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The Human Factor: How Employee Behavior Impacts Fuel Mileage Reimbursement

September 29, 2023
Calculating Mileage Reimbursement

Fuel mileage reimbursement is a crucial aspect of business operations for companies that rely on employees using their personal vehicles for work-related purposes. This practice involves compensating employees for the costs they incur when using their own cars or other vehicles while on company business. 

However, considering employee behavior while calculating mileage is not just a prudent choice; it’s a strategic necessity for employers. This is because the impact of employee behavior on fuel efficiency extends far beyond individual savings. It affects a company’s bottom line, sustainability goals, and overall operational efficiency. 

In this blog, you will understand how employee behavior has an impact on calculating mileage reimbursement and what you can do to improve it.

Why Companies Implement Mileage Reimbursement?

Cost Allocation: One of the primary reasons behind computing mileage reimbursement is to fairly allocate the expenses incurred by employees who use their personal vehicles for business purposes. This way, they won’t have to worry about bearing the full cost of work-related travel expenses.

Incentive for Vehicle Use: Reimbursing your employees for their mileage serves as a strong incentive for them to use their vehicles for work-related tasks. It’s often more cost-effective for your company compared to maintaining a fleet of company-owned vehicles.

Flexibility and Convenience: Computing mileage reimbursement provides your employees with flexibility. They can choose the mode of transportation that works best for them when conducting work-related activities. This flexibility also enables them to plan their work-related trips in a way that’s convenient for their schedules.

Common Methods for Calculating Mileage Reimbursement 

Companies typically employ several methods to calculate reimbursement rates for employee mileage. These methods include:

  • Per-Mile Rate: This is one of the most common methods for calculating mileage reimbursement. Set a fixed rate, like 65.5 cents per mile (following the IRS standard mileage rate). Then, pay your employees for each mile they drive for business purposes. They’ll need to track their mileage and submit reimbursement requests.
  • Actual Expenses: You can opt for reimbursing your employees based on the actual expenses they incur while using their vehicles for work. This covers costs like fuel, maintenance, insurance, and depreciation. Just make sure your employees provide receipts and detailed expense reports for reimbursement.
  • Flat Allowance: Some companies offer a flat monthly or weekly allowance to cover the vehicle expenses tied to work-related travel. With this method, your employees receive a set amount, no matter how far they drive.

Which Tools Can Help in Calculating Mileage Reimbursement?

You can benefit from several tools and technologies that serve as mileage reimbursement calculator for your company. These tools are valuable for tracking and managing fuel expenses, improving vehicle efficiency, and cutting operational costs.

Fleet Management Software: If your company operates a fleet of vehicles, consider using fleet management software. It helps you keep an eye on mileage by providing features like route planning, vehicle tracking, and analysis of fuel consumption.

Mileage Tracking Apps: Explore mobile apps designed for mileage tracking. These apps can be handy for your employees. They use GPS or manual input to log distances traveled, fuel used, and other essential data.

Travel Management Software: If you use travel management software, it likely integrates with GPS systems or uses GPS data to track vehicle locations and the distances they cover. This GPS information is crucial for accurate mileage calculations

Using the data collected from GPS and fuel consumption sources, the mileage reimbursement calculator figures the actual mileage for each trip or vehicle. It considers factors such as the distance traveled, fuel consumption, and the vehicle’s fuel efficiency. 

How Employee Behaviour Impacts Mileage Reimbursement?

Employee behavior plays a significant role in calculating mileage reimbursement when company vehicles are involved.

Your employees’ driving habits directly affect fuel efficiency. There are certain behaviors that can seriously impact mileage.

1. Driving Habits

  • Aggressive Driving: When your employees engage in aggressive driving like rapid acceleration, excessive speeding, and sudden braking, it can significantly reduce fuel efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this type of driving can waste gas and lower gas mileage by roughly 15% to 30% at highway speeds and 10% to 40% in stop-and-go traffic. 
  • Idling:  Idling a vehicle unnecessarily consumes fuel. Encourage your employees to turn off their engines when they’re parked or during extended stops. This simple habit can save fuel.
  • Excessive Weight: If your employees carry unnecessary weight in their vehicles, such as equipment, tools, or personal items, it can decrease fuel efficiency. 

2. Vehicle Maintenance

  • Underinflated Tires: When tires have low pressure, they create more rolling resistance, causing the engine to work harder and consume more fuel. 
  • Dirty Air Filters: Clogged air filters can block airflow to the engine, leading to reduced fuel combustion efficiency. To maintain fuel efficiency, make sure your vehicles have clean air filters and replace them at recommended intervals.
  • Engine Tune-Ups: Regular engine tune-ups are vital to ensure your vehicles operate at peak performance. This, in turn, improves fuel efficiency. Remember that even a small drop in tire pressure, around 1 psi, in all four tires can reduce gas mileage by about 0.3 percent

3. Route Planning

  • Traffic Congestion: Avoiding heavy traffic and congestion whenever possible can lead to smoother driving conditions and less fuel consumption.
  • Shortcuts and Direct Routes: Planning the most direct routes minimizes the distance traveled, which can reduce fuel costs over time.
  • Use of GPS and Navigation Tools: Modern GPS and navigation systems can suggest optimal routes, avoiding delays and optimizing fuel efficiency.

Strategies for Improving Employee Behaviour

Improving employee behavior related to fuel efficiency is not only environmentally responsible but can also lead to substantial cost savings for both employees and employers. 

  • Driver Training Programs: Consider implementing driver training programs that focus on teaching your employees fuel-efficient driving techniques. These programs can include classroom instruction, hands-on training, and practical driving exercises. By educating your employees on efficient driving habits, you can significantly improve fuel efficiency.
  • Regular Maintenance Guidelines: Provide your employees with clear guidelines on vehicle maintenance. This should include regular oil changes, air filter replacement, and tire maintenance. Create a schedule for vehicle inspections and maintenance checks to ensure that your fleet is always operating at its best.
  • Fuel Efficiency Policies: Develop and communicate explicit policies related to fuel efficiency expectations within your company. These policies can cover various aspects, including setting idling and speed limits. Having these policies in place will encourage responsible fuel usage among your employees.
  • Incentive Programs: Establish incentive programs that reward and motivate employees to maintain fuel-efficient driving habits. Recognize and celebrate those employees who consistently achieve high fuel efficiency. These programs can foster a culture of responsibility and fuel-conscious behavior.

How You Can Leverage Travel Management Software to Streamline Fuel Reimbursement

Travel management software can significantly increase accountability for mileage reimbursement by providing a structured system for tracking, recording, and verifying travel-related expenses. Here’s how travel management software streamlines calculating mileage reimbursement.

  1. Automated Mileage Calculation: This software automates the process of capturing mileage and fuel-related data. It helps in calculating mileage reimbursement by integrating with GPS systems or allowing employees to input their travel details directly into the system.
  2. Real-Time Tracking: Many travel management systems offer real-time tracking of your employees’ travel. You can see the routes they take, the distances they cover, and how much fuel they use, all in real time.
  3. Customized Reimbursement Policies: You can establish customized reimbursement policies within the software. This means you get to define what mileage reimbursement rates, limits, and criteria are acceptable for reimbursement, aligning with your company’s specific needs.
  4. Reporting: These systems come with auditing and reporting tools that allow you to review and analyze business travel expenses. You can easily keep track of where your company’s money is going.
  5. Integration with Fuel Card Programs: Some travel management software can integrate with fuel card programs. This automates the recording of fuel purchases and reconciles them with travel expenses, making your reimbursement process smoother.
  6. Policy Enforcement: The software can also help you enforce your company’s reimbursement policies. It can flag or reject claims that don’t follow your established guidelines, ensuring compliance.
  7. Visibility and Transparency: Travel management software provides both you and your employees with visibility into the expense reimbursement process. Your employees can track the status of their claims, and you can access reports and dashboards to monitor expenses. This transparency builds trust and streamlines the reimbursement process.

Streamline Mileage Reimbursement with ITILITE

Experience a game-changing transformation in your company’s mileage with ITILITE travel management software. With GPS seamlessly integrated, you’ll enjoy unparalleled accuracy in calculating mileage reimbursement, leaving no room for guesswork.  

Empower your team to maximize the value of their business travel while smartly managing costs using ITILITE. The software offers:

  • Enhanced accountability for employees with an easy-to-use mobile app.
  • Streamlined approval workflow that reduces administrative burden.
  • Detailed reporting and analytics to drive cost savings.
  • A scalable solution that grows with your business needs

Don’t settle for traditional reimbursement methods; embrace the future of mileage management with ITILITE and steer your success to greater heights!

Book a demo with us today!

Author : Rushmi Behrani
Rushmi Behrani is a content marketer at ITILITE. She specializes in writing content for B2B SaaS, travel and finance. A baking enthusiast by heart, her most cherished memory is opening a cafe during her college days.

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