Falling fuel prices

The potential downside of falling fuel prices

  • 18 Dec 2015

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The Fuelcard People’s Steve Clarke has warned van users that falling fuel prices can bring problems of their own, following the price of Brent crude falling below $40 per barrel for the first time in six years.

Steve Clarke, the Group Marketing Manager, commented: “We expect continuing global price drops to be reflected at the pumps, with the RAC predicting a sub-£1 litre by Christmas. Any saving soon disappears, though, when drivers go off-route to hunt for bargains. Meanwhile, most of the price is accounted for by taxes and, if you have the wrong fuel card, transaction charges.”

He noted that a driver going three miles and back to a ‘cheaper’ forecourt to save 1 pence per litre could need to pump 60 litres of fuel simply to recoup the fuel used for the diversion.

“It can become a game between colleagues, with drivers competing to boast of how little they pay to refuel. As they are not responsible for the bills, it does not bother them how far off-route the ‘winning’ can take them. With the right fuel card, they should not need to divert at all to save on pump prices.”

Fuel cards issued by The Fuelcard People offer fixed weekly pricing which are generally cheaper than pump prices no matter where a van user chooses to refuel.

He pointed out that fuel cards are not all the same, and that van users all have differing refuelling needs which The Fuelcard People can cater to: 

“Some users may not realise that most ‘pump price’ fuel cards are nothing of the kind. It is common for a transaction charge, £2 or more, to be added regardless of the quantity bought. If a ‘pump price’ forecourt is 1p per litre cheaper than neighbouring fixed-price alternatives, you could need to buy at least 200 litres just to break even.

“This is the perfect time for anyone with vans to reassess their needs and compare the whole fuel card market. Ideally, they should talk to a supplier that can offer both fixed-price and pump price options, to avoid costly compromises.”

The Fuelcard People reduces refuelling costs for thousands of van users per day, typically by up to 4 pence per litre for both diesel and petrol. The company offers commercial rate, fixed-price and pump price fuel cards, covering more than 7,600 forecourts across the UK.

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