An illustration of an electric vehicle at a charging point

How fleets could get more miles from electric vehicles

With concern about the environment on the rise and strict emissions targets in place to curb climate change, it is hoped electric vehicles could make a big contribution to lowering the country’s carbon footprint.

However, electric vehicle range remains a worry for some. Indeed, according to a recent survey by the AA, two of the biggest factors in putting people off making an EV purchase are lack of local charging points and being caught short on longer journeys.

Yet much of this so-called ‘range anxiety’ is likely to prove unfounded. Most fleet owners should actually find the latest EVs will have all they need to meet the needs of the majority of their drivers on a day-to-day basis.

So, how can you make the switch to greener vehicles and get more miles from your fleet? Here are a few ideas.

Choose cars with the best range

It might sound obvious, but the best way to start is by looking at which electric vehicle batteries offer the longest range straight from the forecourt.

Thanks to continuing improvement in battery technology, plenty can now go some 300 miles or more on a single charge. That means your drivers should be able to cross the country before needing to plug their vehicles back in again – and shorter trips will be a doddle.

The most well-known brand in the EV market is undoubtedly Tesla, which was pioneering in the field and usually has several models in most ‘top ten’ lists at any one time. However, every marque from Mercedes to Nissan and BMW to Jaguar now also offers its own new green vehicles.

With a range of price points available, that means there is sure to be something to suit the needs of your fleet and offer you maximum ‘juice per journey’.

To provide just a couple of examples, according to the Sunday Times’s round-up of the newest EVs, the Tesla Model S Plaid will get you a 390-mile range, while the BMW iX xDrive50 boasts 373.

You can also check out the RAC’s latest recommendations here.

Drive to optimise mileage

Once you have your electric cars, you will find that the way they are driven has the ability to increase or decrease mileage. To make the most of each charge, offer your fleet drivers these simple tips:

  • Drive smoothly to reduce consumption from acceleration
  • Reduce speed, as the US Department of Energy suggests a 10 mph decrease can lower energy use by 14 per cent
  • Make the most of regenerative braking by leaving the function switched on and using it to slow down before you use the brake pedal
  • Keep heating and air conditioning use to a minimum if possible
  • Don’t carry too much weighty cargo
  • Optimise routes before journeys to cover less ground

Another notable way to get greater range from electric vehicles is to stay on top of maintenance. By keeping tyres inflated to recommended levels, checking fluids and replacing air filters, a battery’s range can be extended quite significantly.

Using vehicle telematics might also be ideal in this regard, as it will ensure servicing is scheduled regularly. It can also collect data from fleets about driving and charging patterns, helping owners see where economies can be made and training improved.

Research the best ways to charge

EVs charging up at public charging points


The infrastructure of public UK charging points is improving all the time, something that is essential given the ban of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 onwards.

According to the Department for Transport, the number of public chargers for EVs has increased by nearly 500 per cent in the past five years alone. That means wherever you go, you should no longer run the risk of being caught short mid-journey.

Indeed, with more than 18,000 charging points across the UK, it means there are now twice as many as there are petrol stations. Many are also rapid chargers to provide full power in a far shorter time, something that could be a huge bonus to business drivers.

Motorists can find them easily by looking up their nearest power points via tools like Zap Map and Apple Maps if they find they’re in need of a power-up mid-journey.

Furthermore, the government has earmarked £500 million for its Project Rapid motorway charging network and £200 million for charging network expansion, so this public grid should be ample to support most business drivers going forward.

However, it is worth remembering that some public charging points offer power at a cost, whether that’s pay-as-you-go or via an electric charging card akin to a fuel card.


Many business drivers have company cars that are taken home at the end of the working day, so overnight charging could be a viable option. KPMG suggests 70 to 80 per cent of fleet EVs are currently already charged at employees’ homes in this way.

It is worth remembering that off-road parking will be necessary in this case, though, as will a method of claiming back the expense.


As EV uptake increases, more businesses might be considering having their own charging points installed within workplaces for maximum efficiency. Of course, this will incur an initial outlay, but it may prove more economical in the long run.

The government offers financial support as part of its Workplace Charging Scheme that could potentially offset the expense, while utilities providers may also provide discounts for the electricity on a subscription basis.

More guidance on electric car charging points for UK businesses is available via the Energy Saving Trust.


It was recently reported that the RAC is planning on introducing mobile charging services for EVs, while rentable power banks for long-distance EV drivers are another option being put forward to boost range. Although this technology may be some way off, it could be another way of decreasing any lingering range anxiety for fleets going forward.

There are many benefits of electric cars and, with some research and a little planning, more businesses could soon be making the most of them. Perhaps it’s finally time to put the myths about mileage to bed and adopt greener vehicles for your fleet now. Get in touch with our expert team and find out how you can make the change to electric vehicles.

Calculating taxes with coins, calculator and toy car

Do company drivers save money by claiming for private fuel?

For drivers of company cars, it is possible to have their employers pay for their private fuel. However, the number of drivers making use of this benefit has been declining in recent years.

When drivers use their company car for personal use, they accumulate private miles. This mileage could be quite small, however if the driver were to use the vehicle in multiple cross-country journeys over the year, their private miles would add up extensively.

Therefore, having your private fuel paid for by your employer may seem like a great deal. Despite this, however, there is a reason drivers are choosing to simply reimburse their employers for the fuel instead.

Car Fuel Benefit Charge

Whether your employer pays for all of your fuel or not, you will already be paying tax for your company car. This amount depends on the specific vehicle and engine, the listed price when new, and the CO2 emissions measured in grams per kilometre (g/km).

This is referred to as the benefit in kind charge, and is added to your taxable income for the year. Online calculators are available to work out how much tax you’ll be paying for your specific company car.

When your employer covers your private fuel, you become subject to an additional tax – the Car Fuel Benefit Charge.

This extra charge can negate any benefits of having your employer pay for your fuel, depending on the type of car and your usage.

For example, imagine you are doing 4400 private miles in a diesel car with CO2 emissions of 100g/km. As a basic rate tax payer (20%) In 2021, you would be paying £1,377.60 in tax for this benefit, whilst the value of the free fuel you have used would be just over £645. In this example, having your employer pay for your private fuel is financially detrimental.

In fact, in this vehicle, you would have to be doing over 9396 private miles just to break even. This is potentially very unrealistic. In 2019, the average UK driver was only doing 4400 private miles.

Silver coins stacked in front of grey toy car

Reimbursing your employer

These figures show that the only way to financially benefit from your employer paying for your fuel is by doing enough private mileage, so the overall cost of your used fuel is greater than the Car Fuel Benefit Charge.

The alternative would be to reimburse your employer for any fuel used during your private mileage. By doing so, one would eliminate the Car Fuel Benefit Charge.

You’ll need to monitor your private mileage over the year to calculate how much you should be repaying your employer. You can do this by keeping your receipts, but keeping track of this is easier with a fuel card account.

Multiply your mileage by the HMRC’s advisory fuel rate for your vehicle. Assuming the engine size of your vehicle is between 1601cc to 2000cc, that rate is 11p per mile in 2021.

By multiplying this rate with the average UK private mileage gives us a cost of £484 to be reimbursed to the employer.

This is instead of paying £1377.60 in car fuel benefit charge, and saving £827 in the process.

Few company car drivers claim private fuel

As of 2020, only 12% of company car drivers were receiving the benefit of having all of their fuel paid for by their employer. This figure has been falling over the last decade. In 2010/11, 250,000 drivers were having their fuel paid for by their employer, costing a total of £360 million in tax. By 2018/19, only 110,000 drivers were receiving these benefits.

This is likely due to the higher than average number of private miles required by the driver to break even. Also, rising fuel prices would have encouraged drivers to evaluate their situation more carefully. They might have noticed that their savings were being nullified by the Car Fuel Benefit Charge.

If you are one of the 12% that still claim private fuel, consider using the above calculations. You can determine whether you could be saving money by simply reimbursing your employer instead.

To find out more about how your company could be making great savings on fuel, get in touch with our team – we’re happy to help.

Claiming business miles – a guide to business mileage allowance

Driving to deliver goods, meet clients or just commuting between work sites can quickly rack up costs, especially for larger fleets. Businesses can also be affected by frequent, short journeys too. But, there are ways to reduce travel your businesses expenditure.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) grants a ‘business mileage allowance’ to each company vehicle that is in professional use. There are, however, rules that could affect your eligibility. The way your business is structured can also have an impact.

Business vs. personal use

It’s very important that you clearly distinguish what ‘professional use’ is.

Some employees and business owners only ever use company vehicles whilst working. Using a company vehicle in this way would most definitely fall into professional use quite comfortably.

For employees who take their company vehicle home with them for use in their own time, personal and professional mileage must be separated and reported as such. Journeys such as commuting to and from work will not qualify for tax relief as this is not classed as professional use.

Claiming mileage on personal vehicles

Cars and vans that are classed as ‘personal’ (i.e. owned by a member of your fleet staff) can claim back a mileage allowance of 45p for the initial 10,000 miles in a single tax year. Anything above this threshold can be reclaimed at 25p per mile. This policy is also designed to cover maintenance too.

Motorcycle owners can claim back 24p per mile and this remains the same regardless of how far they travel in the financial year.

It doesn’t matter if an employee uses more than one ‘personal’ vehicle in a single year, the tax is calculated using the combined mileage of all of their vehicles.

Distinctions for company vehicles

By contrast, a ‘company’ vehicle claims relief based on fuel expenditure. The amount you can claim varies depending on the type of fuel used, as well as the size of your engine:

Engine Size Petrol LPG
Up to 1400cc 10p 7p
1401cc – 2000cc 11p 8p
More than 2000cc 17p 12p

*Advisory Fuel Rates from December 2020

It’s also important to note that these numbers aren’t static. They’re dictated by AFR (Advisory Fuel Rates) from the Treasury. Global fuel trends cause them to fluctuate: it’s therefore worthwhile checking back every three months to see if the figures have changes.

Engine Size Diesel – amount per mile
1600cc or less 8p
1601cc – 2000cc 10p
Over 2000cc 12p

*Advisory Fuel Rates from December 2020 (Diesel)

As you can see from the second table, the rates change for diesel vehicles. Most notably, the biggest change can be found in the engine size, which stand at 1600cc or less, 1601 to 2000cc and over 2000cc respectively.

Claiming business mileage allowance

Man's hand refuelling car

As you claim for fuel expenditure under a company car’s mileage allowance, the AFR pricing table is a useful guide when you’re setting a fuel expense policy for your business. This will help give you the confidence that your policy is fair and cost-effective for everyone involved.

In some fleets, drivers will pay for their own fuel themselves and then claim the mileage allowance they are owed on their Class 1 National Insurance contributions, up to the thresholds we have outlined above, alternatively, a company can pay for the fuel while reclaiming the tax themselves.

Whatever the case may be, a robust payment record is essential.

The HMRC requires that you supply all receipts and records of all fuel expenditure. Fleets that have personal and company vehicles need to keep track and make sure that their records are HMRC compliant. Generally, there needs to be a set of dates, figures and total mileage to claim back everything you’re due.

While it’s ultimately your decision as to how employees use their fuel cards, setting out a clear policy and tracking their usage is important. MileageCount  records and reports every mile of every journey in any vehicle, to help reduce your mileage claims by up to 21% and save valuable admin time for your drivers.

At Fuel Card Services, we want you to enjoy the benefits of using fuel cards without the headache and cost of unnecessary taxation. A major benefit we offer is the provision of HMRC-approved invoices.

By combining all transactions for cardholders into one monthly invoice, your finance team can be saved the effort and time going through the many expense receipts from staff, whilst also saving users time and expense at the fuel pump.

If you’re interested in the many benefits of fuel cards, you can choose from our wide range of our products. We offer fuel cards from all of the biggest brands – Shell, Esso, BP, plus many more. As a result, we’re sure you’ll be able to find the one that’s perfect for you.

Hand lifting a fuel nozzle at petrol station

Understanding fuel expenses: How can you claim tax relief?

Understanding fuel expenses: How can you claim tax relief?

If you’re using a vehicle for work purposes, being able to claim tax relief for costs like fuel expenses is essential. But do you know how to do this, and what usage will be eligible for these benefits?

While larger fleets may have systems in place to track this, for smaller companies, this is an often-overlooked benefit. However, it’s one that could offer a vital saving at a time when budgets are tight.

These allowances let you offset the cost of fuel by claiming for every mile you drive. But how should you go about recording and filing for this, and what benefits can you expect to see?

What business expenses can I claim for?

Large and small businesses, sole traders, contractors and directors of limited companies can all take advantage of mileage allowances to reduce their burden when they pay tax.

HMRC allows you to make claims for every mile you drive, provided the journey is for work purposes. This allows you to cover some of the costs of running a company vehicle.

Helping reduce your fuel expenses is the most notable benefit of this, but the relief can also be helpful in managing other running costs. However, in order to keep things as simple as possible, mileage expenses are calculated as a single claim.

This means you can’t make separate claims for individual motoring expenses such as:

  • Fuel
  • Electricity
  • Road tax
  • MOTs
  • Repairs

Importantly, the vehicle used doesn’t have to be registered to the company. You can also claim for mileage incurred on a personal car or van, provided you only claim for your business trips.

What classes as business usage?

The key requirement for making mileage claims is that the trip must have been for a business purpose. But what does this mean in practice?

HMRC has specific guidance for what does – and does not – count as a business journey, so it’s vital you familiarise yourself with these rules.

To qualify as a business journey, you must be travelling between workplaces or between appointments. In general, the guidance says that if the trip is essential for work to be carried out, you can claim business mileage on it.

There are a few additional points to be aware of. Firstly, the business usage must be the primary purpose of the trip – so if you’re taking a personal journey with a stop along the way for a business reason, this does not count as business usage.

Also, a daily commute to a workplace, whether this is from home or any other location that’s not a permanent workplace, is not classed as business-related.

How do mileage allowance payments work?

Closeup of car dashboard showing dials and odometer.

Mileage allowance payments allow employees to be reimbursed by their employer for business trips taken in their personal vehicles. Businesses do not have to pay tax on these reimbursements.

This is based on a flat rate per mile. For the first 10,000 miles a car or van travels in a given tax year, this equates to 45p per mile. For each mile after that, the rate drops to 25p.

However, if an employee takes a passenger on a journey, these trips can claim an extra 5p per mile. This requires the passenger to also be an employee of the company and be travelling for business.

What are advisory fuel rates?

For business journeys made using company cars, employers can use HMRC’s advisory fuel rates when claiming business expenses. They are also used when workers have to repay the cost of any fuel used for personal travel.

These are calculated every quarter and are based on the engine size and fuel type of the car. For example, from 1st September 2020 the advisory fuel rate for petrol cars is 10p per mile for engines of up to 1,400cc, 12p for those between 1,401cc and 2,000cc, and 17p for engines over 2,000cc.

Let’s say, therefore, an employee buys petrol for a company car with a 1,400cc engine and records 300 miles of business usage. The employer would then reimburse them £30 (at 10p a mile) for these fuel expenses, which is a tax-free business expense.

On the other hand, if they are to fill up using a company account, and travel 100 miles for personal reasons, they would be required to repay their employer £10.

Businesses can set their own reimbursement rates to better reflect their own circumstances. For instance, if they use more fuel-efficient vehicles, they may set a lower figure per mile.

However, if they pay a rate higher than the approved mileage rates, and cannot show a vehicle is actually costing more to run per mile, the excess will be considered taxable profit by HMRC.

How can I make mileage tracking easier?

To claim business mileage, whether as a company or a sole trader, you’ll need a record of your business usage.

This requires a log of the dates when any business travel took place, the purpose of the journey, the starting and destination points, and the total miles covered. You’ll also need receipts for any fuel purchases.

Although HMRC won’t ask you to submit all this information every tax year, you are required to hold on to these records for five years in order to show them during any audit.

This can quickly become complex to manage if you’re still doing it by hand. Therefore, it pays to use specialist mileage tracking tools to make this easier. This software can automatically keep a full record of any journey taken and calculate claims.

As a result, employees can save huge amounts of time that would otherwise be spent on admin. Meanwhile, firms can be confident the claims they’re submitting to HMRC are accurate.

Get in touch with our experts to find out more about mileage tracking solutions and how they could save you time and money.

What is fleet management?

If your firm runs commercial vehicles of any kind, you need a fleet management solution. Whether you have hundreds of vans or just a couple of company cars, a clear plan for keeping these running smoothly is a must.

But what is fleet management? And what tools can you use to make this task as easy as possible? Read on to find out.

The basics of fleet management

Fleet management is an approach to looking after your company’s vehicles across every stage of their lifecycle. It starts with purchasing or leasing and covers maintenance, driver tracking and fuel management. At the end of a car or van’s life, it also ensures there’s a clear replacement and disposal plan.

This isn’t just for firms with large numbers of vehicles. It also applies even if you’re only running a small number of cars or vans, and if you’re using a ‘grey fleet’, where employees use their personal vehicles for work purposes.

The goal of this is to improve efficiency, cut fuel costs, keep your drivers safe and maintain compliance with the rules. This covers everything from monitoring driver behaviour and tracking routes to having up-to-date MOTs and insurance and meeting working time regulations.

Effective fleet management ensures there’s a single hub that covers all aspects of your vehicles’ operations. This is also where the fleet manager comes in.

The role of the fleet manager

The job of the fleet manager is to oversee the day-to-day operation of the firm’s cars, vans or trucks. They have a wide range of responsibilities and so need a good mix of skills, from accountancy to strong communications and the ability to multitask.

In general, a fleet manager’s roles will include the following:

  • Controlling costs. Ensuring operating costs are kept as low as possible is a primary task of the fleet manager. This can include getting a good deal on initial purchases or rentals, as well as keeping ongoing costs down. This can be done by improving fuel efficiency or managing the use of services like fuel cards.
  • Vehicle maintenance. Keeping your fleet on the road is vital to the success of any business. This means ensuring cars and vans are regularly serviced and checked for any faults.

    The latest smart technology
    can alert you to any potential issues before they become a problem, allowing you to plan your schedule and reduce the risk of a breakdown.
  • Ensuring driver safety. As well as ensuring your fleet is mechanically sound, a good fleet manager should also be keeping an eye on driver behaviour.

    Tools like telematics can keep a full log of their actions. It can show you if they were speeding, for instance, or if any harsh inputs have been made on the steering or brakes. This lets you step in with training or advice where necessary.

Driving a car with closeup of dashboard

  • Tracking vehicles. It’s essential that you know where your vehicles are at all times. GPS tracking tools give you a complete picture of your current situation and let you make changes.

    For instance, it can show you if drivers are taking inefficient routes between jobs and therefore help better plan your operations. What’s more, it can quickly alert you to any unauthorised vehicle use or track down a stolen car.

  • Ensuring compliance. It’s also up to the fleet management team to ensure their vehicles are road legal and that drivers are meeting their requirements. However, this doesn’t just include keeping MOTs and insurance valid.

    You should also be tracking any mileage claims for expenses and tax purposes and ensuring drivers aren’t breaching working time rules. This also covers ensuring your drivers are fully licensed for the vehicles they operate. And, you’re keeping a record of any issues such as penalty points.

How does fleet management work?

This can seem like a lot of plates to keep spinning, especially if you’re managing a large fleet. However, there are a range of tools and technologies that can make life easier.

Telematics systems are an important part of this, and are used by around 86% of fleets. What’s more, mileage tracking tools, servicing and maintenance schedulers and vehicle checking apps all have their role to play.

These all fall under the banner of fleet management software – something no professional can do without.

Understanding fleet management software

Digital data with logistics in background

Fleet management software solutions are vital for cutting through the data and giving you a clear picture of what’s going on in your business.

Having all the relevant information at your fingertips means you can make better decisions about all aspects of your operations. This applies both in the day-to-day management of your fleet and for longer-term strategy, such as which fuel card to go for or how often to replace vehicles.

Fleet management software typically covers several key areas, including:

  • Driver management – Records, expenses, driving behaviour etc.
  • Vehicle management – Inventory, maintenance and repair, licensing, disposal etc.
  • Operations management – GPS tracking, route planning, fuel usage reports etc.
  • Regulation management – Expenses, tax, working hours, emissions, etc.

The benefits of effective fleet management

It should be clear how good fleet management can improve every aspect of your operations. But what can this translate to in real terms? Here are some of the proven benefits of these tools.

  • Reduced fuel costs. Smart telematic solutions can reduce the MPG of your fleet by as much as 20%, while a fuel card can offer significant savings every time you fill up.
  • Improved safety. Companies that monitor driver behaviour can see a 42% reduction in the number of safety incidents, according to figures from Teletrac Navman.
  • Less downtime. A predictive maintenance schedule reduces the time your vehicles spend in the garage or broken down at the roadside. It can cost firms up to £800 a day for a van to be off the road, so this also saves you money.
  • Better insight. Fleet management tools let you know exactly what your drivers are doing whenever they’re on the road. This means you can plan your vehicle usage more carefully and ensure you’re meeting your duty of care to your drivers.

To learn more about fleet management, get in touch with our experts to see what tools and technologies can benefit your business.