As the world moves towards electric vehicles we know that as a business you need to be careful about when you are making the switch, and how you electrify your fleet. There’s not just financial implications to take into account but also the individual drivers’ preferences, your ability to implement an EV charging infrastructure and managing the admin associated with updating your fleet’s vehicles.
All of these concerns are why we know that an EV isn’t always the right choice for every new vehicle in your fleet, which is why we think it’s still important to explore the other fuel options currently available. We’ve got guides to diesel and hybrids and this one on petrol to help you decide which fuel type is the right option for your business.
Benefits of Petrol Fleet Vehicles
There are a number of reasons that you might decide adding petrol vehicles to your fleet could be beneficial and we’ve rounded up some of the best reasons below:
Petrol is cheaper than diesel at the fuel station, so if you offer your drivers a fuel card this can mean a lower fuel bill for you. However, you should be aware depending on their driving style the fuel economy can be less in a petrol model.
Vehicles with a petrol engine tend to have the lowest purchase price compared to their diesel, electric and hybrid counterparts. If you are purchasing the vehicle outright this will mean a lower amount being paid out at once, or if you have a contract purchase or hire agreement then the monthly payments may be lower or for a shorter period comparatively.
Of the two traditional fuel types, petrol has lower overall pollutants. If you have a heavy diesel fleet then diversifying this with some petrol models could be a good way to help reduce the business’ overall emissions.
Drawbacks of Petrol Fleet Vehicles
As mentioned above petrol vehicles can be less fuel efficient as other cars on the market and so depending on your drivers’ driving style this can make a noticeable difference to the fuel bill at the end of the month. If you offer your drivers fuel cards then you might want to bear this in mind, or consider additional training to help them improve fuel economy.
Although petrol has lower overall emissions the CO2 they emit mile for mile comparatively to other fuel types is higher. CO2 is one of the most harmful pollutants that cars emit and so there are more penalties for cars with higher CO2. For example, drivers will pay a higher BIK rate or you will pay a higher company car tax contribution.
E5 and E10
Recently there has been a change to the standard petrol available at the fuel pumps.
You will now see all standard fuel offered is E10 which has up to 10 per cent renewable ethanol content compared to the five per cent in E5 petrol. This is a move to help reduce the environmental damage of petrol but for older models that you might have in your fleet you should check that they are able to accept E10 fuel here.
Please note that using E10 fuel in a non-compatible petrol vehicle will not require the tank to be drained but should not be done on a regular occurrence to avoid damage to the engine.
Is E10 Bad for Cars?
Most modern cars are compatible with E10 petrol and it is safe to run them on it though there are a few concerns about the negative impact of the higher bioethanol concentration fuel on the car.
In older models that do not have E10 compatible components, the higher bioethanol content can be corrosive to rubber parts, gaskets, seals, metals and plastics and in older models this can cause engine damage, dislodge deposits in older engines and fuel systems which can cause blockages and further vehicle damage.
You may also see a small drop in the fuel efficiency with the models that have moved from E5 onto E10 and this will be especially noticeable in models that have a small engine.
If you're unsure whether E10 is suitable for one of your fleet vehicles then check here.
Is Premium Petrol Worth It?
Premium petrol has remained an E5 blend and so this will be the fuel you need to use if you have vehicles in your fleet that aren't compatible with E10 petrol. So if you have an older fleet then it will definitely be worth it to use premium fuel on these models at lease.
Additionally for drivers who travel a lot and who prioritise fuel economy then premium petrol can provide them more miles for their money, even when you take into account the higher price.
Which Petrol is Right for Your Fleet?
The answer to this question is dependent on what your priorities are for fuel use. There is nothing wrong with using either E10 or E5, with the exception of models that aren't compatible, and both have their benefits.
E10 is cheaper and will be easier for drivers to find as it will be the default petrol at all pumps whilst not all carry premium petrol as an option.
E5 has better fuel efficiency and premium fuel also has a higher octane content which further improves the fuel efficiency.
Can Premium Unleaded be Mixed With Super Unleaded?
Yes, premium unleaded and super unleaded petrol can be mixed in the tank. This means that if you use both premium and super unleaded within your fleet you do not need to assign one type to each vehicle but both can be used across them both.
Deciding if Petrol is Right for Your Fleet
We recommend regularly reviewing your fleet procurement policies and, if you are able to, considering the fuel type for each new vehicle you acquire to ensure you make the right choice for the vehicle and driver needs.
You should take into account the pros and cons of petrol explored above before deciding if it is the right option for you and if you are looking at other fuel then we recommend comparing these as well to see which would be the better choice. We’ve also got this guide that compares petrol and diesel as well as hybrid and electric motors to help with this decision.