How to cut your haulage fuel costs

Hauliers can often suffer from cashflow gaps, which can be eased by invoice finance facilities

One thing’s for sure, every haulier needs to find ways to economise on fuel in order to keep their vehicles on the road and help their company remain competitive.

Fuel accounts for around 25% of a vehicle’s running costs and with UK pump prices at or near to record levels, developing an effective business fuel strategy is an imperative.

The following tips, supplied by AllStar, a UK leading fuel card provider, can help you to reduce your fuel costs effectively:

Tyre pressure: When tyre pressures fall below the recommended psi, a car engine has to work harder, leading to higher fuel consumption. Tyre pressures should therefore be checked regularly. However, recent survey results from Kwik-Fit suggest that 69% of cars are driven on under-inflated tyres, wasting almost £1 billion a year in excess fuel costs.

Fuel type: Encourage fleet drivers to buy regular unleaded as opposed to ‘performance’ fuels since the price per litre is considerably cheaper and, with the exception of some prestige vehicles, it won’t have any impact on engine performance.

Compare fuel prices: It helps if your drivers are aware of where they can buy the cheapest fuel, either locally or en route to their destination. A fuel price locator is an online tool that enables drivers to search for the best fuel prices nationwide and therefore plan fuel stops accordingly.

Sensible purchasing: Fuelling up at a supermarket will be considerably cheaper than using a motorway service station and could save a driver £££s every time they refuel. Multiply this saving across your fleet and it could really impact on your bottom line. If drivers cannot avoid re-fuelling at a more expensive site then they should only purchase a small amount of fuel and then fill up later where the pump price is cheaper.

Fuel cards: Fuel cards enable drivers to make savings at petrol stations across their card network. Using a fuel card as opposed to paying your fleet drivers a fixed pence-per-mile rate can also ensure you’re able to claim back 100% of your business fuel VAT because you don’t have the problem of lost fuel receipts. What’s more, card reporting provides visibility of your company’s fuel spend and allows you to target drivers who are making expensive fuel stops unnecessarily.

Choosing your fuel card: The effectiveness of any fuel card system depends on the reach of the card network. If your drivers have to deviate off their route to use their fuel card, they’re actually using more fuel, incurring more wear and tear on their vehicle and wasting precious man-hours. Choosing the correct fuel card with good network coverage could give your drivers access to 100% of major fuel brands across 8,000 sites nationwide, from supermarkets to motorway service stations. If you’re using a fuel card with small network coverage and therefore drivers are forced to go out of their way to use their card, what’s the ultimate cost to your business?

Added together, these suggestions could really help reduce your fuel costs and make a positive impact on your bottom line, no matter how big your fleet or where in the country you drive.