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Arval advises focus on fuel management rather than pump prices

Date: 27 September 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Fleets should concentrate on ongoing fuel costs and efficiency rather than forecasts about the possibility of changing prices at the pumps.

That's according to leasing company Arval, which says while predictions of price drops are positive, they should not distract from fundamental fuel management policies. 

Arval consultant Jon Friedenthal said: "Pump prices have been rising for a long time - really since 2016 - so if these predictions prove to be true, it is a very welcome respite for drivers and businesses

"However, the underlying fact is that effective fuel management shouldn't really depend on pump prices as they only have a surprisingly small part to play in minimising fuel spend.

"In fact, by adopting the right policies, it is often possible to almost neutralise any rises in petrol and diesel prices while maximising the advantages when then fall."

Friedenthal explained that the fundamentals of fuel management depend on ensuring that vehicles with good fuel economy are chosen, that they are driven efficiently, and that they are well maintained.

He said the easiest way to take control of fuel spending is by gathering data using fuel cards.

He continued: "With the information provided, you'll be able to identify which vehicles and drivers are performing well and which aren't, allowing you to take management action where needed and guiding future policy.

"Some fleets take a very proactive approach to fuel management, whatever the cost of fuel, by utilising their fuel data and monitoring the performance of all drivers against the manufacturer published consumption figures.

"This allows them to provide guidance to drivers that are performing outside of an acceptable range and shows drivers that this important cost is monitored."

Friedenthal added that a fuel card also allows fleets to potentially guide drivers towards cheaper fuel sites. 

He said: "A fuel card will let you concentrate your spend at outlets that you know to be cheaper or at which you have some kind of discount or rebate scheme in place.  

"In this way, when pump prices are falling, a fuel card allows you to take maximum advantage but it needs to be underlined that this should only be one element of a fuel strategy.

"By following the fundamentals, you'll ensure that you are doing everything to minimise your fuel spend whatever is happening to prices at the pump."