Average national gas prices for the United States continue their upward climb causing serious pain at the pump. Data shows that prices started their climb in 2020. They made a sharp climb when the current administration took office in 2021.
In 2022, consumers and business professionals feel the inflation.
Prices for fuel impact all facets of American life. Since it’s more expensive to drive, Americans have started shopping less in stores.
It’s not just fuel costs that have risen; housing costs continue climbing too. This impacts online sales, too, and manufacturers. To save money, individuals have started picking store brands over private labels.
Increases in costs hit consumers first. Then, they hit companies; the cost of completing business becomes more expensive too. Those who have constant travelers, such as sales teams, must navigate the soaring gas costs.
Keep in mind that employers and staff also incur other travel costs such as per diem taxes.
We outline seven ways to save money on business road trips as gas prices soar.
1. Opt for Alternative Travel Options
Driving has become a way of life for Americans. In 2020, the Department of Motor Vehicles issued an estimated 276 million car registrations. The United States population stood at just over 331 million.
Pre-2020, business professionals rented 44.5 million vehicles in 2019.
In some cases, alternative travel options make sense. For example, if your team travels to busy downtown areas such as New York City, Chicago, or Los Angeles, traveling by train presents a viable option.
Flying and then taking rideshare services or cabs is another route to consider. The goal is to take the costs of gasoline off your team.
2. Travel to Regions at a Time
Business professionals who double as road warriors travel where the business opportunities exist. That sometimes means that they criss-cross the country. When fuel costs do not pose an issue, it’s a viable strategy.
However, those who need to save on fuel expenses benefit from traveling to regions instead of criss-crossing.
If a big client takes you to Chicago, set up appointments with other clients in the region. You might find that the strategy optimizes your sales and schedule too.
3. Opt for Gas Efficient Vehicles
Whether or not the rise in fuel costs is happening to push the sales of electric vehicles is up for debate. Nonetheless, business road trip travelers can explore the pros and cons of investing in an alternative energy car.
Even though the driver does not fuel up, they must set aside time to charge the vehicle. Plus, the electricity also incurs costs.
4. Consider Virtual Meetings
The costs of one-off business road trips become consequential. Frequent road trips are a different story.
In 2020, companies learned that virtual meetings provide a cost-efficient way of completing business. While human interaction remains important, consider sprinkling in a few video conferencing calls to replace some trips.
5. Sign Up for Gas Rewards
If you must drive, use payment methods that earn points toward gas rewards. Credit card companies that cater to corporate clients will offer myriad opportunities to earn gas rewards too.
The right credit or debit card will earn your points or cash on all purchases. The issuer will give you redemption choices and make the redemption process simple too.
6. Find the Best Prices
When you need to find the best fuel rates, an app for that exists. Business professionals rarely leave home without their smartphones. Therefore, turn it into your mobile computer.
In addition to cheap gas apps such as GasBuddy and Gas Guru, vehicle insurance companies and roadside service providers also track rates.
Therefore, use the apps, websites, and software to find the best prices on your routes.
7. Drive the Speed Limit
Each vehicle has manufacturer settings and recommendations. Based on their tests, the manufacturers know how to optimize the vehicle’s fuel mileage.
Driving at an optimal speed preserves fuel. This leads to less fuel stops and savings.
How long gas prices will remain high is unknown. While they hover between $4 to $7, make adjustments to fuel less. When you do pay at the pump, use methods that help you earn points. You can also obtain credit and debit cards that earn rewards from other purchases.