How to reduce fleet costs
Okay, we know managing a business fleet is a tough job. And one of the biggest problems is keeping costs down.
The good news? We’re here to help! In this guide, you get a full tour across the best tactics that’ll reduce fleet costs and keep your business ultra-competitive.
(Updated Tue, 12 December 2023)
10 ways to reduce fleet costs
That’s right, 10 ways! That’s a lot of money saved right there if you follow even a handful of these tactics. So, without further ago, let’s dive on in.
1. Switch to electric vehicles (EVs)
Now, you have to approach EVs in the right way to reduce fleet costs.
Basically, they’re very expensive to buy outright. Most businesses wouldn’t want to pay for a whole fleet in that way. It’d cost an arm and a leg.
However, with electric vehicle hire you can really scale back the costs.
Many businesses are making the great EV switchover for a big number of reasons. In fact, a quarter of businesses have made the switch! That’s to EV or hybrid models. And there are three major reasons for that:
- No fuel! Literally, no fuel at all. You don’t need to stuff diesel or petrol into the things. And with the costs these days, that’s a massive saving over the course of every month.
- Lower upkeep costs. Electric motors are much more efficient than combustion engines which, again, is a big saving in the long-term.
- No emissions charges. That means in ULEZ and clean air zones you won’t receive the standard charges for diesel and petrol vehicles. Again, that’s a massive saving!
Getting yourself ULEZ compliant vans is one of the top goals for businesses now, as you’ll be knocking the pounds off by going green.
With a Mercedes-Benz eVito L2 Progressive, for example, you can save over £2,320 a year on fuel. Plus, an extra £278 on top of that for upkeep. And we’ve left off the emissions charges there on purpose! It all stacks up. Going eco-friendly is one of the best ways to reduce fleet costs.
2. Keep your vehicles in good working order
Car maintenance checklist is ultra-important. The same for vans, HGVs and any other vehicles you run in your fleet.
In fact, you should have a schedule on when you’re going to do maintenance checks. Say, every 3,000-6,000 miles.
If you don’t bother, then the bills are going to stack up over time.
Really, you should be monitoring your fleet every week. Or every day if you want to really run a tight ship. Things you need to look out for are:
- Oil pressures
- Tyres and tyre pressures
- Pedal checks (accelerator, brakes)
- Brake checks
- Battery checks
- Windscreen checks
You can give a fleet inspector role to someone to manage the checks. Give them a fancy badge and a hat so they look like they’re in charge and mean serious business.
But if you keep on top of everything, it means you don’t face serious damage and keep your fleet as productive as possible.
3. Reduce fleet fuel costs
This is also a biggie. We’ve got a full guide to what’ll reduce fuel consumption you can check out. But in summary you can:
- Replace old spark plugs
- Clean up your air filters
- Don’t leave engines ticking over
- Time your cruise control properly
- Check your tyre pressures
- Avoid short trips
- Use AC at the right times
You can use vehicle tracking systems to keep on top of all that and reduce fleet fuel costs.
By monitoring your fleet, you’ll get real-time insights into how your drivers are driving. You can get instant alerts on bad behaviour and who’s wasting fuel or conserving it.
Now’s a great time to get fitted out with a system to get total control over your fleet.
4. Use fuel cards
With a fuel card your business can set expenses for your drivers. It’s like a credit card… but for diesel and petrol. And when you use these, you can:
- Save money on fuel expenses with online account management
- Reduce your admin workload
- Easily reclaim VAT on your fuel
Bit of a no-brainer really, isn’t it? You can compare the market for these and get yourself sorted ASAP.
5. Improve your fleet’s driving skills
It’s not exactly an exclusive news story, but the truth is bad driving habits harm your business. You know it. And your drivers probably know it, too.
For example, if any of your drivers are coasting that’s a big no-no. Other common types of bad driving are:
- Leaving engines ticking over
- Aggressive braking and acceleration
- Not indicating (which can lead to accidents)
But old habits die hard… that is until you start using telematics to monitor your fleet! This is totally legal, of course, you just have to let your drivers know you’re doing it.
Like vehicle tracking, you can get systems to keep an eye on your drivers at all times.
That way you can get real-time data to see who your best drivers are. Plus, those who need to improve their skills a bit with extra training.
6. Reduce the mileage
Plan your journeys carefully so you’re not making unnecessary detours.
This is where telematics come in handy again. You can actually carefully plan out your routes with the right system by checking over your data.
Over time, you can find the best routes and schedules to take that’ll reduce waste. By which we mean wasted mileage, wasted petrol and wasted time.
Better yet, with a fleet telematics system your drivers will get real-time updates on traffic. Then they can plan better routes to avoid all that and keep on time (while also reducing fuel consumption).
7. Use EV charge cards
If you’ve already got an EV fleet, then you can get yourself decked out with the best EV charge cards on the market.
These are a great way to reduce fleet costs you may not have thought of.
When your fleet is out and about, with an EV charge card you can pick from thousands of charge points. From the card, you can:
- See a full list of charges
- Set security measures (like on maximum spend every day)
- Get transparent pricing, so you know what you’re paying
It’s like a fuel card, really, but for an EV. And it gives you more control over your fleet and how much each driver spends on charging.
8. Get insured
You can put all the effort you want into reducing fleet costs, but if you’re not covered with insurance you’ll have problems.
Fleet costs skyrocket if you’re not insured. It’s as simple as that. And while it may seem like added expense to insure your whole fleet, it pays off in the long-term. Because, let’s face it, accidents, damage and theft are going to happen from time to time.
So now you’re thinking, “How do I reduce my fleet insurance costs?” Your best bet? Compare the market for the best deals. By checking out the full range of prices out there, you can pick the best one for your business.
Then you have total peace of mind knowing you’ve protected whatever happens. It saves you money in the long-term, plus it takes a lot of stress off.
iCompario tip: Get fleet insurance to cover your back!
Believe it or not, but some businesses don’t get insured. That means their fleet faces serious problems when accidents and theft happens. Luckily, fleet insurance costs are low these days. You can get your business sorted with a great deal ASAP, which gives you peace of mind. Compare the market for an instant quote!
9. Replace old vehicles
If your old fleet full of old cars? Out with the old and in with the new is your best mantra going forward.
Simply put, having a bunch of old cars and vans driving around isn’t good for business.
Not only will it cost you a bunch on ULEZ and clean air zones, but it’ll make your business look a bit outdated. And they usually need more repairs and maintenance than new models, which also ramps up the costs.
Even if you don’t plan to switch to EVs, you should look to upgrade to new cars and vans.
That way, you have the latest tech on your fleet. Modern vehicles are designed to be more efficient and environmentally friendly.
In short, upgrading your fleet with vehicle hire will save you money long-term across:
- Running costs
- Downtime repairs
And, of course, you don’t have to buy a new fleet outright. You can turn to hiring for better flexibility and to keep costs low.
10. Cut out extra charges
Fines and charges can build up in all sorts of ways. And we don’t mean speeding tickets here, we’re on about the things you might forget about. Stuff like:
- End of contract charges
- Speeding fines (yes, we’re including these in here as well)
- Unpaid speeding fines
- Congestion charges
- Toll charges
- Not fixing insurance premiums
The solution? Balancing the books! You need to be organised as a business owner or fleet manager, otherwise charges can get out of hand.
You can keep on top of everything by keeping track of everything with telematics systems and spreadsheets for anything else!
You’re all set to reduce fleet costs
All done? Good to find you here at the end of our guide. And now what? Well, it’s time to compare the market to get the best deals on money saving options.
It’s easy! All you’ve got to do is enter your details into our comparison tool and we’ll do a market search for you from our database.
Then we’ll fire the best deals right back at you. You can then pick what suits you best… and start saving. What are you waiting for? Get started!