beneficial for SMEs as well as larger organisations, so they’re certainly worth looking into.
2. Fleet Management System
Research has shown that investing in a fleet management system like Fleet Geo can reduce fuel costs by up to 10%. A fleet management system documents the routes of each of your vehicles. You can review this data retrospectively and optimise routes where needed to reduce mileage and subsequently your fuel costs.
Another bonus to using fleet management to monitor fuel consumption and record the exact routes of your vehicles is that you can use the logged mileage to calculate your estimated fuel costs to date. FleetNews has excellent fuel calculators, including a car fuel cost calculator and a van fuel cost calculator. Inputting your fleet’s mileage into fuel calculators like these will help you ballpark your fuel usage and set achievable goals for reducing it.
3. Downloadable Fuel Planner
The final option available for tracking your fleet’s fuel usage is a trusty paper log. To save you the hassle of making your own, there are many downloadable templates available online often free to download. Vimcar’s team of experts have created a Fuel Cost Calculator for you to download, simply use the link at the beginning of this article.
How You Can Save Money on Fuel
You can save money on fuel by educating your drivers on proper driver behaviour and practicing good vehicle maintenance. Vimcar has an entire guide to cutting fuel costs, but here’s an overview of the key ways your fleet can start saving money:
- Train drivers on fuel-efficient driving styles
- Avoid driving during rush hour
- Avoid speeding and quick braking
- Use energy-saving tyres
- Switch off unnecessary electronics in the vehicle
- Drive with cruise control, when possible
- Utilise a fleet management system to track mileage and fuel consumption and examine driver behaviour
Fleet management and fuel consumption
Fuel is the second largest cost of a fleet, and tracking your fleet’s fuel usage is one of the best ways to start cutting costs. Once you’ve plugged the necessary data into a fuel costs calculator to estimate how much fuel your fleet is currently using, you can begin tracking your fuel usage. The easiest ways to track fuel usage are fuel cards, a paper fuel planner and / or a digital fleet tracking system like Fleet Geo.
Our team of fleet tracking experts are on call to answer any questions you have about tracking your fuel usage with Fleet Geo and how you can reduce overall fleet costs.
What Affects Your Fuel Cost Calculator Result?
You can always get more out of each tank of fuel you fill, regardless of the distance you travel or what kind of vehicle you drive. Even an increase of one or two miles per litre of fuel can make a significant impact. Also, your efforts in trying to conserve energy can directly benefit the environment.
CO2 emissions from vehicles play a big part in global warming and have hurt many regions on the earth, and some of its consequences are irreversible. Therefore, it makes financial and ethical sense to track your fleet’s fuel usage and reduce it wherever possible.
The best method to determine your fuel consumption is through a fuel cost calculator.
You can make good decisions to enhance profitability and improve your fleet by using a fuel cost calculator to compute fuel consumption and cost of production automatically. A few things will affect the reading in your cost calculator, both higher and lower.
Read More: Learn About Company Car Fuel Benefits
Effects of the Type of Vehicles on your Fuel Cost Calculator
The vehicle’s fuel economy should be the most critical factor to consider when buying a vehicle. The most important factor that determines a vehicle fuel economy is its weight and engine displacement. A 10% change in either will cause a three to six percent increase in your fuel cost calculator.
A heavy vehicle requires more power than a smaller vehicle to produce comparable acceleration. And that’s usually achieved by a larger engine.
A good assessment of your vehicle needs is an essential step in lowering your fuel cost calculator. When possible, choose a smaller vehicle with the smaller, more fuel-efficient engine option.
Read More: What Are Fuel Tax Rebates?
Effects of a Vehicle Engine on your Fuel Cost Calculator
Due to the rapid increase in oil prices, petrol dependence causes personal and national economic difficulties, and reliance on oil imports influences a country’s trade imbalance and energy security. As a result, it is critical to limit the usage of petrol in vehicles.
With different vehicle engines, it is good to choose one that will give you the best reading on your fuel cost calculator. Hybrid electric vehicles improve fuel economy by combining an internal combustion engine and electric motor benefits to increase power. While hybrid vehicles give a better fuel economy with small distances, this advantage is lost with long distance driving. On the other hand diesel engines read twenty percent less fuel than an equivalent petrol engine on the fuel cost calculator. With this high engine fuel efficiency, diesel vehicles run longer distances without refuelling.
Not only is the diesel engine better in this instance, but it also contains roughly 15% more energy output than petrol. This means even with the same engine efficiency, the diesel-based engine will allow the vehicle to drive for longer. Diesel engines therefore give you the best reading in your fuel cost calculator.