It is a fact of almost every hauling and fleet management business that fuel theft is widespread and often becomes a common practice for some employees and a chronic problem for the company. An unscrupulous employee will quickly expose security gaps and opportunities for personal gain.

Regardless of the motive or method, abuse of company funds is theft and should alert company management to serious problems with its employees. Detecting this kind of abuse can sometimes be a serious challenge for the fleet manager or the responsible employee. Here are some of the most common methods of stealing fuel from company vehicles:

  • Abuse of company fuel cards

More and more companies are using company fuel cards at petrol station such as OMV, Petrol, Shell etc. It is a common problem to refuel private cars with such cards, even though petrol station staff should check that the registration number of the refuelling vehicle matches the registration number on the fuel card.

  1. Use of company car for personal needs

Very often, fuel theft is not directly linked to a specific action, but to the use of the company car for personal purposes. It is common practice for some employees to do personal business while at work, which not only robs you of fuel but also of valuable work time.

  1. Aggressive driving style

Driving style determines about 15-20% of a car’s fuel consumption. The aggressive driving style of your employees in terms of driving at high speeds, slamming on brakes, accelerating fast, etc. not only increases your fuel costs but also your company’s fleet maintenance and repair costs. More worrying, however, is the fact that aggressive driving leads to an increased risk of accidents on the road, putting not only your employee’s life at risk but also the lives of other road users. This calls for the enforcement of strict rules and procedures for the use of company cars, combined with administrative penalties for offenders.

  1. Declaring an incorrect cost rate

This is an easy way to indirectly steal fuel, possible in companies that use manual records of fuel purchases and consumption and have established fuel consumption rates. If, for example, a company’s approved fuel consumption rate is 10 liters per 100 km and the vehicle actually consumes 6-7 liters per 100 km, the employee can quickly appropriate the excess and use it for personal use

  1. Manipulating the mileage

More experienced drivers may resort to manipulating the vehicle’s odometer, simulating higher or lower mileage. In the first case, a device is connected to the vehicle that generates pulses and thus reports more mileage. Then, the excess fuel can be drained or refueled in a private vehicle, and the consumption can be represented as company fuel. In the second case, a large magnet is placed near the odometer to temporarily stop its operation. The unreported mileage is used for personal purposes. Often the schemes are well synchronized and worked into a routine by some employees.

Sometimes it is almost impossible to detect fuel theft without the help of specialized devices and software.

If you are suspicious of such practices in your company but have difficulty identifying and registering them, contact our specialists. They will work with you to resolve the issue.  Take advantage of a free consultation with our specialists by contacting us at the contact details below or by using the form below. Ask about VEM Fuel Control and the fully managed VEM Fuel Control Pro service.