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Fleets spend fuel savings on new vehicles, says RAC

Date: 20 July 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

Businesses have saved 11% on fuel bills in the last year and a quarter have used the money to buy more vehicles, research by the RAC has revealed.
Fuel prices hit an all-time high of 142p/litre for petrol and 148p/litre for diesel in April 2012, and these prices have been falling steadily since, remaining at an average of 108p/litre in the last 12 months.
A year ago, petrol cost 117p/litre while diesel was priced at 121p/litre, compared with 112p for both fuel types today, RAC Fuel Watch said.
One in five of the 500 companies polled, meanwhile, said they had used the spare money to invest in hybrid vehicles, while 26% made more journeys and 22% bought less fuel-efficient vehicles.
The research also showed regional variances, with 40% of London businesses taking the opportunity to invest in more vehicles (compared to a national average of 24%) and 24% introducing hybrid vehicles (compared to the national average of 18%), while 28% of fleets in the west Midlands added electric vehicles onto their books.

"It's encouraging to see how lower petrol and diesel costs are fuelling the entrepreneurial spirit of the UK's business community. Rather than sitting back and simply enjoying reduced bills, owners are getting out on the road to drive their businesses forward," said Jenny Powley, sales director for corporate business at RAC Business. "By adding new vehicles to fleets, embarking on more journeys and covering more miles, companies appear to be doing more business, and we are certain this will be rewarded."

"The RAC Fuel Watch analysis suggests fuel prices are set to remain comparatively low in the medium to long-term, although it's still difficult to predict due to the fluctuations of the global oil price," Powley added. "But we would go further and suggest a 2p cut at the pumps for unleaded petrol would bring down the average price further, and provide more support for UK businesses."