If you’re looking to reduce fuel costs, you’re in the right place. In this blog, we’ll share five of our best strategies to save money on fuel.
The best part?
You can start implementing most of these tactics right away—so you don’t have to wait to see the benefits reflected in your bottom line.
Let’s get started!
HOW TO INCREASE FUEL EFFICIENCY AND SAVE MONEY
1. Improve Driving Behaviour
This is, by far, one of the smartest things you can do for your business.
Why is it so important?
Because how drivers act on the road has a huge impact on your fuel costs.
For example, are they accelerating too fast? Do they speed? How much time do they spend idling? According to Natural Resources Canada, these types of behaviours can increase your fuel usage by 25%!
So how can you tell if drivers are doing any of these things? Installing telematics is an effective way. But it’s safe to say that all drivers benefit from regular training and guidance—whether you have telematics data or not.
So what can you do about it?
Invest in driver safety training, which will help drivers identify weak areas, and provide training to help them improve.
(See also: How to Reduce Fleet Costs and Boost Efficiency)
2. Use Seasonal Driving Techniques
To keep fuel costs down, drivers should use cold weather driving techniques in fall and winter, and warm weather techniques in spring and summer.
Let’s break down some simple tips for both situations:
Cold Weather Driving Tips
Minimize idling the vehicle to warm it up. Engines generally warm up faster while driving. We recommend letting the vehicle warm up for about 30 seconds, and then driving off gently.
Avoid using defrosters and seat warmers any more than necessary
Your vehicle’s oil should be suited to cold weather
Warm Weather Driving Tips
When possible, avoid using air conditioning, which can be a drain on fuel
Open the windows to keep cool when driving in the city. This also makes vehicles more fuel efficient compared to using the air conditioner.
Keep windows closed when driving on the highway, and use the air conditioner if needed.
3. Plan Better Routes
This helps your drivers get where they need to go, faster. And the less time they spend driving around and idling in traffic, the less fuel they’ll use.
What’s the best way to plan routes?
Technology. GPS tracking software is one option that fleets are investing in.
You can also start improving route planning right away by letting drivers know about traffic apps, like Waze. These apps can help them avoid traffic issues in real time. Just make sure they safely pull over before using them!
4. Check Your Tires
Did you know tires have a big impact on fuel consumption?
Choosing the best ones is key to lowering fuel costs.
A great option is low rolling resistance tires, which are designed to help improve fuel efficiency. Make sure to also swap out your winter tires in the warmer months. The extra grip and traction of winter tires mean vehicles use more gas.
Don’t forget to regularly check tire pressure. Under-inflated tires make it harder for drivers to accelerate, so they’ll end up using more gas. According to Goodyear, under-inflated tires lower vehicle gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 PSI drop in each one!
5. Save Money on Fuel
In a perfect world, we could control fuel prices to keep costs down. But since that isn’t possible, choosing the right type of fuel is the next best thing.
So what does that mean?
Simply choose the lowest fuel grade that each vehicle allows. The vehicle owner’s manual will tell you what that grade is. Then let drivers know which type of fuel they should be purchasing.
Want to help drivers find the gas stations with the lowest prices?
Tell them about the Gas Buddy app, which has a database of gas prices for locations across Canada. It will make sure they find the best prices possible.
And one last thing:
Learn about the possibility of fuel fraud among your drivers, and how you can prevent it. (Check out our blog How Fleet Fuel Tracking Reduces Fuel Fraud to learn how.)
By taking a few small actions, you can make some big changes. You’ll see the most benefits when you apply all of these strategies together.
Here’s a quick recap of the key points we mentioned:
Invest in driver safety training to reduce aggressive and fuel-wasting driving behaviours
Use seasonal driving best practices
Help drivers plan better routes, either through GPS tracking software, or with a mobile app
Avoid idling when heating up a vehicle in winter, or while waiting in traffic
Choose fuel efficient tires, and check tire pressure regularly
Choose the lowest grade fuel each vehicle allows
Find gas stations with the lowest prices
Take action to prevent fuel fraud
Don’t miss this opportunity to reduce fuel costs and improve your company’s bottom line.
Authored by Chris Isac
Want to learn more about how you can reduce fleet costs? Download Control Your Fuel and Maintenance Costs.
This white paper goes into more detail on how a fuel and maintenance card works, and how it can lead to big savings for your business.