Cutting costs

The Drivers

 Encourage Responsibility

When embarking on cutting your company car costs, it is imperative to keep the drivers onside. If they are of the same mind, substantial savings can be realised.

It is important to communicate your cost saving measures in a way that encourages responsibility in your drivers.

However, there is a golden rule – Do not accept costs without challenge. You can use a carrot or stick approach or a combination of both. If there is an element of driver choice in the car selection process, you can encourage drivers to take a ‘greener’ approach and select the car with the lowest CO2 figure on the list, safe in the knowledge this also will result in higher mpg and lower NIC costs.

Journey Planning

Emphasise the importance of journey planning. The saving will be on fuel costs, wear and tear on the vehicle and increased productivity from the drivers. This is such an important area in reducing costs it is worthwhile to spend time ensuring constant improvement. Do not just pay lip service but revisit the topic on a regular basis. Invest in satellite navigation systems, there is no cheaper alternative.

Daily Rental Cars

There may be times when there is no alternative but to use daily rental cars. Make sure any rental cars are used correctly and sparingly, only when needed. Watch out for poor organisation, making a booking for two days when one will do. Insist all daily rental cars are refilled with fuel prior to return. Vehicle Use

How drivers use their vehicles directly impacts on costs to the company.

Safe Driving

If drivers are encouraged or rewarded in how they drive, that is careful, considerate and defensive driving, the number of accidents can be reduced and the costs that go with it. Lower insurance premiums and no insurance excesses mean reduced costs. Monitor accidents and put in a road risk management strategy.

Frugal Driving – Alongside careful and considerate driving, one can add smooth driving, going through the gears carefully at the right rpm and braking slowly well in advanced. The drivers will save considerable amounts of fuel and reduce engine and tyre wear. Ask the drivers to switch off the car engine if stationary in traffic.

Vehicle Checks:

  1. Encourage your drivers to care more for their cars as part of taking responsibility.
  2. Make sure they read the handbook and maintain as per approved service levels.
  3. Get them to check fluid levels regularly, report any faults quickly however minor.
  4. Insist your drivers clean and maintain the exterior of the vehicle.

These Measures Reap Rewards As Follows:

  1. Increased residual value
  2. Less downtime for repairs
  3. Reduced spending on parts
  4. Decrease in fuel consumption

Tyres

Drivers must check their tyres regularly for damage and wear. Insist they know the recommended tyre pressures and get them to check wheel alignment regularly. Fuel costs will be substantially reduced. Fines and penalties Do not condone any irresponsibility with financial penalties and make sure you operate a zero tolerance policy in the following areas:

  1. Speeding fines
  2. Parking fines
  3. Non payment of congestion charges

Fuel

Make sure fuel cards are issued to the drivers. Restrict the fuel applicable to the car ie diesel or petrol and allow only fuel, oils and fluids, to restrict misuse.

Encourage economy and efficiency when purchasing or using fuel. Use the fuel cards to provide the information to reward drivers who use achieve a) the highest mpg and b) the most improved mpg Ask your drivers to check the fuel cap is not broken or missing Ask your drivers to remove any additional weight in or on the vehicle such as cases or boxes in the boot or roof boxes.

In Conclusion:

  1. To continue to monitor and save on vehicle running costs will require:
  2. The support of your employees
  3. Your attention to detail
  4. Constant and consistent application

5 Tips For Drivers To Cut Costs

  1. Drive smoothly and change gear as soon as possible without labouring the engine, typically between 2000 and 2500 RPM.
  2. Try to avoid constant use of your car air-conditioning system.
  3. Check tyre pressures regularly and adjust them to suit the load as advised in the handbook.
  4. Stick to 70mph on the motorway. By travelling at 80-85mph, fuel costs can increase by 25% or more.
  5. Fill up before getting on the motorway to avoid higher pump prices.

5 Tips To Reduce Vehicle Use

  1. Combine trips – do several short trips in one longer trip.
  2. Always phone to confirm an appointment before leaving.
  3. Consider video conferencing if available.
  4. Create an errand routine – say Wednesday lunchtime, each week to do any shopping, banking and visit the post office.
  5. Park in the first spot you find even if it requires a longer walk – reverse in.

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