Fleets not getting enough help in managing fuel costs, expert claims

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 15:12
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HELP: Simon West-Oliver, Drive Software Solutions

Fleet operators are not getting enough help from leasers in managing fuel costs, an industry expert has claimed.

Simon West-Oliver, Director of Technology at Drive Software Solutions, says the leasing and vehicle management industry is not doing enough to assist clients in fuel matters.

He claims such businesses are missing out on a customer retention opportunity, while operators are spending too much on fuel due to lack of guidance.

An average individual fleet vehicle in the UK, covering 12,000miles at 45mpg at current diesel prices, represents an annual outlay of £1,639.

This figure is around 20% of the cost of owning and operating the vehicle.

Mr West-Oliver said: “The cost of fuel is obviously a huge issue for fleets and it is one that is just growing and growing.

“In 1993, fuel was costing fleets cost around 50p per litre, that had increased to around 75p by 2003 and is now £1.35.

“Ignoring any short-term spikes, that same long-term trend means fleets will be paying more than £2 per litre for their fuel within the next decade.

“Thankfully the vehicle manufacturers have responded by making more fuel efficient vehicles.

“Today a mass market fleet vehicle is around 40% more fuel efficient than it’s equivalent 20 years ago.

“The trouble is, fuel is 170% more expensive now than it was 20 years ago and it is that growing gap which means fleets are more exposed than ever to inefficiency and abuse.

“Fleets need to be able to actively manage their fuel use but the leasing and vehicle management industry seems to think that by offering fleets a one size fits all fuel card they are addressing the problem.

“Fuel cards are obviously a powerful tool, and one we highly recommend, but the reality is the fuel card is not a suitable solution for every fleet.

“Fleets of all sizes need to be able to combine data from a range of sources in order to measure and manage fuel use.”

Mr West-Oliver claimed that leasing and vehicle management companies should be capable of supporting clients in identifying how to boost fuel performance.

“Leasing and fleet management companies can do much more to support fleet operators than they are currently doing,” he added.

“Drive’s e.Modules provides an easily deployed environment designed for users external to the business.

“This gives customers the ability to maintain their own data, perform their own searches and produce their own reports.

“For the leasing company it gives the compelling advantages of customer retention and ‘buy in’ combined with reduced administration costs.

“The web modules are designed such that the look and feel can be easily customised and controlled.”


  1. Surely the responsibility for good fuel management is with the operator, not the provider of the vehicles? (or am I missing something?)