Beating the rise in fuel cost 

by Kevin Hennelly, Head of Sales at Lightfoot

As fuel prices have risen for what is now the thirteenth week running and show no sign of slowing down, it’s at times like these that it can feel impossible to reign in the cost of running a light commercial vehicle fleet.

When fuel costs are the highest they have been since October 2014 but the pound is worth nearly 30p less than at that time, the squeeze on fleet operations has never been so tight and petrol costs are becoming a greater burden than ever. It is no surprise, then, to see that fleet vehicle registrations are down 8% year-to-date.

The average UK LCV travels an estimated 12,811 miles a year. If, for example, the Renault Trafic achieves 47.9mpg and diesel (as at 01/10/18) costs 134.9p per litre, that means a year’s worth of driving will cost £1,640.20.

Looking at the same fuel price tracker, we can see that the price of a litre of diesel has risen by 12% since the start of 2018. This means that an extra £15.09 has been added to each van’s fuel bill.

In other words, a year’s worth of diesel today costs £181.16 more than it did at the start of the year.

But it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom!

Fleet operators are now, more than ever, turning to innovative fleet management solutions and driver behaviour technology to reduce their operational costs.

Technology that taps into the psychology of dangerous or inefficient driving can produce profound improvements to safety and fuel economy, whilst fleet management solutions can bring vast increases to efficiency across your business. There are several options across Lots 4 and 5 of our Vehicle Management Framework.

As petroleum fuels continue to rise in price and electric vehicles remain prohibitively expensive for the average buyer, fleet operators seem to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, as the adoption of new technologies can mitigate the erratic price of fuel and have a consistent and significant impact on costs beyond that.