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Fleet Managers Warned Not To Trust MPG Figures

For several years now, consumer advocates have warned of the practice by some automakers to inflate their mile-per-gallon stats, found to sometimes be much higher than a car’s actual fuel efficiency. A new report is extending similar warnings, but this time it’s to fleet managers.

New research from Fuel Card Services found that fleet managers must be weary of MPG estimates, according to reports published Tuesday (May 26). Those warnings stem largely from a recent Which? report that found just 13 of 200 tested vehicles were found to live up to their MPG estimates released by the manufacturers. On average, researchers found, MPG figures were inflated by 13 percent.

Reports juxtapose these findings against separate research that found 44 percent of business decision-makers cite fuel economy as their top concern when procuring vehicles for their company.

"The only sensible option is for fleet managers to rely on their own fuel consumption evidence, while ensuring that they continue to refuel vehicles as cost-effectively as possible,” said Fuel Card Services group marketing manager Steve Clarke. “While fleet managers wait for consumption figures that can be trusted, they should re-evaluate their fuel procurement."

Clarke added that part of this reassessment should include a look into their fuel card providers. “Many [fleet managers] will have been using the same fuel card for years, not realizing how the market has changed significantly,” he said. “They need to reassess, comparing everything available. It makes no sense to look for fuel-efficient vehicles but not to refuel them cost-effectively."

The fuel and fleet card industry, recent research concluded, is likely to grow by $39 billion by 2019. But the market is highly fragmented, meaning fuel card innovators have a potential space to secure big revenue to meet the demands of fleet managers.

Part of that development is providing companies with data and data analytics that surveys how often a fleet driver fuels up, and how much fuel is purchased.

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