Vehicles can be a major expense for small businesses. Whether you need service vans to visit customers’ homes or smaller vehicles to make local deliveries, gas can take up a significant amount of your budget. Even though gas prices are constantly fluctuating, there are some little things you can do to ensure your fuel expenses remain manageable. Here are some tips to help you get the best possible gas mileage from your company vehicles.
How to Get Better Gas Mileage from Company Vehicles
Maintain a Moderate Driving Speed
Excessive speeds require excessive fuel. This doesn’t mean that you should force your employees to drive around at 15 mph. But if you set a specific maximum speed that’s reasonable given the speed limits in your area, it could help you save some money.
Take Highways When Possible
Even though it requires your drivers to drive a bit faster, highway driving helps you avoid red lights and other stops that can negatively impact your fuel economy. Just keep the highway driving to a reasonable speed.
Lay Off the Gas Pedal
Additionally, quick accelerations and sudden stops can contribute to poor fuel economy. While you might not be able to control this all the time, it’s a good idea to encourage your team to maintain steady speeds rather than constantly braking and accelerating.
Use Cruise Control
One way to keep driving speeds steady is to encourage the use of cruise control when possible.
Monitor Traffic and Construction
It’s also a good idea to avoid lengthy traffic jams whenever possible, as all that starting and stopping is terrible for your gas mileage. So download an app like Waze for your company phones so team members have an easy way to find their way around backups.
Turn Off the Engine When Stopped
If you do have to come to a stop for any length of time, due to traffic, a train or other factors, turn the engine off rather than just sitting with your food on the brake.
Most newer vehicles also have an eco-mode that automatically turns the engine off when the car stops. Enabling this feature can save you some gas money over the long run.
Get the Engine Tuned
Regular engine service can help you find any potential issues that might lead to poor fuel economy. So find a great local mechanic and make sure to take your vehicles in regularly.
Use High Quality Oil
Using quality oil, especially if your auto manufacturer recommends a specific type of oil, can also improve fuel efficiency for vehicles.
Check Your Tire Pressure Regularly
If your tires aren’t properly inflated, your vehicle has to work harder to go the same distance, meaning it needs more fuel.
Remove Excess Cargo
Driving around with heavy cargo or items outside your vehicle, like roof rack storage, can increase drag and make your engine have to work harder. So remove any items that you don’t actually need for each specific trip.
Change Your Air Filters
If your air filters are old and clogged, it can lead to backup in your engines, which means your vehicle can’t work at optimal efficiency. But getting new air filters regularly can help you avoid those issues.
Keep the AC Off
Your vehicles’ air conditioning systems need gas to operate. While it might not make a huge difference, encouraging your employees to wait until it’s actually necessary before turning the AC on can save you some money over time.
Choose the Smallest Vehicles Possible
If you’ve already invested in a fleet of vehicles, it’s probably not realistic for you to replace them just to save some money on gas. But if you’re looking for new company vehicles, going with the smallest possible options can save you plenty of gas money over the life of those vehicles.
Monitor Gas Usage
Finally, you can’t hope to improve fuel economy significantly if you don’t have access to relevant data. But most modern vehicles make it easy for you to track fuel economy. So you can see your gas mileage on each vehicle and use that information to identify potential areas for improvement.
Photo via Shutterstock