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Mike Waters' blog: 13th August: Thrifty with fuel

Date: 13 August 2014

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

It makes a welcome change to see the price of fuel falling! A couple of years ago, it felt as though every time I visited the pumps the price had increased, and even in recent months it has been edging upwards.

Fortunately, that's no longer the case (at least in the short-term) as the major supermarkets have taken the bold step of capping the price that they charge for petrol and diesel; a great boost for drivers, especially those who are about to embark on a long journey to get to a holiday destination.

As with any announcement like this though, take it in the context that this will not be forever. The supermarkets will not be able to sustain this pricing on a long-term basis and market forces unfortunately mean that the price trend will continue to rise over time.

To use a cliché - on this occasion the motorist has won the fuel battle but they won't win the war. It remains really important to take care of your fuel spend which for drivers means a number of things: firstly selecting an efficient vehicle which provides good fuel economy; secondly driving in a fuel efficient way; and third, cutting out unnecessary journeys or congested routes.

I've said it many times but it's worth reinforcing the point; you have no influence over the price of fuel but you can influence how much you use and therefore spend. Switching to a more efficient vehicle is an option that generally only comes around every few years but driving in a way that reduces the amount of fuel used is something that you should do on every journey that you take.

If you didn't already know, it's important to remember that after depreciation, fuel is the largest ongoing cost associated with a vehicle. Therefore, enjoy this price reduction but continue to be thrifty with your fuel and you will see the ongoing benefit.

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.