In a post-pandemic world, some say business travel has passed its peak. But we don’t agree. Soon you’ll be travelling in business class once again, though our approach to expenses will change for good.
Evidence already suggests U.S domestic travel is just two thirds from its pre-pandemic peak. This makes it clear some form of bounceback is on the horizon. That said, the world has changed and businesses are feeling the strain of a struggling economy. Controlling wasteful expenditure is more of a concern than ever before.
With this in mind, consider the following approaches to make your next business trip less of a burden on the finance team:
- Save road travel costs with fuel cards
- Remove unnecessary travel plans from your calendar
- Understand car rental charges and avoid extra fees
Read on and discover how to keep on top of your expenses during company travels.
Save road travel costs with fuel cards
Although the world seems to be opening up again, concern around travel remains a pressing issue. This is particularly true with air travel. As a result, many businesses are likely to travel by road, which at face value may feel cost-effective. Still, fuel isn’t cheap.
Using fuel as a key example, petrol or diesel is an inevitable expense that can soon consume your budget. While this expense is inevitable, you can put a cap on such costs using fuel cards.
Fuel cards — a tool for purchasing fuel and other forecourt items like adBlue. Many businesses save money on the open road with them (you can find more information here: icompario.com/en-gb/ ). For instance, major providers often use fixed discounted weekly rates, allowing drivers to purchase fuel below the average pump price. Moreover, fuel cards also produce tax-compliant invoices, making it easier to reclaim expenses from your trip.
Remove unnecessary travel plans from your calendar
Was every business trip you went on pre-pandemic strictly necessary? Not likely. In a post-pandemic world, however, this is set to change. With the notion of a business trip saved for the most essential of occasions, and the rest covered by Zoom (or software like it).
Video conferencing software has proven to be the crux of remote work, but there is no reason to suggest its application ends with the pandemic. In fact, most elements of your business are capable of being conducted online. So why the need for constant travel?
That is not to say business travel is a redundant expense, after all, many business interactions are far more productive when conducted face to face: industry conferences, brand collaborations, and client pitches just to name a few. So instead, we should look to limit travel to these occasions, thereby avoiding wasteful spending of the budget.
Understand car rental charges and avoid extra fees
Staying with road travel, it’s likely you’ll be renting or leasing vehicles for your trip — and with this comes many extra expenses, not just fuel. For instance, car rental company’s aim to sway you with a sea of optional extras, as well as catch you out with a bombardment of policies. To keep on top of your expenses it’s best to understand these possible charges so you know how to avoid them.
To help you along, here are some examples of rental charges you can (and should) avoid:
Insurance packages. Many rental companies (as outlined here: rentalcars.com/en/) offer additional cover on top of what you already have. Though it pays to be safe, it’s often expensive and unneeded. If you are looking for extra cover, however, you should shop around and look for a better, more affordable deal.
Damage on return. When returning the vehicle, your rental company will check for damage (dents, scratches, interior faults, and any other signs of deterioration.) To avoid taking the blame for something you aren’t responsible for, consider taking pictures (with a timestamp) of the vehicle before leaving the compound. This is solid evidence supporting your claim and will help with your future company travels.
With business travel likely returning to some level of normality, it’s important to keep track of company travels expenses.