Over 35 percent of transport businesses have been forced to turn down work due to escalating fuel costs, advises leading fuel card reseller The Fuelcard Company.
In a poll of 1,480 of the company’s fleet customers, over a third (528) admitted high fuel costs were leaving some jobs unprofitable with several admitting work is turned down on a daily basis. All questioned agreed that the price of fuel is crippling the industry with some quoting 15 percent losses of income due to fuel price increases in the last three years.
“Businesses across the UK are feeling the squeeze as fuel prices continue to soar,” warns The Fuelcard Company’s sales and marketing director, Jakes de Kock. “The UK’s fleet companies are the backbone of the UK economy providing an essential service as road transport is usually the only way goods can get to their final destination.”
The survey also highlighted the measures taken by fleet companies in reducing fuel spend over the last 12 months with 17 percent reducing the number of vehicles in their fleets, which in turn reduces the number of drivers required.
“The continued fuel price increase has hit small and medium sized businesses particularly hard with many forced out of business”, continues de Kock. “Support is needed to keep these businesses afloat and we urge Government to review levels of tax applied to fuel. The rise in fuel cost will see the price of everyday goods rise steeply, fresh food become more difficult to find and many jobs could be lost.
It’s clear fleet companies are already doing as much as they can themselves to reduce the cost of driving where possible with 13 percent introducing fuel efficiency driving training and over half (56 percent) sourcing cheaper fuel.
De Kock continues: “Exclusive discounts apart, considerable time and cost savings can be made via more streamlined administration that offers greater efficiencies into the bargain. Electronic data reports delivered weekly to clients become a key management tool, as the exact fuel usage per vehicle is shown. A HMRC approved consolidated VAT invoice of all business fuel spent is also provided to fuel card users, ensuring businesses claim back 100 percent of VAT on business fuel expenditure.”