"A recent Which? report showed only 13 of 200 tested vehicles living up to manufacturers' official mpg figures," warns Steve Clarke, group marketing manager for Fuel Card Services.
"This is hardly news, with various vehicle makers being fined for misleading during recent years," he continues.
"HGV and van users can hardly expect that [their] manufacturers' claims are any more accurate. Until this environment changes, hauliers should only trust the statistics they compile themselves."
The Which? report involved a three-year study and revealed that manufacturers' official consumption figures were optimistic, on average, by 13%.
Clarke makes the point that in a separate survey of 1,000 business decision-makers by RAC Business, 44% cited fuel economy as their top priority when acquiring new vehicles.
"It is not difficult to conclude that almost half of business vehicles are bought for their supposed fuel efficiency, but based on misleading claims in 93% of cases," he insists.
"If they had only surveyed hauliers, a higher figure would not have been surprising. The only sensible option is for operators to rely on their own fuel consumption evidence, while ensuring that they continue to refuel as cost-effectively as possible."
Clarke suggests that, while the transport sector waits for fuel consumption figures that can be trusted, hauliers should re-evaluate their fuel procurement.
"Many will have been using the same fuel cards for years, not realising how that market has changed significantly," he adivses.
"They need to reassess, comparing everything available. It makes no sense to look for fuel-efficient vehicles but not to refuel them cost-effectively."
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