Martin Brown, managing director at fleet management and leasing specialist, Fleet Alliance, welcomed the news that the Chancellor was cancelling the 3p increase in fuel duty planned for January but regretted the planned increase for August.
George Osborne announced in his Autumn Statement that the 3p rise in January, which was announced at the Budget in April, would be postponed and the 5p increase planned for August would be reduced to 3p.
These initiatives reduced fuel duty by 10p over the announced rises, the Chancellor told a packed House of Commons, saying that the moves would make the cost of filling up the average family car cheaper by £144 per year.
“Although any attempt to keep fuel costs down is welcome, this does not alter the fact that the price of fuel is too high and that, for companies with vehicle fleets, is their largest cost after depreciation," said Brown.
“We will still be advising our clients that they continue to try and manage fuel costs as tightly as possible, using all the techniques at their disposal.
“These include selecting cheaper supermarket fuel wherever practical and using fuelcards to manage drivers’ fuel spends more efficiently,” he said.
“There is a certain irony that fuel had become more expensive because of the Government’s increase in VAT to 20% in any case, so there is a certain element of giving with one hand and taking away with the other. But the changes announced will be applauded by many businesses which are under considerable cost pressures at this time,” he added.