5 Ways to Improve Your Fleet Management

Broken down vehicle being recovered

Fleet management is an absolute must for some businesses. If your business uses vehicles to operate, then fleet management can make life a million times easier. Whether making local deliveries or operating long-haul shipping, the ability to track your vehicles’ locations and analytics is indispensable.

However, even if you feel as though your fleet is a well-oiled machine, you can always save time by perfecting your process. And when every second your vehicles are deployed is burning fuel, time really is money.

So here are some top tips that can help you improve your fleet management. Spoiler alert – one of them is to land yourself a fleet management system, which can be easily done through our free quote tool. By securely entering your business’s information, you’ll receive quick, zero-commitment quotes that you can use to choose the best platform for your business.

How to Improve Fleet Management

Running a fleet is a costly endeavour. Salaries, petrol, maintenance, the vehicles themselves – there is a considerable amount that goes into a business fleet. And it’s not just money either. Managing a fleet can be a full-time job itself depending on the amount of vehicles.

So with all this to keep on top of, no one could blame a business if they wanted to pursue anything that could help them save money or time. Here are some of the best ways to improve your fleet management system.

1. Using Fuel Cards

This is a simple one. If you operate a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you might want to look into investing in a fuel card. Fuel cards can offer you between 5-10p savings on every gallon of petrol that you use for business purposes. While this isn’t a crazy amount by any means, you can still end up saving a considerable amount over months of daily use!

We’re experts on all things fuel card! If you’re looking to invest in a fuel card, or even just curious about the best suppliers, check out our ranking of the best affordable fuel cards!

2. Choosing the Right Vehicles and Fuel

The right vehicles and fuel type will always vary based on the business, and will even change as the years go on with more and more efficient vehicles coming out. However, choosing the vehicle type and model that suits your business best is a crucial early step.

For example, does your business deliver furniture? You might want a couple of vans or even a truck. Do you deliver something smaller like computers or flowers? Maybe just a car, or even a motorbike will suffice. And of course, the type of vehicle you pick will also dictate the type of fuel you’ll be using (petrol, diesel, or electric), which can be a massive factor in the cost equation.

3. Maintaining Your Vehicles

While this is an overall tip for life, it applies doubly when your business’s bottom line is in question. Pardon the pun, but there is an absolute truckload of things to keep in mind when maintaining a vehicle, let alone an entire fleet, so keeping on top of all this is crucial when it comes to optimising your vehicles’ performance.

This could be something as obvious as engine maintenance, or something as mundane as keeping tyre pressure up to its highest. Not only might you catch something before it becomes a real problem, but routine upkeep like lubricant or tyre pressure can ensure a vehicle performs well for longer, saving you money on petrol.

However, all of this is a big time commitment. If it seems like too much of a hassle at this point in your business, maybe you should look into grey fleet management, where employees use their own vehicles for business purposed, and are reimbursed for fuel costs.

If you don’t follow fleet maintenance best practices, you might find that you need to retire and replace vehicles in your fleet sooner than you’d hope.

4. Optimising routes and loads

If you were delivering five packages throughout the day to customers A through E, it’d be easy to send them out when they were ready just to check them off the list. However, if you plan these deliveries ahead of time, and structure the optimal delivery route around the proximity of these customers, you could end up saving a significant sum in fuel costs.

For example, let’s say customers A, B, and E are all on the same street. You might be ready to dispatch orders A and B, but if you wait until E is ready to go, your vehicle would only have to make one trip for three orders.

While you could do this yourself by looking at a map and charting the course, it’s a lot faster and more accurate to use an automated service, like a fleet management system. These can take the addresses of your locations and produce the most efficient delivery route for your vehicles.

5. Getting a Fleet Management System

The final major tip we have for you is to get your hands on a fleet management system. These software platforms can perform a massive variety of features. Whether it’s tracking vehicles, tallying fuel usage, or mapping out optimised routes, these platforms can be a massively useful benefit when it comes to saving on fuel costs, or just running an effective vehicle fleet.

If you’re interested in getting a fleet management system, you’re in luck! It’s never been easier – simply enter your business’s info into this secure comparison tool, and you’ll be given quotes from several fleet management software providers. From there, you can choose the option that works best for you!

What Are Fleet Management Best Practices?

When it comes to fleet management it’s crucial that you stay on top of everything. As vague and unhelpful as this sounds, it really is the absolute best practice for maintaining a well-oiled fleet – literally.

So remember, these five top tips for improving your fleet management are:

  • Using fleet cards
  • Making the right choices for vehicles and fuel
  • Maintaining your vehicles well
  • Optimising routes and loads
  • Getting a fleet management system

There are some more minor measures you can take that can still add up in the long term, however. There are some of the most lucrative and important actions in the section below, so read on to perfectly optimise your fleet.

How to Save Fuel by Increasing Fleet Capacity

It’s no secret that fuel prices are at worryingly high levels these days. Anywhere businesses (or individuals) can save on petrol is a welcome window of financial salvation – and even the smallest saving can add up over time.

Here are some of the easiest, most efficient, or overall best ways to save fuel for your business.

  • Fuel cards: As mentioned, fuel cards are a very effective way to save money on fuel costs. While it’s only a few pennies per gallon, this can add up to a substantial saving over time, especially if your business uses vehicles daily.
  • Driver training: There’s a difference between being qualified to drive, and being properly trained to drive for a business. For example, idling with the engines for too long, leaving the engine running while making deliveries, and various other vehicle hygiene practices can be a huge benefit to the bottom line.
  • Frequent vehicle checks: Lubricant, tyre pressure, fuel quality – all of these factors lead to a healthy vehicle with a long lifespan. And the healthier the vehicle, the more fuel efficient it’ll be, saving money on fuelling.
  • Choose the right vehicle: It doesn’t take too much research to find out which vehicles are gas guzzlers and which are fuel efficient machines. Picking the right van, car, or bikes for your business will involve making sure you’re choosing an option with great fuel efficiency.
  • Fuel on-site if possible: This is tricky, because many businesses don’t have the funds or ability to set up a fuelling station at their vehicle storage facility. Bigger businesses will have depots, while smaller ones probably just use a rudimentary car park. However, if you can set up your own fuelling system, it’s a great way to save money on petrol.

Next Steps

While running a fleet of vehicles can be costly, there are definitely systems in place that can save you time and money. Whether it’s fuel cards to help you save money on costs, or fleet management systems to make your fleet as efficient as possible, there’s plenty out there to help.

If you’re eager to get your hands on your own fleet management software that can help your business improve efficiency and your bottom line, it’s worth filling out our quote comparison tool. It’s free, secure, fast, and will offer you several zero-commitment quotes from leading providers.

Written by:
Duncan Lambden
Duncan (BA in English Textual Studies and Game Design) is one of Expert Market's local Software Experts. His articles focus on ecommerce platforms and business software that allows small businesses to improve their efficiency or reach, with an emphasis on invoice financing, project management, and customer relations.
Reviewed by:
Maïté Bouhali
Maite began her career with Expert Market nearly four years ago as a writer. She quickly developed a passion for the challenges faced by small businesses and now endeavours to help them make informed decisions for their future. In her current position as Business Software Editor, Maite works closely with writers to ensure that each article is informative, well-researched, engaging, and actionable for readers. With extensive knowledge of CRM, vehicle tracking devices, and fuel cards, she is meticulous in her review of each article and provides detailed feedback before publication. Whether you're seeking to stay informed on the latest trends in business software or need guidance in selecting the most appropriate software for your organisation's needs, Maite is here to help. With her sharp eye for detail and commitment to quality, she is dedicated to supporting businesses in achieving their goals.