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10 Mobility Costs your Business might not be counting

Published on
February 9, 2017
Matt Lenton
Marketing Director
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Mobility as a Service platforms like Mobilleo are game changing technology providers to businesses as they can help identify the total cost of mobility. For too long, the total and true cost of business mobility has been an arduous task to calculate – collating receipts, expenses and emails across an entire organisation is a soulless task.

Too often, businesses only calculate their cost of mobility using just the cost of vehicles whether they are owned or leased. The true cost of mobility is comprised of much more than this – repairs, wear and tear and insurance are all added costs to a vehicle during it’s lifetime. However, business mobility isn’t just about the company vehicles, it’s all the other associated costs that can be incurred during any business journey and travel.

  • How often have you compared the cost of a train versus a flight for a business journey?
  • Have you chosen to book a train journey based on the ticket cost alone?
  • Did you consider that an overnight stay with train may be more expensive for your business versus a one day flying visit?

With this in mind, we’ve compiled 10 of the most common hidden mobility costs that you might not be counting when you try to work out how much business travel is actually costing you…

Small Food & Drink Transactions

Most business journeys incur small transactions and expenses for food and drink. Sometimes this can be as small as a cup of tea on-board the train, sometimes this can be a full meal for an overnight stay. Business journeys that require a longer duration or overnight stay are more likely to incur higher costs, yet many businesses fail to include the estimated cost during the planning stages.


A micro-journey is typically an unplanned or minor journey that is necessary for reaching the final destination. For example, you may plan to book a train to Kings Cross, but when you get there you need to book a taxi because you’re running late. You might need to jump on the Tube for just one stop, but this is still a cost incurred. Many travelers often plan the primary part of their journey but not the smaller micro-journeys. This means that small expenses like taxis or bus tickets don’t get collated into the total cost of journey, thereby giving you an inaccurate understanding of the total cost of mobility.

Booking/Admin Fees

Booking and administration fees are always notoriously hidden during the booking process. You have likely found the cost of a flight or ticket, and then gone to seek authorisation but it’s only when you go to enter credit card details do you notice an additional booking fee. Usually these booking fees are so minimal that they aren’t considered, but if you’re managing thousands of employees and they always incur a £1.99 credit card fee on every journey, this adds up quickly.

Planning Resource

Many businesses fail to incorporate the cost of planning a journey into their final total cost of mobility. Research shows that there can be up to 8 different steps in planning and booking a journey, so it can be a time consuming tasks by the time you’ve added this to tasks such as ticket retrieval, ticket distribution and expense claims. Whoever is booking the journey is still working on an hourly rate, so the time spent by them planning should be incorporated into the total cost of mobility.

Ticket Pick-up Costs

As mentioned above, many businesses fail to recognise that the simple task of running to the station to pick up a ticket can be a hidden cost. Depending on salary/hourly rate, your business can lose 30 minutes from the working day as your Personal Assistant goes out to pick up the ticket from the train station. In some instances, someone who is valued at £100/hour can easily incur a £50 cost to your business from “just nipping out”.


Whilst fuel maybe an obvious cost for business mobility, the cost of fuel varies considerably depending where you get it. Filling up the company car on the motorway could cost up to 15p/litre more according to the RAC. Supermarket costs are generally much cheaper due to more competition in the local area but if your employee uses the motorway petrol station out of convenience (it could be their nearest station) and they know you’re going to pay them mileage, they might not view it as frugally as you might.

Expense creation and submission

Expenses are without a doubt one of the most frustrating and draining tasks an employee can face. Typically many employees fall behind with their expenses, usually amassing wads of receipts on their desk. Many businesses employ archaic and difficult expense systems that only make the time more time consuming and soul destroying. In turn, this creates a task that consumes valuable time and does little to empower your employees.

Car Hire return

Businesses can be easily hit by the numerous car hire penalties and fines for easily-done violations such as not returning the vehicle with a full tank. Most car hire companies charge an excessive fuel rate meaning that the cost is substantially higher than if you fuelled the car yourself. Again, this is a good example of a marginal cost that when totaled with everything else could drastically reduce your business mobility costs by the end of the year.

Unplanned Parking charges

Whether your employee simply hasn’t planned where to park in a city centre or their planned car park was full on arrive, parking is increasingly becoming an unwanted cost for business mobility. City centre parking can cost in excess of £20 for less than 5 hours in some cities. More than often a traveler may pick the closest parking to their destination if they know that their expenses will pay for it. Some simple planning in advance with a £3.50 all day parking option vs. a £7/hour option could have a huge impact on the total cost of mobility.

Travel disruption

The final hidden cost comes when you encounter travel disruption. This may be adverse weather conditions that require an extra night of accommodation at late notice, it could be delayed/cancelled trains or it could be a broken down vehicle. Not only are their costs associated to time wasted in delay but also for solutions to try rectify the disruption. More than often, your employees may be tempted to “throw money at the problem” if they know that they aren’t paying for it. Mobilleo meanwhile, offers 24/7 account management so that if you face a problem, you have direct access to a team to help you out and reorganise your plans ASAP.

In summary…

It’s clear from the above examples that there are many small or hidden costs that are often disregarded during the planning phase of a business journey. Separately they may seem insignificant, but when combined together, they can easily exceed the original journey cost. Failure to recognise these costs when analysing the data means you’re interpreting and making poor business decisions based on inaccurate data.

Mobilleo however helps you consider all these costs and clearly displays them so that you can make better decisions regarding business mobility. All your costs can be recorded automatically within the app and you can turn what-would-be hours worth of planning into just a couple of seconds.