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Fuel pumps

Fuel pumps: Take control

Reduce fuel costs with FPB’s new fuel card offering

HOW much did it hurt your expenditure budget when you – or your drivers – filled up at the fuel pumps?

A fair amount if our experience at Business Van Manager is anything to go by.

The cost of fuel has reached eye-watering levels: the AA says average fuel prices in April were 120.5p per litre for unleaded (or £5.48p per gallon) and 121.6p per litre for diesel (£5.53p per gallon). But, frankly, the prices seem to rise daily.

The Forum of Private Business (FPB) has taken this on board and has joined forces with The Fuelcard Company, one of the UK’s largest fuel card resellers, to help small businesses reduce their fuel costs.

The FPB says that despite the previous government’s decision to stagger a planned hike in fuel duty prices, the rising cost of fuel is hitting struggling businesses hard.

Already, increases in VAT and fuel duty between December 2008 and April 2010 have boosted the government’s fuel tax take by 12.5%. Cost increases on this scale are unsustainable for small businesses at the best of times, let alone in periods of slow economic growth following recession, says the FPB.

“High fuel costs affect the entire economy. When prices at the pumps go up, nearly every business and consumer in the UK suffers. It’s probably no coincidence that the previous record high prices in the summer of 2008 were soon followed by full-blown recession,” commented the Forum’s policy representative, Matt Goodman.

The FPB has developed a range of tailored business solutions to support, protect and reassure small firms throughout the lifecycle of their businesses. These include: Finance Director; Legal Director; HR Director; Health and Safety Director; Development Director; Purchasing Director; Communications Director; and Managing Director.

The FPB says members can access the Fuel Card Programme through the Forum’s Purchasing Director. The Fuelcard Company offers a choice of eight different fuel cards, which are free to members of the Forum.

The FPB says small businesses can better control their fuel costs and enjoy a range of money-saving benefits, including preferential fuel prices, a consolidated VAT invoice approved by HMRC and freedom from binding contracts by using a fuel card.