Ten Cost Saving Tips to Boost Fuel Efficiency
July 09, 2012
Suzanne Benzion, Senior Business Consultant at PHH Arval
Last week we discussed monitoring fuel purchases and vehicle maintenance, this week we have some cost saving tips that you can share with your drivers to boost fuel efficiency.
You can’t control prices at the pump, but building a strategic vehicle selector and encouraging your drivers to incorporate these key fuel saving strategies can help mitigate your costs.
As we embark on the fall buying season, be sure to examine selector offerings with fuel economy in mind. PHH Arval always recommends comparing vehicles from a total life-cycle cost perspective, which includes overall fuel economy.
All else being equal, a vehicle that is expected to achieve a higher fuel economy will result in lower costs during its service life. Additionally, as long as gas prices remain elevated or climb further, the used vehicle marketplace is expected to respond more positively to more fuel efficient vehicles.
In addition to vehicle selection, driver behavior is a critical component of fuel economy. Once the vehicle is given to the driver, their behavior is essential to maximizing fuel economy. How the driver operates their vehicle has a large impact on fuel consumption and your fleet fuel costs. For example, an improvement in fuel economy of just 5% for a 500 unit light duty pickup fleet can result in a decrease in fuel costs of over $150,000 annually.
What are these fuel-saving driver behaviors?
PHH has developed 10 fuel-saving tips that can assist your drivers in maximizing the fuel economy of their vehicle. Many of these tips are promoted by the U.S. Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada. Added benefits of these strategies are improved driver safety and a positive impact on the environment.
- Encourage smart driving and discourage aggressive driving practices, which can reduce fuel mileage by up to 33% on highways and roughly 5% in town.
- Remind drivers to watch their speed. Keep in mind that gas mileage often decreases quickly at speeds above 60 mph or approximately 96 km/h.
- Keep tires inflated to the proper pressure to improve gas mileage by up to 3.3%.
- Avoid idling. Idling for more than 10 seconds often uses more fuel than restarting a car or truck.
- Keep up with regular maintenance checks. Regular maintenance checks can improve gas mileage by an average of 4%.
- Use the air conditioner sparingly and instead try the “economy” or “re-circulate” settings to keep the vehicle cool. Air conditioning can raise fuel consumption by up to 20%.
- Remove unnecessary equipment to reduce the weight of the vehicle and positively impact fuel consumption.
- Carefully plan routes to avoid hills and traffic that can guzzle more fuel.
- Use the proper motor oil to improve gas mileage by up to 2%.
- Utilize cruise control on highways in clear weather to maintain a constant speed and reduce gas usage.
These 10 driving tips, coupled with purchasing the right vehicle and a good fuel monitoring and maintenance program, can help you significantly reduce fuel costs.
What tips have you found to be helpful in reducing your fleet’s fuel spend?