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Business driver refuelling behaviour revealed in new research

Business drivers use just a handful of filling stations to refuel regardless of where they are travelling to, new research has found.

Fuelmate manager Andy Smith

Fuelmate says fleets could save thousands of pounds in fuel costs and admin fees each year by taking a new fuel card approach

Analysis by fuel card business Fuelmate of more than 15,000 business drivers with a requirement for national coverage found that over 70% – more than 10,000 – used just 30 filling stations to refuel, out of a total of 8,450 in the UK.

In response, Fuelmate says that national fleets could save thousands of pounds a year by taking a more targeted approach to fuel card provision rather than giving drivers a solution for use at practically every forecourt across the country,

According to the company’s calculations, a national company operating a medium-sized van fleet, and using around 18,000 litres of fuel each month, could save nearly £2,000 per year in fuel costs and £8,500 per year on administration costs, by selecting a card more suited to its driver’s habits.

A larger national company, operating a mixed fleet and using around 36,000 litres of fuel each month, could save a total of almost £24,000 per year by employing cards that were accepted in fewer places, but didn’t disrupt their drivers’ progress.

Manager Andy Smith commented: “The fact of the matter is that if you use a card that is accepted at practically every forecourt in the UK you will pay through the nose for it. You will pay forecourt prices or even a bit higher, and you will pay relatively high administration charges.

“By analysing the data from more than 15,000 drivers, we have found that it isn’t at all necessary to use such cards, even if you have drivers covering the length and breadth of the country. The fact is they choose the most convenient filling stations for themselves and stick with those. By intelligent analysis of your drivers’ habits, you can save tens of thousands of pounds each year on your fuel costs.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.