Fleets need to remain on top of fuel costs, says FleetCheck, as prices are predicted to continue to fall from the record levels seen in mid-2022.
Peter Golding, managing director at the fleet management software specialist explained that interest in fuel management at a corporate level often tended to rise and fall in correlation to pump prices but that an ongoing, strategic approach to fuel management was essential.
“The RAC are predicting that decreasing oil prices will start to feed through to sharp falls at the pumps quite quickly, meaning that a litre of fuel could soon be substantially cheaper than just a few months ago. In these situations, you can almost hear an audible sigh of relief across the fleet sector as prices are perceived to have dropped to a ‘sensible’ level.
“However, while lower prices are certainly welcome, they are not a pretext for fleets to take their eyes off the ball. Buying fuel remains a major expense in the running of cars and vans and, even if there is a substantial market adjustment forthcoming, it is a fundamental of fleet management to ensure that basic cost control measures remain in place.
“Of course, some fleets are good at controlling fuel expenditure on an ongoing basis – tracking fuel use to examine both overall trends, and drivers and vehicles at an individual level – but in others the subject tends to be more of a cyclical priority in response to current prices.”
Peter said that FleetCheck continued to encourage its client base to track fuel expenditure intensively, gathering accurate data and producing useful reports that had a genuine impact on costs.
“In our experience over many years, the best way to gather fuel data is through a fuel card alongside journey information from telematics, and the best way to assimilate that data is through fleet management software that is able to make sense of the mass of information. This approach helps fleets to make strategic decisions at both a macro and micro level.
“However, there is also a step beyond this where questioning fuel use is ingrained into the culture of a business, where a line manager will raise questions about whether individual employees or whole departments need to be making all the trips they are undertaking. This can be much harder to achieve but, to our mind, is very much worthwhile and has a longstanding impact on fuel expenditure, whatever the current pump prices.”