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Sam Sterry's blog: Rocketing fuel prices - how to tackle travel costs without compromising employee mobility

Date: 20 September 2018

Sam Sterry, head of SME for Europcar offers advice to fleet managers in the wake of pump prices soaring

Prices at the pumps reached a four-year high according to the latest figures from the RAC[1].  August 2018 saw yet another increase, with the average cost of unleaded petrol going up 1.65p to 130.59p per litre, and diesel increasing by 1.32p to 132.19p.  This latest price hike means the average for both fuels has jumped 13p since this time last year, with petrol now at its highest level since July 2014.  And the feeling is prices are still set to rise. 

For fleet managers the increase in fuel prices puts a significant amount of pressure on budgets.  And whilst the rising cost of fuel can't be controlled, fleet managers can take steps to reduce consumption and improve efficiency without compromising on employee mobility.

The age of a vehicle can seriously impact on fuel efficiency and emissions which, in turn erodes the bottom line in terms of cost. But vehicle hire can tackle this head-on.  Reputable vehicle rental providers, with large and up to date fleets, offer  companies a choice of newer, maintained vehicles which deliver lower emissions and fuel consumption than the average cars on the road.  

The latest greener motoring options can also be tested, without having to make significant upfront investment.  By working with vehicle hire providers, EVs, hybrids and even hydrogen-fuelled cars can be added to a company's transport solutions.  Good MI will help fleet managers understand where these new automotive technologies are most effective before they make a long-term commitment.

In addition to ensuring the company uses a regularly maintained fleet of vehicles in order to keep efficiency high, fleet managers should also aim to encourage a culture of driving more economically.  With the creation of a robust travel policy that not only measures driver performance but also takes account of usage, simple benchmarks and performance targets can be set.

This two tiered approach to employee mobility will enable companies to overcome the challenge of high fuel costs while keeping staff on the road and the business moving.