You might think that idling is a harmless habit that doesn’t make much of a dent in your bottom line. But idling can actually end up costing you more money than you realize. Let’s take a look at how much fuel is wasted when we idle and why it’s important to avoid this problem. 

How Much Fuel Does Idling Waste? 

A ton! Vehicles idling combine to waste nearly 6 billion gallons of fuel per year, and cost owners more than $20 billion. That’s a billion with a B. And idling consumes fuel without moving the vehicle, which means you’re wasting both energy and money without doing any work. 

 According to Idle Free California, an organization dedicated to reducing the amount of time that vehicles are left running while they are parked or stopped, idling wastes an average of 0.9 gallons per hour in most vehicles. That might not sound like much, but if you’re leaving your light-duty truck running for 20 minutes each day, that adds up to 18 gallons of gas wasted every year! If your car gets 15 miles per gallon and you drive 11,000 miles per year, that equates to almost one full tank of gas. And that’s just from idling your car for 20 minutes a day! The data is worse with diesel-powered vehicles. Diesel engines tend to use more fuel when they are left running for long periods of time. And if you own a fleet of vehicles, such as delivery vans or company cars, this wasted fuel adds up quickly! 

When your employees are out on deliveries or making service calls in their company vehicles, it’s important to remind them to turn off the engine when they have to wait for more than 10 seconds at each stop. Even a few minutes of idling can add up over time, so it’s important to encourage good driving habits like turning off the engine whenever possible. 

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What Are The Environmental Effects Of Idling? 

Not only does idling waste fuel and cost us money; but it also has serious environmental consequences. Every gallon of gasoline burned emits about 20 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere; so if we do the math based on what we know about fuel consumption caused by idling, then idling for one hour generates 17.6 pounds of CO2 emission into the atmosphere! Multiply this number by the number of cars on the road every day and you can see how quickly these emissions add up over time and contribute significantly to climate change and air pollution issues around the world. 

What Can You Do About it?

Knowledge is power! With a fleet management system like GPS Trackit, you can get real-time information about all your vehicles. You’ll know how fast they go, how long they idle, and how aggressively (or carefully) they’re being driven. With that information, you can make more specific policies and train crews to drive more efficiently. GPS Trackit clients usually save more than 10 percent on their fuel costs within 30 days of installing the system. That savings alone often covers the cost of installing the fleet management system


It only takes 20 minutes to find out exactly how much money you can save with GPS Trackit. Talk to one of our Fleet Advisors today for a free, personalized demo.