Gas is a non-renewable resource – like your business expense funds.
And like your business expenses, you want to cut down on your gas spending wherever you can. But if you have any sort of fleet, it can feel impossible, and the rising gas prices don’t help.
You’re not out of luck, though. There are tips for reducing your gas expenses. You can fuel up on them below.
Teach Your Employees Conservative Driving
Did you know that the speed and the way you leave a red light when it turns green effects your gas tank? You don’t want to do what is sometimes called “jackrabbit starts.”
If you’re sitting at a red light, obviously your car is all the way stopped. So, when it turns green, you don’t want to slam on the gas. Just like you don’t break into a full on sprint speed without warming up when you’re running.
Roll out from the red light at a reasonable speed and gradually get up to the speed limit. You can see what’s reasonable by timing yourself with the cars around you.
When it comes to your employees, they may have the best of intentions for doing this. Maybe they’re trying to get to the clients faster.
Let them know that you value their safety and the quality of their driving over them being one or two minutes earlier.
Go the Speed Limit
The same goes for following the speed limit. Did you know that green lights are set up so that if you follow the speed limit, you can hit mostly greens?
It doesn’t always stand, like in times of high traffic, but if you drive in the city, it’s worth testing out. If there’s a long street in your city where you can see the lights turning, watch how one will turn green, and then another maybe 5 or ten seconds later.
That’s this theory at work!
When your drivers can go for longer periods of time without stopping, it saves gas. And – idling (what you do at a red light) is one of the biggest causes of car greenhouse gases.
Going the speed limit is better for the earth. Plus – driving the speed limit is safer and makes your fleet/company look more responsible on the road.
Plan Your Routes
This point is two-fold. You should plan your routes beforehand because of traffic, but also to get to places in the most efficient way.
When you know a city well, you know about four different ways to get to the same place. But which is the best way, with the least traffic, at that certain time?
There’s no way of knowing unless you let your phone’s navigation system do the calculations for you.
Though you’ll need a different app or software, there are programs that take all the addresses you need to go to and plan the shortest route. They’ll rearrange the order or addresses (which works if you’re doing deliveries) so you do the least amount of driving.
It’s also a time saver – you can do more deliveries in the same amount of time. You’re not hitting traffic or looping back on yourself from lack of planning.
Capitalize on Reward Cards
A lot of grocery stores and even bulk stores have reward points you can use for gas. It depends on where you live, but both Costco and Sams Club have gas stations (near their locations).
If you buy anything for your business at a store that gives gas loyalty points, use those points as money off when you fill up.
If the store you use doesn’t have a gas station, check their loyalty program details. Many stores have partnered with gas stations to give a percentage off deals when you scan your shopper’s card. King Soopers (popular in the Mid West) works at Shell Stations.
You’re already spending the money on whatever supplies you need – why not get rewarded because of it?
Need some inspiration? Check out watchcard.com.
Use a Gas App
Let’s say you don’t do any of your shopping at stores with gas programs. That’s okay. There are apps that will tell you (and your drivers) where the cheapest gas is around them.
Gas stations can set their own prices for gas (within a small range), so the price can vary from a few cents to fifty cents between stations. Fifty cents difference doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is when you’re getting 15 gallons.
That’s seven dollars (ish) less than whatever you’d be paying. It adds up over time, believe us.
Use Credit Card Points
Again – saving money on gas is all about being savvy and creative. Do you have a business credit card? Some cards give points or cash back on gas.
If yours doesn’t, it may be time to transfer to a card that does. Or you can redeem points online, usually, for different gift cards. Look for gas station gift cards so that you don’t have to give your company card to an employee.
Gas up Your Expenses
The IRS has a national set rate for what you can write off as gas expenses. It’s something like fifty cents a mile.
If you want to write off your business travel, make sure you bring this up with your finance or tax attorney. They can tell you the regulations in your state and make sure you’re tracking exactly what you need to.
Cutting down on Gas Expenses
These are all simple ideas that can save you probably around $50 – $100 a month – depending on how much driving you do. That doesn’t sound like a ton, but that’s $1200 a year.
As a bonus tip – if you’re a food delivery service, look into contracting out delivery. Services like Postmates and Grubhub cost money to be a part of, but it’s their gas money you’re using – not yours.
Cutting down your gas expenses happens a little at a time, so track what you’re doing. You won’t see any changes if you don’t keep track!
Want more tips to run your business more efficiently and be more productive? Click here.