Many fleets are now preparing for the impending fuel price rises.
According to exclusive research for Fleet200, which quizzed the largest fleets in 10 industry sectors such as blue light fleets and fleets run by construction companies, 37% are predicting a rise in their fuel spend next year, with 15% expecting the amount they spend on fuel will rise by 10% or more in 2011.
However a quarter said they do not expect their fuel spend to increase next year.
The vast majority of the respondents – 83% - to a Fleet News poll, which received one of the highest response rates this year, said they are now using fuel cards to help manage their fuel costs.
This confirms findings by Arval, which found that 71% of fleets with five or more vehicles are now using fuel cards.
Of those responding to the Fleet News survey, the overriding theme was that fuel cards save not just on fuel costs, but also on administration and driver time.
They also provide data on vehicle and driver performance and spending habits, which can have a dramatic effect on fuel costs.
“Fuel cards are an invaluable tool to manage fuel expenditure,” said one respondent. “As well as offering competitive pricing, cards offer useful management tools and information that help to control overall fuel usage and CO2 monitoring.”
Another said fuel cards mean “no paperwork expense claims, less fraud and better reporting”.
Meryl Gilbert, head of business development – fuel at Arval, agrees: “Fuel cards can provide a lot of valuable data that can help create a fuel policy to change habits.”