Mike Waters' blog: 3 October 2011 - The problem that won't go away
03 October 2011
Mike Waters is head of market analysis at Arval
Just like a sprinkling of snow causing gridlock on our roads each year or England's ongoing failure to win a World Cup, there are some issues that just seem to hang around forever without any signs of disappearing. One such example is the price of fuel in the UK which has been generating national headlines for a number of years and continues to be at front of mind.
Tough times have coincided with high (and rising) prices at the pumps which for many businesses and drivers is proving difficult to deal with. Even when oil prices fall, it often isn't a reflection that the price at the pumps will fall at the same time, as much, or at all. What's more, this is not an issue that people can just ignore. Most of us need to drive whether it's for work or personal reasons so the majority of the population is affected.
Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do about the pump price which unfortunately falls outside of our control. For companies we always advise the use of fuel cards to measure and track fuel purchasing while for individuals it is essential to purchase fuel at the right price, and make the most out of the fuel that you buy.
This means purchasing from the cheaper fuel forecourts (not always the brands that you expect) and trying to avoid refuelling at motorway service stations which tend to be expensive.
You need to conserve the fuel that you buy by driving smoothly and keeping your speed down. You can also cut out miles by planning your journeys to take the shortest and least congested routes, while car sharing, walking and cycling allow you to cut out journeys all together.
So the reality is, high fuel prices havent gone away and don't look like doing so any time soon. Therefore, understanding your current spend, managing your fuel purchases and being efficient in the fuel that you use are your only options for controlling costs.
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