With fuel prices on the rise, how can you be a fuel efficient driver?
Fuel prices have risen for the second consecutive month according to figures revealed by the RAC this month.
The average price of petrol rose by 2p per litre in March to £1.23, while diesel increased by nearly 1p to £1.31.
Unless we switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle fuel costs are just a fact of driving.
Whether you’re driving a second hand vehicle or a brand new lease car, some basic driving tips that increase fuel efficiency are surely always welcome.
Here’s some of our top ones
- Good maintenance of your car can increase efficiency. This includes regular servicing (if your lease agreement includes a maintenance package, even better!) using the right spec of engine oil and ensuring your tyre pressures are at the correct level.
- Lose weight! Not you!! You can save weight in terms of items you’re storing in your car! Extra weight means extra fuel so don’t be a hoarder.
- On those chilly Spring mornings don't leaving your van engine running for 15 minutes to warm up - it wastes fuel!
- If you’re driving a new lease car you may have built in sat-nav! Use it! Getting lost and driving 20 miles round the houses wastes fuel.
- Drive smoothly, accelerate and decelerate gently.
- Do you really need the air con or heat on full blast? Excessive use will decrease fuel efficiency.
- New vehicles are full of electrics – but do you really need to heat your front or rear windscreens? Do you need your seat warmers on for the whole journey? By all means use these luxuries but once you’re warm, switch them off.
- Stick to the limit! Driving at 80mph on the motorway will use up to 25% more fuel than sticking to 70mph!
- DON’T coast!! It used to be common to roll down hill out of gear – thought to be fuel saving! Well, it might be but it also puts you wildly out of control of your car – please don’t risk your safety for better fuel consumption
- DON’T switch off unless you are likely to be stationery for around 3 minutes. Your new lease car may have a stop/start system but this clever kit ensures the engine only stops if the engine is warm enough to restart without any issues. You don’t want to get stranded on a busy junction.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The UK is at number 16 in the list of most expensive countriesto fill your car up!
- Hong Kong, Norway and the Netherlands top the poll and if you want to pay the least – move to Kuwait!!
How businesses can benefit from car leasing
In our latest article we’ve outlined some of the benefits of business car leasing, whether you're a sole trader or the owner of a Limited Company, car leasing offers many advantages when compared to buying a car outright or taking out a finance package
Lower Initial Rental - A major advantage of leasing is that you won’t need to spend big up front. With leasing offers from Little Green Car Leasing you can choose to pay 3, 6 or 9 months upfront and you’ll also have to pay the standard £199+VAT admin fee.
Fixed Monthly Costs - Fixed monthly leasing costs make budgeting a breeze. With leasing, your business is essentially paying for the depreciation of the car, so the total cost is usually much lower when compared to taking out finance repayments to buy a car.Your Road Fund Licence is included in the leasing cost too.
Cash flow benefits - Cashflow will be in the minds of all businesses – everywhere! If your business is buying company vehicles, how is this affecting cash flow? Car Leasing removes depreciating assets from your company’s balance sheet and the associated risks of owning a vehicle, such as depreciation and disposing of the vehicle.
VAT Claim Back - Companies that are VAT registered can claim back 50% of the VAT on the car leasing payments and 100% of VAT on maintenance. But on your monthly invoices you will be able to claim 50% of the VAT back – if you are VAT registered of course!You can’t claim 100% because there is – in 99% of cases – private use of the car. If your lease car is used solely for business – for example if it’s a pool car with no private usage – then you can claim 100% of the VAT back.
Corporation tax benefits – if you choose a car with CO2 emissions under 130g/km you can save in corporation tax as the full amount of the lease rate is 100% reclaimable against your company’s taxable profits. If you go above this breakpoint, you can only claim of the lease amount against your corporation tax. To make the most tax efficient use of a business car lease, go for a sub-130g/km car.
Maintenance -Taking out a maintenance package gives you great peace of mind and again is a good way to budget.
Reduced Administration - All of the administration of the vehicle is handled by the leasing company, saving you precious time and if you have a number of cars in your fleet you might be eligible to use free Fleet Management software such as Fleet Manager Plus – helping with administration time further.
Leasing companies will offer you impartial but expert advice. A leasing company will not try to sell you a specific make or model and will be focussed on finding the very best vehicle for you, fitting the needs of your business and the driver.
New cars have better safety features and fuel economy - Leasing brand new cars for your business will ensure that you all benefit from the safety features present on all modern cars and the fuel economy of driving a new vehicle. Reliability is also a factor, you can be confident that newer cars will incur lower costs and should anyone be involved in an accident safety features of new models will offer protection.
Rewarding your people - Employee engagement is often reported as key to a successful business and by offering your teams the opportunity to drive a brand-new car, which is replaced after 3 or 4 years is an excellent way of saying ‘thank you’ and a great addition to any employment package. The National Employee Research Survey showed that over 90% of employees feel employee recognition is important at work – a car as part of a remuneration package.
You’re in charge of choice - From the vehicle you want to drive, to your upfront payments and monthly costs you are in charge. You can also choose how long you lease the vehicle for and what your annual mileage will be.
No finance agreement should be entered into lightly so do consider the following before you agree to lease.
Budget for the future - It’s important to be certain that you can meet the payments you’ve agreed to for the duration of the contract. You might have your eye on the latest top of the range 4x4 but is this realistic ...... don’t get carried away!
Early Termination Costs - If you need to terminate your car leasing contract early, you will be asked to pay a fee, typically 50% of any outstanding rentals.
Mileage -Customers that exceed their agreed annual mileage will be charged with an excess mileage at 'pence per mile' rate set at the start of your contract. Don’t underestimate your mileage just to get a cheaper monthly cost - it won’t work out to be cost effective.
Fair Wear and Tear - Customers must return the vehicle in a well-maintained condition. Any damage over and above “Fair Wear and Tear” will be subject to additional charges. Read more about Fair Wear and Tear
Insurance - Always factor in the cost of insurance. The leased vehicle must be insured with full comprehensive cover and for business lease agreements, the insurance certificate should be in the company name or a director's name.
If you're interested in finding out more contact our friendly team today.