BUSINESSES that rely on fleet vehicles may be feeling the hit of the pandemic harder than most. The expenses involved in keeping a collection of vehicles for business purposes is higher, factoring in rental, maintenance, fuel and more.

Laying bear the issues involved, data from Webfleet Solutions shows a 45% drop in trips taken, while mileage driven has halved and hours driven has fallen by 55% for fleets since the pandemic forced the government into enforcing lockdown measures on the nation in March. 

Unable to visit many premises and customers, many big-name businesses have fallen into administration as a result.

If fleet costs are a concern for your business amid the pandemic, here are some tips that could help you drive down fleet costs to preserve your future.

Promote efficient driving

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that driving in a more efficient way could lead to annual savings of 15% on fuel bills. Smoother driving, cutting down on idling, early up-shifting and generally reducing speed are all crucial to make your fuel go further.

Of course, pushing this on your drivers and staff is one thing, but how can you be sure the message is having an effect?

Telematics boxes, often used by insurance companies, is one answer. By studying your drivers’ data, you may be able to ascertain who is a drain on you finances. Introducing a reward system for efficiency is a sure-fire way to lodge it in your staff’s minds.

Think about the future

Breakdowns and repair bills come hand in hand with having a business fleet. Whether it’s an egged tyre that needs replacing after running over a kerb, or a side panel that requires buffing after a collision with some equipment – they can soon add up, too.

That’s why it might be an idea to take out an extended warranty on your fleet vehicles.

This is especially prevalent if your fleet includes vehicles that use newer technology, such as hybrid powertrains or driver assistants as these newer, more complex parts often cost the most to replace.

Take stock and reinvest

If your fleet has seen better days, keeping hold of those trusty old vehicles could actually be costing you in the long run. With engines clanking inefficiently pushing fuel bills up, would a newer and more economical vehicle be the answer?

You may well be able to offset the initial outlay by trading in your older vehicles or selling them on to a private buyer or fleet specialist.

With electric technology now becoming more abundant in fleet vehicles, now may be the time to go green and protect your pocket a bit.

Get refuelling right

Do fuel receipts leave your head spinning at the end of each month? Letting your drivers pick and choose where they fill up might be the problem.

Planning out a fuelling strategy for each trip, you can make sure that your drivers are visiting the cheaper forecourts and staying away from the sky-high figures found at motorway service stations.

Don’t drive

A fairly obvious one, this! If your drivers often use fleet vehicles to travel to meetings and other events, can they be held online instead?

One of the biggest changes in the business world this year has been the rise of working from home and communicating over video conferencing platforms.

It could cut your costs, and keep your employees safe, so it’s certainly one to strongly consider if you can!