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Global Fleet Consultant
Senior Consultant
Posted on: 21 January 2014

Fleet cost optimization: gearing up driver engagement

Fleet cost optimization: gearing up driver engagement

Cost control is paramount. But, what to do once you’ve maximized the leveraging power of issues such as purchase costs, restricted fuel and car types? We’ve been reassessing all cost factors and the good news that there are still significant savings to be made. Simply by tackling driver behaviour!

Driver behaviour: the cash facts

Ever realized how big the influence of driver behaviour is on your fleet costs? Time and again studies have shown that driver behaviour has a direct impact on fuel costs, emissions and accident damages. But what are the cash facts? We thought it was about time to show and not just tell. So we did some basic arithmetic.

Say, your company operates a fleet of 5,000 vehicles across Europe. This amounts to an average annual spend of €18.5 million on fuel and damages. Considering that 25% of lease car drivers consume more fuel than the average driver – and that they report multiple damages in a year – driver behaviour adds up to a hefty sum. In fact, such costs could add up €1.5 million annually.

Raising driver awareness in 3 steps

If driver behaviour is a critical component in controlling fleet costs, raising awareness of their impact on costs seems to be the way to go. But, how to influence driver behaviour? These three steps are sure to set you – and your drivers – on the road to cost reductions.

Step 1 – Communicate with your drivers

Everyone appreciates the pat on the shoulder. Give your drivers clear facts and figures regarding their fuel consumption and the cost of damages, but be sure to reward good behaviour. Let them know just how much they have contributed to safety and sustainability. This ‘feel good’ factor is bound to boost driver awareness, more than just only pointing out cost benefits.

Step 2 – Motivate drivers

This is all about making it personal. Don’t just bore your drivers with company policy. Engage them! For instance, by challenging them to set personal targets for reducing fuel consumption and damages. Give each driver a clear mandate and use performance results effectively with the age-old ‘carrot and stick ’ approach: reward and chastise based on concrete figures.

Step 3 – Facilitate change

Put your money where your mouth is! If you want your drivers to change, give them the tools to do so. For instance, by offering eco- and safety training, or letting them test new, sustainable  technologies. And while they’re at it, let them calculate the savings they’ve achieved and reward them for it.

Don’t just bore your drivers with company policy. Engage them!

Cutting costs … and emissions

So, tackling errant driver behaviour can result in significant cost savings. And there’s a bonus as well: we’ve calculated that if your drivers ease off on the accelerator, CO2 emissions can be slashed by 1,200 tons annually.

Make it clear what your targets regarding fuel consumption, emissions and wear and tear are. And give your drivers the chance to experience how their behaviour impacts their surroundings … and themselves.


About the author

Global Fleet Consultant

Nathalie de Vries is currently employed as a Consultant at LeasePlan International. She has worked for many years in the area of product development and product harmonisation across the LeasePlan Group and was actively involved in the setting up of the International Fleet Managers Institute (IFMI).

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