A strategic guide to identifying and preventing fleet fuel fraud
November 13, 2023
When looking at your total fleet operating costs, it’s likely that fuel is amongst the highest expenses of your overall fleet spend composition. In fact, fuel accounts for 27% of U.S. and 35% of Canada fleet spend*, representing a significant amount of your fleet budget.
While the cost of fuel is a factor that can’t be controlled, are you aware of the silent threat that could be eroding your fleet's profitability? Fleet fuel fraud is an often-overlooked issue that can significantly impact your bottom line. It is an aspect of fleet fuel spend that, when monitored and addressed appropriately, could reduce fuel expenses.
We traditionally find that 1-3% of all fleet fuel transactions are fraudulent. Our partner, Motorq, finds that there may be even more fuel misuse – between 3-5% – which can be exposed by analyzing combined fuel transaction data with telematics data.
Element Fleet Management can help you uncover fuel fraud-related savings while bolstering your fleet’s productivity.
What is fleet fuel fraud?
Fuel fraud might seem like a shadowy concept, but it's a tangible problem that can have real consequences for your fleet. This all-encompassing term refers to the misappropriation of company resources that are intended to be used for fueling fleet vehicles. Imagine discovering that your fleet operations, which you’ve meticulously planned and executed, are being undermined by fraudulent practices. This is a hurdle that can significantly impact your fleet’s financial health.
Examples of fleet fuel fraud include the misuse of fleet fuel cards to make purchases for items other than fuel such as unauthorized items from the gas station store or fuel theft through purchasing fuel for an unauthorized, non-fleet vehicle. Fleet fuel fraud comes in many forms and remaining vigilant in monitoring fuel transactions can save your fleet’s bottom line from costly misuse.
Fuel fraud warning signs
You might be asking yourself, “how do I identify fuel fraud?” or “how can I prevent fleet fuel fraud all together?” The first step to preventing fuel fraud is knowing what the warning signs are. Monitoring the fuel spend for hundreds or even thousands of fleet vehicles to identify potential fuel fraud can feel like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be.
Preventing fleet fuel fraud
Preventing fuel fraud is a multi-step process that requires diligence, technology, and strategy. With Element Fleet Management as your partner, we can help you identify and prevent fuel misuse through traditional and telematics connected data methods.
Fleet fuel cards provide purchase controls and security
Implementation of a fleet-wide fuel card provides a foundation of protection tailored to the specific needs of your fleet. Designed purposely for fleets, your fuel service card puts you in control to reduce fuel costs and protect against fraud through security and authorization settings such as:
- Driver personal identification numbers (PINs) for card use,
- Transaction limitation configurations,
- Detailed exception reporting and fraud monitoring and more.
How telematics can help fleet managers identify and prevent fuel fraud
A fleet fuel card coupled with Element’s breakthrough technology, empowers you with on-demand, custom reporting and real-time vehicle data to continuously improve margins while enhancing driver experience. We focus on designing fleet management solutions specific to the needs of your organization, helping you balance fleet productivity, driver satisfaction, and cost management. With the artificial intelligence and visual storytelling of Fuel EKGTM, you can easily identify additional fleet fuel exceptions such as:
Location mismatch: A fuel card being used without the appropriate vehicle present or at an abnormal fill-up location.
Excess volume: Filling more frequently than needed, or over the total tank capacity or the expected, remaining tank capacity,.
Card mismatch: Use of the fuel card with the incorrect vehicle, often identified in pool car scenarios.
Fuel type mismatch: Purchasing the incorrect type of fuel for a fleet vehicle.
Secure your fleet fuel program
We understand that managing a fleet is more than just vehicles and fuel. It's about financial resilience, stability, and transforming your fleet into a strategic asset. Beyond fuel card fraud and misuse, a connected fleet has an advantage to identify driver behaviors that, once corrected, can save costs for your fleet.
Don't let fuel fraud undermine your fleet operations. Take control today with Element Fleet Management - your trusted partner in combating fleet fuel fraud and unlocking your fleet's potential.
Never miss an update
Subscribe for more news and thought leadership from Element.