The impact of sky-high fuel prices on your business

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - 08:59
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IMPACT: Leah Jarrat gives her verdict

In our latest Expert Blog, Leah Jarrat, of MF Fuel Cards, addresses the impact of sky-high fuel prices on fleets…

Rising fuel costs are a concern across the country, for individuals and businesses alike.

Businesses, especially those focused around transport and using vehicles on a daily basis, are looking for the best ways to save as much money as possible to combat the continual increase – but what brought about this situation, and what can be done to solve it?

How is the situation developing?

There’s no one factor to be blamed for the increasing costs, but all the small factors are contributing to one bigger problem that does not look like subsiding anytime soon.

Fuel tax, import costs and profit margins of oil companies are all involved in pushing the price up and costing motorists almost £15 more a month than this time last year.

In a business, especially those with large fleets, that £15 adds up very quickly and presents a serious problem.

With oil companies pushing for bigger profits, drivers are being forced into a corner.

Even the cost of getting to and from work on a daily basis is impacting how much money can be spent on other things – yet this is an essential cost that is not being balanced out by the rest of the economy.

If people cannot afford to even get to work, what hope does a business have with no staff available to do the work?

This is the problem some motorists have highlighted and if they have to work to a budget, then businesses must do the same.

Working to a budget

It can be hard to budget your fleet, accounting for the costs involved for each vehicle – especially if a business is reliant on being mobile.

Budgets will change for each vehicle, as well as accounting for the different roles drivers have.

This is hard to manage and keep track of but takes a lot of time to do.

There are ways you can improve this, though.

Fuel cards are a fantastic way to manage and control how much is being spent on fuel by each of your drivers.

MF Fuel Cards have a range of products to choose from to suit any business, as well as online management software that can be used to produce reports on each fuel card, collating information on when and where transactions are happening and for how much.

Businesses can also impose restrictions to ensure the cards are being used properly.

Some other options

The AA have a number of tips that can make your vehicle’s fuel consumption better, including removing excess weight, driving at consistent speeds and vehicle maintenance and regular oil changes.

By making drivers adhere to these factors, the total fuel spend will drop dramatically.

Other options a business can look at include investing in hybrid technology that will cut down on fuel consumption and spend – but it is worth ensuring this is going to be of benefit to the business first.

If you operate locally, and even regionally, there might be more time spent on shorter routes and full petrol engines can be more efficient as you won’t be able to make the most of the hybrid technology in urban areas, unlike on motorways or longer journeys.

Image courtesy of boegh, with thanks.