Mike Waters' blog: 10 August 2010 - Making fuel costs visible in changing times
10 August 2010
Mike Waters is head of market analysis at Arval
The fuel market has seen some really interesting developments in the last few weeks and for once I'm not just talking about pump prices.
First of all the British Standard relating to the content and testing of diesel fuel, BS EN 590: 2009+ A1:2010, introduces a number of changes to the previous standard. What's really interesting is that it includes an increase in the allowable percentage of biofuel in diesel from 5% to 7%.
The biofuel concerned has to come from sustainable resources so this is positive news from an environmental perspective and an increase to 7% content is supported by vehicle manufacturers so has no warranty implications. This is already beginning to filter through to the marketplace with Morrisons now offering a bio-diesel with a higher, 7%, biofuel content.
Alongside this we continue to see ongoing developments relating to the marketing of fuel quality and performance.
What is really important for fleets to remember though is that whatever changes happen in relation to fuel marketing and specifications, the one constant is the need to gain visibility of and effectively manage these costs, particularly with a fuel duty increase due later this year and a VAT increase in January.
If businesses aren't already doing so, now is the time to seriously think about using a fuel card to not only manage this fuel expenditure but also to help reclaim the VAT on fuel. Many businesses are already losing out by not having proper systems in place to capture employee receipts in order to reclaim VAT on fuel, once this goes up to 20% in January, they'll be losing out even more. Having a fuel card is the best way to manage this process to make sure you're controlling this effectively.
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