SMEs and fleet operators are being reminded that vehicle maintenance and driver behaviour can pay dividends in reducing fuel consumption as pump prices remain volatile.
The timely advice has been issued by leading fuel card provider fuelGenie as beleaguered businesses face financial pressures from all sides, including recent record pump prices, sharply rising inflation and increases in the cost of living as a result, plus the prospect of possible changes to road tax that could hit SMEs hard.
However, cost-effective vehicle maintenance and changing driver behaviour, which can be at no financial cost whatsoever, can drastically reduce fuel consumption.
For instance, underinflated tyres are one of the main reasons for less miles-to-the-gallon and it has been estimated that if all four are underinflated by 10psi then it can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 10% because of the greater drag being caused.
fuelGenie Managing Director Robert Pieczka commented: “The financial squeeze looks set to only get worse so it is financially prudent for SMEs and fleet operators to look at reducing operating costs.
“This includes vehicle fuel costs which can be a major draw on business outgoings. Reducing fuel consumption, through vehicle maintenance and changing driver behaviour, is an economical way to reduce fuel costs and is more crucial than ever.”
Other vehicle maintenance tips to reduce fuel consumption include correct wheel alignment, plus regular vehicle servicing.
Meanwhile, changing driving attitudes behind the wheel can also have a significant positive benefit in reducing fuel consumption.
This includes making small changes such as not accelerating too fast, avoiding aggressive driving, braking too sharply and removing any unwanted objects from the vehicle to lighten the weight.
Further ways to improve fuel economy include avoiding idling and using vehicle stop/start technology where possible, plus reducing the aircon, heated windscreens and any other electrical usage as much as possible.
Anticipating the road conditions and keeping moving where possible, together with avoiding coming to a complete stop, will also help save fuel.
Robert added: “Controlled driving techniques and regularly checking the condition of the vehicle is something we should all be doing.
“Fuel cards are also an effective way to reduce motoring costs. fuelGenie itself is a completely free fuel card for UK businesses looking to save on their fuel costs and control driver spend by using a low cost supermarket petrol station network.”