A Government plan to force petrol retailers to share their daily pricing online will make little difference to company fuel costs, according to RED Corporate Driver Training.
The scheme, suggested by the Competition and Markets Authority, expects major fuel retailers to share their live daily fuel prices online, giving drivers access to a database which allows them to find the cheapest fuel in their location.
The move comes amid rising diesel and petrol pump prices. While today’s prices are far lower than the heights reached last summer of £1.91 per litre for unleaded and £1.99 per litre for diesel, they are still higher than the average for 2023 – and rising: unleaded prices are increasing by an average of 1.3% per week, while diesel prices are going up by 1.4% per week. (Figures taken from the Government’s weekly fuel prices report.)
While the scheme will not be complusory, the Government expects all retailers to join it in advance of a mandatory scheme being implemented at a later date. It believes that drivers will use this to search out cheaper prices, even if it means driving for a few miles extra to fill up.
RED Corporate Driver Training’s CEO, Seb Goldin, does not believe the scheme will make much of a difference. He said: “This is the Government tinkering around the edges. The only way to reduce fuel costs for businesses is to get your employees to drive better.
“With better training fleets can take more proactive steps and take cost reduction strategies out of the hands of politicians.” RED’s Fuelsave driving course has proved to offer significant savings on fuel costs for businesses.
After its Fuelsave course, RED found that a standard white diesel van doing 30,000 miles per annum made an average fuel saving of 11.3% (improving from an average of 27mpg to 30mpg) – equating to an annual saving per vehicle of £734, based on diesel at 145p per litre. (Notes to editors: Van at 30mpg for 30,000 miles = £6,601, Van at 27mpg for 30,000 miles = £7,335, Difference = £734.)
Drivers have reported that the new driving style they are taught on the course is also more relaxing, and they make progress more efficiently, resulting in journey times decreasing by 3.6%.
Based on a 40-hour driving week, this equates to 75 hours saved per year, per driver, or a saving of 1.5 hours each week, while the CO2 reduction based on the above scenario is 1,548.40 kg of CO2 per vehicle per year for a diesel vehicle, or 1,412.47 kg for a petrol one.
Goldin added: “With the huge uptake in our Fuelsave course this year, it’s clear that fleets realise economical driving is still a hugely important skill. “With reduced demand at the pump as drivers switch to electric – and therefore higher prices as oil companies look to retain profit margins – the days of low diesel and petrol prices may well be over.
“That may not be a problem for drivers in electric cars, but for fleets which rely on diesel vans and trucks, it could be a significant financial burden. In this case, Fuelsave training can help mitigate against these cost rises.”