The hidden cost of rising fuel prices

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By Mark Schoonmaker

It's an inescapable fact that petrol and diesel prices are higher than ever, and this is massively important to us in the UK and Europe. We are always noticing fluctuations in the price of fuel but even the most unobservant road user can't have missed the record high prices at the pumps. However, motorists aren't the only ones affected. Described below are other industries who face challenging times due to the high fuel prices, and without government intervention, things threaten to get worse:

Public Transport

For certain journeys, it may be worth considering a switch to public transport for the sake of convenience or a saving on fuel costs. However, the benefits of public transport start to look a lot
less convincing when buses, taxis, trains and the like start to increase their costs; these all run on the same kind of fuel your car does after all, and as they face increasing pressure to stay profitable, these additional costs are inevitably passed on to the customer.

Home delivery services

Free and low-cost home delivery is an essential lifeline to many vulnerable and elderly people, and a popular selling point for many customers, especially as businesses look towards the busy Christmas trading period. But with fuel prices at record levels, supermarkets and other retailers will potentially have to pass on delivery costs to the customers, as it's no longer viable to absorb these into running costs, as has been the case until now.

Haulage

Fuel is one of the major costs for haulage companies, and some rise and fall in price will no doubt be taken into account when projecting the business's profits. But while the bigger fleets in the UK may be able to allow for these unprecedented high prices, smaller companies will struggle to remain competitive as the margins become increasingly tight, and may have to cease trading. Some even forecast that the entire haulage industry in the UK could come to an end as a result of this issue.

Fuel prices are affected by a number of unpredictable and uncontrollable factors, and while it's not possible to change this, there are steps you can take to increase your fuel economy and make your money go further. Fuel cards offer potential savings on time and energy for your fleet, including detailed fuel management data and increased security, so ensure that you're well prepared to tackle this difficult economic climate.

About the author: Mark Schoonmaker has been working for fuel card companies since 2005.

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