Fleets are paying nearly 5p per litre more at the pumps than they did at the start of the year, thanks to a weakening pound and soaring wholesale prices.
The average price of diesel in the UK is now 145.10ppl, up 4.78p from the middle of January when diesel cost 140.32ppl, according to the AA.
Petrol, meanwhile, has risen to 138.32ppl – up 5.61p on a month ago (132.71p). However, further increases are likely.
The AA says that fleets are suffering as the pound weakens against the dollar and the wholesale prices are going upwards all due to the stock market speculation.
As pump prices are usually two weeks behind the wholesale changes the full impact of the price rise has not truly felt by the end user but as the increase filters through the consequences will begin to take effect.
The increase in pump prices comes as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) renewed calls for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to reduce fuel duty by 3ppl in the Budget on March 20.
It also wants the Government to stimulate investment in low-carbon fuelled vehicles by fixing duel rates for natural gas and bio-methane relative to diesel rates for at least 10 years.
But, with petrol sales falling to the lowest level tracked by Government in 23 years, less revenue will be heading to Treasury coffers. Also with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) figures show UK diesel sales fell year-on-year in January, down to 1.923 billion litres for cars, haulage and other uses.
This is higher than the all-time low of 1.833bn litres in January 2010, when widespread and extended periods of heavy snow cut road use. But, with petrol sales falling to the lowest level tracked by Government in 23 years, less revenue will be heading to Treasury coffers.
While the Chancellor will have little appetite to either cut fuel duty or postpone future increases while tax receipts are falling, he has been forced into this action several times already, including scrapping the January 3.02ppl rise.
So let’s wait and see what happens in the Budget, As usual we will keep all our CVSL clients up to date with how any changes in the budget will affect your Personal Contract hire vehicles or your Contract hire and fleet vehicles.