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TELEMATICS: Slash fuel cash

Date: 12 August 2013

Cutting fuel bills is more than likely on your agenda if you're investing in a telematics package. Jack Carfrae explores the nitty gritty of clawing back that outlay.

Telematics systems are naturally sold off the back of the savings they generate, but it's hard to put a finger on exactly how much money a business can expect to rake back by using one. 

Having an idea of how much you're actually spending in the first place is difficult. If you've taken the time to figure it out then chances are you'll think your business is shelling out too much, and that there are costs to be recouped. 

"Typically, you're looking at fuel savings of 10-25%, sometimes it's a lot higher [with a telematics system]," says Giles Margerison, sales director at TomTom Business Solutions. 

Bracknell Forest Council's operations director and deputy chairman of fleet association ACFO, Damian James, reckons you're looking at a similar amount: "I've heard anywhere between 10% and 50%. Conservatively, I'd say 10% as a minimum but that depends on what you do with it."

And that's the catch. Buying into a telematics package can cut a fleet's fuel spend by a huge sum, but it requires consistent input from the business. James continues: "After companies install systems there seems to be a drop in mileage generally, once people realise they are being monitored. Over time that fades, unless someone's managing the data that comes through. It's a bit like driver training - you see a big improvement immediately afterwards but the usual habits creep back in, then you do a repeat session and it improves again. For me, it's about having the resource to manage that data."