Diesel reaches 143.05p a litre high point
THE cost of diesel fuel is causing a big headache for van fleet operators.
The fuel has now hit a record of 143. 05p, higher than the peak recorded last May says the AA.
The cost of filling up a business van with an 80-litre fuel tank has risen from £90.90 in February 2010 to £ 114.44 now, the AA has calculated, having dropped to £110.07 in July.
Over the same period, the average price of petrol was 112.03p a litre two years ago and set a new record of 137.43p on 5 May 2011. Since then, it fell to 132.25p a litre at the turn of the New Year before starting the climb to the latest average of 135. 39p.
The price pressure of diesel will also be putting a strain on SMEs that have high mileage business car drivers – let alone the company car drivers themselves.
“A stronger pound has staved off this moment for longer than might have been expected, but diesel drivers across the country will have been watching in trepidation. They hoped that below-record prices would hold until the spring, when winter price pressures on diesel traditionally ease,” said Edmund King, president of the AA.
“However, the impact of record diesel prices will be felt by everyone as higher transport costs are passed on to business and consumers. With some delivery and haulage firms adding a diesel surcharge to invoices, costs will rise faster than most people expect and stoke inflation again.”
Brian Madderson from RMI Petrol, part of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, said that the rise was due to “perfect storm” of global factors including rising crude oil prices, closing refineries and pressure on supply. “By Easter we could well see diesel and petrol prices go even higher,” said Madderson.
“Inflation for diesel is now almost double that of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 3.6%.”
Madderson believed that the Chancellor’s March Budget should feature a cut in the rate of fuel duty and Chancellor George Osborne should also shelve the planned rise in fuel duty by 3.02ppl from 1 August 2012. Such a rise would result in a 4.00ppl price hike once VAT at 20% is included.
The AA also wants the government to cancel the August fuel duty hike while the economy is still teetering towards recovery.
Should you swap your business car to petrol?
Filling up with unleaded is cheaper. Read our road test on the new Ford Focus EcoBoost – New petrol engine kicks diesel into touch