RESEARCH suggests that drivers who turn their cars into mobile warehouses or offices can reduce mileage by 2% for every 3,7 litres of fuel if they have roughly 50kg of extra weight in their car.

While it might be convenient to carry extra products, equipment or even personal items in one’s car, it might cost you in the long run.

CEO of MasterDrive Eugene Herbert said fleet managers need to take the link between weight and fuel economy seriously, if they are committed to reducing costs.

“When you pay attention, managers will be surprised by how quickly a car can fill up with items, some necessary and many not. Effectively for some employees, their cars are their offices and may seem like an ideal place to store items both for work and personal effects.

“This increases the fuel consumption because for every extra kilogram of weight, the engine needs to work harder. And, working harder requires more fuel, thus removing unnecessary items from the car removes this demand on the engine while also improving the braking and acceleration,” said Herbert.

The part that relies on fleet management rather than employees is the choice of fleet vehicles.

“The weight of the car itself can also affect fuel consumption. If you have narrowed your choices down to two or three options, all with similar fuel consumption estimates, take the time to check the weight differences. If there is a difference, this could help you make the best choice,” said Herbert.

Take the time to investigate if your employees need to “shed a few kilos”.

“For every 10% reduction of weight in a car, fuel economy increases by 7%. During a time when companies are pressed to save costs wherever possible, ensure that your fuel bill has not been needlessly increased,” added Herbert.