It’s the last quarter of the year, and your budget might look pretty lean. This year everything seemed to go up in price due to skyrocketing inflation. For small business owners, the increased pressure on their budget, especially for fuel and lubricant costs, has probably hurt. Here in California, we face some of the highest fuel prices in the country. For example, gasoline hit a record high of $6.462 a gallon on June 14th! Even with prices slowly dropping, most stations still charge over $5 a gallon, which is a giant pill for business owners to swallow.
So what can you do to lower your fuel bills? We’ve compiled a list of ten of the most helpful tips we could find.
- Track your mileage. Do you know how much driving you are doing for your business? If you don’t, you should because you might be able to deduct your business mileage from your taxes. According to Wagepoint, if you drive at least 100 miles a week for business purposes, you could potentially get a deduction of more than $2800 a year! The trick with tracking your mileage for tax purposes is that you must do it in a way that is compliant with the IRS, which means you need to create a mileage log. Your log needs to track trip mileage, the dates of your travel, the location you drove to, and the purpose of your trip. You’ll also need to track your total business, commuting and personal travel, and odometer readings.
- Join our fleet fueling program. A fleet fueling program might be one of the best ways to save money on fuel if you have several business vehicles. We offer a great program for our customers that helps reduce your overall fuel costs, increase transparency, and track all your fuel expenses, including mileage. When you join our program, you can access over 57,000 24-hour cardlock sites across the country. Using this program, you can authorize your employee’s fuel purchases and cut back on fraudulent or wasteful spending. If you want more control over your business’s fuel budget, our fleet fueling program gives it to you!
- Buy bulk fuel and store it on site.If you’d like more control of your business fuel practices, consider buying bulk and storing your fuel on-site. While it may be more expensive initially to buy storage tanks, over time, you will be able to save money when you buy large loads of fuel. You’ll be able to strategically buy your fuel when prices are lower and at wholesale prices. And if you’re worried about tracking your fuel consumption in tanks, we also offer remote tank monitoring services so you can monitor your tank usage.
- Buy with cash. Did you know you are being charged more to buy with a credit or debit card? Paying for your fuel with cash is a great way to save a little bit every time you fill up!
- Fill up on the cheapest days.Gas prices fluctuate daily, but some days of the week are cheaper than others. According to GasBuddy, Mondays and Fridays tend to be the cheapest days of the week for buying gas.
- Find the cheapest price.Prices fluctuate wildly from station to station, so how do you know where to find the cheapest price? Use a fuel price tracking app! These apps can help you find the cheapest stations to fill up at, no matter where you are.
- Drive better.If you love to put the pedal to the metal, then you’re going to end up wasting fuel. Safe driving practices like sticking to the speed limit, avoiding fast starts and stops, using cruise control, turning your vehicle off instead of idling, and reducing your AC usage all help you improve your fuel efficiency.
- Park in a garage.Cold engine starts are rough on your vehicle’s engine and fuel economy. Some fuel efficiency tests found that starting a cold engine reduces efficiency between 15-24%! Parking in a garage is a great way to keep your vehicle’s engine warm so you can avoid reduced gas mileage. Similarly, parking in the shade instead of a sunny area also helps improve your mileage as you’ll need less AC to cool your vehicle down when you start it back up.
- Keep your car in good shape. The best way to improve fuel efficiency is to keep your vehicles in tip-top shape. The more efficient your engine is, the less fuel and lubricants you will waste. So stay up to date on preventive maintenance and checks and use high-quality lubricant supplies to keep your engine running smoothly.
- Check your tires. The secret culprit of reduced gas mileage is underinflated tires. That’s right, for every 1 PSI your tires are underinflated, you lose 0.2% fuel economy, according to the Department of Transportation. That adds up over time, especially if you chronically drive with bad tires. Regular tire rotations, air checks, and switching are essential for improved fuel economy!
2 Bonus money-saving tips for Californians
Even if you’re doing your best to save money on fuel, prices still are high here in California, and they are likely to remain that way. So we’ve compiled two bonus tips to help you start saving money long-term, even here in the sunshine state.
- Take advantage of electric or hybrid vehicle tax credits. California recently passed legislation banning the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. The law is a strategic move to shift Californians away from gasoline-powered vehicles and towards electric or hybrid vehicle options to reduce overall emissions. Get ahead of the curve and purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle while there are tax rebates and incentives to help. The recent federal Inflation Reduction Act includes tax credits of up to $7500 for new electric or hybrid vehicles or $4000 for used vehicles. Not only will you save money on your purchase with these incentives, but you’ll also save on fuel!
- Join our oil analysis program. As part of this program, you’ll get customized maintenance tips based on your equipment’s specific data collected from samples. The analysis of your samples considers how you use your machinery and the type of environment you use it in, so it’s completely customized to your needs. Here in California, where temperatures tend to soar, it can be handy to have specific maintenance tips based on our environment! Overall, the oil analysis recommendations you get as part of our program may help reduce your overall maintenance costs and improve your fuel efficiency too!
It’s tough to balance your business’s budget right now. We know that, and that’s why our team is here to help. As your Chevron branded fuels and Chevron lubricants supplier, we can answer any questions you may have. We are happy to help!