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How to save on fuel costs? Here are some great free tips!

Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Follow this link.

Recently, DKV Euro Service, ING Sector Management Transport and Panteia have combined forces preparing and drawing up a cost-saving report. This report presents haulage firms with possibilities for more efficient business operations and improved operational excellence, based on cases and computations.

You can also our cost-saving calculator to see the effects for your company!

Options along the way – hidden fuel costs

Once on the road, a driver has many cost-saving options. One of these relates to driving behaviour, but the largest percentage by far is caused by the so-called ‘hidden fuel costs’.

Apart from manpower, fuel is the largest cost item for hauliers. Consequently, small saving percentages may bring instant, considerable savings. Which, apart from benefiting the company in question is also a blessing to the environment. What, actually, are these hidden fuel costs? And – even more important – how to cut them?

Tip 1: Fuelling behaviour

Is the tank of the vehicle topped up every day, or only when empty?
Each unnecessary additional pound of weight carried by the vehicle costs € 10,- per year after all. If a 600-litre tank is topped up daily with only half this volume used each day, the unnecessary fuel costs amount to € 2,500.- per vehicle per year. So in case of complete fleets, there are considerable potential savings implied by fuelling only if necessary.

Tip 2: Where and when

Other circumstances that severely affect fuel costs are the location and the time of the fuel intake. Fuelling along the motorway simply is more expensive than off-motorway fuelling. Another decisive factor is the time of day and the country.

In Germany, fuel prices vary along with the time of day. Prices are highest around midnight and until 9 a.m., after which they tend to drop until 22:00 hrs. So, fuelling later in the day will undoubtedly be an advantage to fleet operators who fuel in Germany.

When comparing Belgian fuel prices with prices applied in Luxembourg, fuelling in Luxembourg would appear cheaper at first sight. However, when subtracting all discounts and VAT and diesel duty refunds from either fuel price, refuelling in Belgium will turn out cheaper. It is therefore important to account for all factors when it comes down to choosing the cheapest fuelling location.

Tip 3: Roadworks

External factors may also imply hidden fuel costs. They may come in the shape of unexpected mutations involving additional (hidden) costs, often regarded as an entrepreneurial risk. As roadworks, for instance, are temporary, it is hard for hauliers to account for them in advance. So it is important to estimate the additional costs involved, to be able to act accordingly if the situation arises.

Hidden fuel costs add up to a considerable amount. The accompanying study includes several examples from practice, containing calculations of possible saving amounts and the corresponding ways of saving costs.


By making use of a digital reporting system like DKV eReporting, customers get access to clear, unambiguous, individual reports based on vehicle, fuel card or cost item. This system gives an overview of and insight into all refunds of VAT and possible diesel duties. In this way it becomes simple to calculate the net fuel costs incurred for the entire fleet, enabling you to achieve full cost control.


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