Controlling Fuel Costs

The “ouch!” heard around the country – and especially in California – this week was in response to a record price surge of 50 cents per gallon in The Golden State between October 1 and October 8. This was the largest one-week price spike in California history. Although experts feel gas prices have peaked after several record-setting days, it begs the question “can it happen again?” or perhaps, “when will it happen again?” With the uncertainty of fuel prices, having a managed fuel program is more important than ever.

“I wish we could control gas prices, but of course that’s not possible,” said Dave Lodding, Donlen President of Fleet Management Services. “What we can do though is help customers control fuel spend. It’s so important to monitor fuel expenses and have a program in place that gives you comprehensive point-of-purchase controls.”

How do point-of-purchase controls work?

Having limits in place that prevent potential abuse are key to controlling costs. For instance, Donlen’s Fleet MasterCard® Card is restricted to fuel stations only and contains daily and monthly spend limits that are set by you, based on your particular needs. “Our card allows administrators to establish spending and transaction limits,” Dave said. “Having the ability to set limits and then monitor exception reports in real-time in FleetWeb® gives you powerful ways to control spending.”

What else can be done to control fuel costs?

He went on to say, “Monitoring reports such as quantity purchased exceeding tank size, frequency of purchases, miles per gallon, and purchasing will help you understand your fuel costs and identify any areas of concern. Again, these are all readily available in FleetWeb. In addition, we’re seeing driver behavior training and telematics play a key role in cost reduction. Training drivers to understand their role in fuel consumption and driver monitoring offer a much greater opportunity for reductions than you may initially imagine, but we’re seeing good results with our programs.”

Sometimes prices of fuel can vary from a station on one block to the station on the next block. Finding the best price is important, especially considering the amount of fuel your entire fleet uses. “Depending on the size, type, and use of the vehicle, selecting a lower cost station can add up to thousands of dollars in savings each year. Our Find Fuel Discount tool works on mobile devices so it’s always with the driver.”

If you’d like more information on our fuel program, contact Dave at 847-412-5270.

Donlen Update: California Fuel Prices

The extreme price spike in California raised the potential for our fuel card customers to easily exceed their purchase limits. Donlen quickly implemented changes with our card provider so that drivers will not be inconvenienced at the pumps. We continue to monitor the situation, and we are prepared to assist your drivers with any issues that arise. We will keep you informed of any updates. If you need immediate assistance, please contact your Donlen Account Manager.

Hertz Value Lease™ Deal of the Week

donlen-hertz-value-lease-corolla-10122011 Toyota Corolla LE*

  • Estimated Mileage:  30,267
  • Exterior Color: Gray
  • Hertz Value Lease Base Price: $12,699

*Vehicle was available at the time of posting to FridayFleet. The same vehicle may not be available after this date. Photo of vehicle is for illustrative purposes only.

Contact your Donlen Account Manager to learn more about Hertz Value Lease vehicles that may be right for your application.

FleetWeb® Tips

Use the “Research Any Vehicle” feature in FleetWeb to see recent sales prices for a wide range of vehicles.

  • Type Research in the search field at the upper right.
  • Select Research Any Vehicle from the menu.
  • Select your search parameters using the dropdown menus – Year, Make, Model, Trim, and Min and Max mileage.
  • The results will show Sale Date, Sale Price, Mileage, and Region for all U.S. transactions that fit your criteria.
  • You can sort the results by clicking on any of the column headers.


Driver’s Corner

We park our cars, grab whatever we need to take, and instinctively – almost automatically – open the door to get out. But how many of us take that extra second to not only check the mirror, but look to see if the coast is clear? Last week on a busy Chicago street, a bicyclist swerved out of the bike lane to avoid an open car door and was fatally hit by a truck. That extra second could have avoided this tragedy. In fact, many states and municipalities have ordinances regarding opening doors into traffic. As more cities embrace bikes as a viable mode of transportation, you should always look in the mirror and turn your head to do a double-check before swinging the door open. This extra precaution could prevent injury to others as well as yourself.

And Finally…

And finally, when it comes to electric vehicles, it seems as though there’s no limit to what inventors are willing to try. There have been some interesting, colorful, and downright outlandish designs recently. How about a car made of bamboo? Or one designed by a Paris fashion house? Don’t like backing up? Consider the car with the rotating cabin. Some pretty cool ideas, but we think maybe the pink bunny slippers go a little too far. Check them out here and let us know when you see any of these on the street.

Have a nice weekend. Safe travels.

Originally appeared in FridayFleet on October 12, 2012

About Donlen
A wholly owned subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation (NYSE:HTZ), Donlen (, with headquarters in Northbrook, IL, is the fleet industry’s most comprehensive and integrated provider of financing and asset management solutions. Since 1965, Donlen has offered its clients highly personalized and responsive customer service, and their workplace excellence has been recognized as one of Crain’s Chicago Business “List of 20 Best Places to Work in Chicago” each year from 2009-2011, a Leader on “The Global Outsourcing 100®” list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP) for six of the last seven years, and a National Association for Business Resources “101 Best and Brightest Places to Work For in Chicago” each year from 2007-2012. Donlen’s innovation has been awarded with the Computerworld “2012 Honors Laureate for Economic Opportunity,” named to “2012 InformationWeek 500” for innovative technology; the Stevie® “2012 Gold Award for Business Intelligence Solution,” the Silver Award for “2012 Front Line Customer Service Team of the Year,” and the “2011 Corporate Environmental Responsibility Program of the Year.”