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Is your fleet a victim of moonlight robbery?

20 December 2012

Some firms with fleet vehicles could be losing money to theft without realising, according to Steve Clarke, general manager of The Fuelcard People. “There are definitely firms out there who don’t know that they’re being hit by moonlight robbery,” he said. “It’s anybody’s guess how much it could be costing them in stolen diesel.”

He defined ‘moonlight robbery’ as the use of resources for personal purposes, such as refuelling a private vehicle at the company’s expense or unauthorised use of a vehicle. Steve Clarke also advised managers not to regard it as trivial, compared to the total fleet fuel bill, if a driver occasionally misappropriates just a half-tankful for their private car. “Even a mere 25 or 30 litres just once monthly,” he said, “actually equates to a £500 annual loss. Now, imagine all of your drivers filling up at your expense every other week.”

Steve Clarke pointed out that some protective measures can be implemented quickly and easily, if the firm is using the right fuel card. “Having each individual fuel card linked to a particular vehicle or driver is the best place to start,” he said.

It can be possible to set parameters for alarm activation in the event of unusual refuelling, such as unlikely refuelling times. Steve Clarke said, “If a particular vehicle should only be driven during normal working hours, you are entitled to be a little suspicious its dedicated fuel card is used for refuelling on a Saturday morning. In any case, you need to know as soon as possible via an email alert. You simply cannot rely on spotting misuse by examining the details of every transaction on an invoice.”

Steve Clarke is familiar with the refuelling concerns associated with company vehicles because The Fuelcard People deal with fleet managers every day. They help them to find the best refuelling deals through a range which includes commercial rate fuel cards valid at BP, Emo, Esso, Gulf, Shell, Texaco, Total, Q8, Jet, Gulf, Spot, Murco, Morrisons, Pace, The Co-operative, Tesco and Moto filling stations, as well as on the Diesel Direct (Keyfuels) and UK Fuels networks.

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