Latest Fuel News

High petrol prices? Here are the Forecourt Fuel Cards top ten ways to save money on fuel.

May 16th, 2013

These tips will save you money on fuel, improve your fuel consumption and will reduce the number of miles you put on your vehicle.

1. Get a Fuel Card (we would say that obviously!)

But just look at the benefits of fuel cards…..

It might seem easy to just keep using credit cards or cash to keep paying for fuel, and then process the receipts from your drivers. But fuel cards offer a range of benefits for you and your drivers.

The main fuel card benefits are:

A simple payment solution for drivers – they don’t have to pay upfront for fuel, or worry about keeping receipts, as all transactions are recorded online.

Powerful online management and reporting tools – you will be able to view all your transactions through fuel management software. You can run reports on drivers, vehicles, regions or departments so that you can understand how your money is being spent, and how you can save.

PIN Security – set PIN access for your cards so only your staff can use them.

Control – you can also specify what drivers can buy with the card, including extras such as car washes and goods.

Easy payment and VAT approved invoices – make one payment by direct debit and receive a convenient electronic bill. You will be able to view all your transactions, and receive an HMRC approved invoice. No more processing multiple payments and paying expenses; just one easy bill.

A huge choice of networks and fuel companies – you can select from a range of cards, to pick a network of filling stations that suits your company. Whether you travel mainly by motorway, locally, or within Europe there is something to suit you.

Potential cost savings – cards offer different options for prices. You can pay competitive pump prices or benefit from weekly fixed prices, depending on your fleet. By planning journeys and understanding your spending you can look for ways to save money and take advantage of the best prices.

The benefits of fuel cards are applicable to companies large and small, and with all types of fleets. You reduce your administration and the time you spend processing payments, and your drivers have a convenient way to pay for fuel.

Fuel cards are highly secure, easy to use and give your business powerful information about fuel consumption. The benefits of fuel cards are clear, and with no joining fees and or hidden charges there is no reason not to use them.

For more detailed information read our guide called,   Seven Success Tips For Choosing The Right Fuel Card For Your Business.

 

2. Air up your tyres to the maximum recommended pressure each month.
Tyre air pressure is measured in psi. For every psi below the maximum recommended pressure that any one of your tyres falls, you’re losing 0.125% of your fuel efficiency. So, if all of your tyres are 8 psi low, you’re losing 4% efficiency just because of air. Your 25 mpg car becomes a 24 mpg car just because you haven’t aired up the tyres lately. Since airing up your tyres is free at many gas stations and it only takes a few minutes, you should take the time once a month or so to air your tyres up.

3. Minimize every little bit of acceleration and brake usage.
Every time you accelerate your car, your engine starts burning more fuel, and the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you burn. Every time you touch your brake, you’re compensating for too much acceleration earlier on or you’re ensuring that you’re going to have to accelerate more soon, which takes you back to more acceleration. Instead, accelerate slowly out of stops and break as little as possible.

4. Familiarize yourself with petrol prices along your route.
Which petrol station along your route consistently has the lowest prices? Watch the stations along your route and continually compare them. Often, you’ll find that a station or two tends to have lower prices than others along your journey.

5. Minimize your heater and air con usage.
Both of these burn fuel. Simply get your car’s internal temperature to something tolerable and turn it off. If it’s hot out, roll down the windows and use air motion to bring the car’s temperature down before using the air to lower it further.

6. Use your journey home for reasonable errands along the route.
If you know you’re going to need some specific item when you get home, incorporate it into your journey. That way, once you’re home, there’s no reason to waste the fuel to drive out again. I used to find that a Post-It note stuck on my dashboard in the morning was a perfect reminder.

7. Get rid of any and all extra weight in your vehicle.
If you are storing any items in your vehicle that aren’t necessary for the trip, take them out. Your fuel efficiency gets worse with every extra pound that your car is carrying. Take anything and everything extra out of your vehicle. (Remember, of course, that safety equipment, particularly in winter, is not an extra – it’s essential.)

8. Use the cheap fuel.
Read your manual and find out what kind of fuel is recommended for your car. Most of the time, the manual suggests regular fuel and, if it does, that’s what you should be using. There is very little advantage to the premium fuel – what little there is does not add up to the cost difference for a car that runs fine on regular fuel.

9. Get your oil changed regularly and use the type recommended in your car manual.
Fresh oil keeps your engine properly lubricated, minimizing the work that the parts have to do in order to provide the power needed to run your car. Old oil causes the parts to run with less efficiency. Thus, if you want to minimize your fuel use (and prolong the life of your vehicle), get oil changes according to the manufacturer’s schedule.

10. Replace your air filter according to your maintenance schedule.
Change your vehicles air filter on a regular basis to boost the fuel efficiency of your car. Change the filter according to the recommendations of the filter manufacturer.

Keep on top of these things and you’ll get more miles for your money.

Did you know we can save you a guaranteed 3 pence per litre on diesel pump prices when using one of our fuel cards?   Visit www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk  for more information.

 

 

Fuel Prices At Motorway Service Stations To Show Prices Roadside

May 14th, 2013

Service stations on Britain’s motorways could be forced to display prices of cheaper rivals, under plans being looked at in Downing Street.

The new 10 Downing Street policy unit is considering ways of bringing down costs at the stations – which average 7.5p higher than elsewhere for petrol and 8p for diesel.

The scheme is the first major idea from the unit since Boris Johnson’s brother Jo was brought in as its new chief.

Options now being considered include introducing a rule that prices have to be visible on the motorway, rather than just when drivers reach the forecourt.

Highways Agency signs showing distances to the next service station could be adapted to feature their current fuel rates.

Another possibility is to copy the French system, where stations are also required to publish prices at their two nearest rivals.

A Number 10 source said: “There is nothing more frustrating than pulling off the motorway to find a sky high petrol or diesel price.

“Giving people more information whilst they are still on the motorway will mean a greater choice about where they fill up, and should help drive down prices.

“We have acted already on energy prices, to ensure people get put on the lowest tariff, and we will look at other areas to see what more we can do.”

An Office of Fair Trading report earlier this year found motorway fuel prices, which currently only have to show their own prices, were far higher than other outlets.

Providers will not be forced to slash their prices under the changes but ministers believe greater transparency would encourage more fairness.

www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk can show you the best deals based on your individual requirements, from your estimated fuel spend to the size of your fleet.  

Fleet drivers are warned their sat nav could be a potential security risk

May 10th, 2013

Motorists including fleet drivers are being warned to keep not to save their home address into their sat nav system after a spate of thefts by criminals using the in-car technology to find an owner’s home and burgle their house.

The warning comes from TRACKER, which says that criminals are targeting long-term car parks, knowing that it could be hours before a driver misses their stolen car. Thieves then use the sat nav or GPS system to find the destination marked “home” and burgle the house, often taking a second vehicle, using the keys found in the home.

Stuart Chapman, TRACKER police relationship manager, said: ‘UK police do regular examinations of sat nav systems to gather evidence on criminals, but now thieves are using the same methods to help them with their criminal activities. Car owners need to be aware of this growing threat and take steps to reduce the risks. We urge people to use a postcode some distance from home, rather than their actual address and mark it as a “destination”.’

He added: ‘We advise car owners to keep all navigation systems, computers and Smartphones out of sight, when leaving their vehicle, including anything containing personal information, such as letters. Never leave keys in the car and don’t hide a spare key in the vehicle, making it easy for thieves. People should invest in good security for their vehicle, including a tracker unit, as this could help police stop thieves in their tracks.

www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk can show you the best deals based on your individual requirements, from your estimated fuel spend to the size of your fleet.  

Audi’s new Connect service can show the nearest petrol stations and prices

May 8th, 2013

The latest Audi A3 will be the first model to get an in-car display of local fuel stations along with their prices.

Audi Connect comes as part of an enhanced version of the ‘Mobile phone preparation – High with Audi connect’ option. However, the new technology can’t be retro-fitted to existing cars, only added to new models.

It will eventually be rolled out to the majority of models this year, including the A4, with the TT and R8 models fitted with it at a later date.

The system works by checking an online database to list the cheapest forecourts in real time, at the driver’s destination or at a location of their choice. It will even take in to account the type of fuel needed, whether it be petrol or diesel. The driver can then prioritise the list by distance or price, and then select their choice as a new destination.

Buyers can get the fuel price feature as part of the enhanced Audi Connect option, which has to be combined with the hard disk-based Satellite Navigation Plus.

Let www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk show you the best deals based on your individual requirements, from your estimated fuel spend to the size of your fleet.    

Changing lanes safely when you’re driving on the motorway

May 7th, 2013

Have you ever been on the motorway and witnessed people behaving badly with regards to lane discipline? Peter Rodger, chief examiner with road safety charity the IAM, says:

It is especially important to check all of your mirrors regularly when on the motorway, particularly before making any manoeuvre or lane change.

Signal early to give other road users time to react before you make a move – many people will be happy to let you out if given enough warning.

Change lanes gradually. Don’t expect or force other drivers to move out of your way.

Don’t compromise your safe following distance when changing lanes. Always look out for other cars aiming to move into the same space as you from another lane.

Never get in the way of other vehicles unnecessarily. Always try to stay on the left-hand side of faster-moving traffic.

Read the overhead gantry signs – they give useful information and can help you decide which lane to use.

If you are in lane two, watch the gaps in the traffic in lane one – that way you can spot that someone will want to move out into your lane, and be able to plan your own lane change earlier, rather than having to do it at the last minute.

www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk can show you the best deals based on your individual requirements, from your estimated fuel spend to the size of your fleet.  

Avoiding accidents on UK roads

May 2nd, 2013

Road accidents happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from drunk drivers with poor reactions to overtaking on unsafe stretches of road. Whilst some accident causes seem obvious, others can be quite surprising. Here are our top five accident causes

Speeding is a major cause of accidents in the UK. Many drivers simply ignore the speed limits that are put in place to save lives. In residential areas, speeding drivers might hit pedestrians crossing the road. It is common for drivers to slow down for speed cameras, then speed up again. On motorways, speed kills because the faster you drive, the slower your reaction time is. If you need to brake suddenly but are travelling well over the speed limit, you are likely to have a serious accident.

A Driver Distracted is another major cause of road accidents in the UK. Taking your attention from the road, even for a fraction of a second, is extremely dangerous and is fast becoming the number one cause of accidents involving vehicles. Drivers may be reading a map, unwrapping a sandwich, applying make up or texting on their mobile phone. Despite the penalties incurred if you are caught using your phone in your car, many drivers continue to do so, putting themselves and other drivers at risk. Texting in particular is a major cause of accidents as the driver’s attention is diverted for a longer period of time.

Reckless Driving is another cause of accidents on the UK’s roads. It might be caused by a driver in a hurry to reach a destination, or teenagers who do not have the experience and do not take care on the roads. Reckless drivers are drivers who change lanes erratically, overtake in dangerous situations or drive too closely to the car in front of them. These drivers may also be aggressive and you should steer clear of them on the roads.

Drink Driving is a serious cause of many road accidents in the UK. Whether it be teenagers on a night out or a business executive returning from a social lunch, drink driving puts you in danger as well as those around you, this is because when you drink alcohol you cannot function as you normally would. Your reaction times and decision making is severely compromised and you should not be driving in this situation. Always organise a designated driver and stick to this arrangement if you know you are going to be drinking.

The Weather can cause unnecessary accidents on the roads if proper care is not taken in dangerous driving conditions. Rain in particular creates slippery surfaces and affects the stopping distance of a car. Rain can affect all types of vehicles. If you brake too severely in wet weather, your car may spin or skid and cause an accident.

Fuel cards give your fleet drivers an easier and safer alternative to cash or plastic at the pumps. 

Check out www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk to see which package best suits your fleet’s needs.   

We are still committed to finding a solution for high fuel prices, says the RHA

Apr 25th, 2013

While applauding the Prime Minister’s pledge to “keep going” to block future fuel duty rises, the Road Haulage Association is still, as one of the original backers of the hugely successful campaign group FairFuelUK, committed to finding a permanent solution to the thorny issue of high fuel prices.

Commenting, RHA Chief Executive Geoff Dunning said: “Of course we welcome the news that there is little prospect of any duty rises before the next general election in 2015. But the fact remains that UK hauliers are still paying the highest levels of fuel duty in Europe and this is an issue that must be addressed as a matter of urgency. Our members have to watch every penny; they can’t afford not to. This is an industry where any increase in the price of fuel or the rate of fuel duty can mean make or break.”

FairFuelUK spokesman Quentin Willson said: “The Prime Minister’s recent promise to keep fuel duty down will come as an enormous relief to haulage companies all over the UK. Road hauliers represent the lifeblood of our economy and we have to keep the cost of transport in this country as low as possible.”

www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk can show you the best deals based on your individual requirements, from your estimated fuel spend to the size of your fleet.  

 

Petrol & Diesel engines are to remain dominant until at least 2030

Apr 23rd, 2013

The Prime Minister this week has said that the Government has “got to do more” to encourage the spread of the next generation of electric hybrid cars, which he says are now becoming realistic alternatives to traditional vehicles.

However conventional petrol and diesel models are expected to remain the dominant technology in the UK for at least the next 17 years, with sales of electric cars set to fall far short of official expectations.

These are the findings of a new report, that says that it will be improvements to internal combustion engines that will help average new car emissions meet the EU target of 95g/km by 2020.

Called ‘Powering Ahead’, the report by the consultancy Ricardo-AEA has been commissioned jointly by the RAC Foundation and the UK Petroleum Industry Association and finds that the key to making electric cars a commercial success is a major advance in battery technology. However, until then these vehicles are likely to remain too expensive and too impractical to penetrate the mass market.

The report analysed the predictions made in 14 other major studies for the take-up of low-carbon cars and shows even the more positive assessments foresee only 200,000 plug-in hybrid and pure battery powered cars being sold each year in the UK by 2020.

It adds that some experts think sales of these types of vehicle will actually be as low as 40,000. This compares to total sales of just over two million new cars in the UK in 2012.

The report says: ‘In the longer term, the likely mix of technologies is extremely difficult to predict. The speed with which plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles achieve significant market shares is highly dependent on their total cost of ownership in comparison to that of more conventional alternatives. This is, in turn, dependent on factors such as oil prices, further battery and fuel cell cost reductions, and government policies.’

Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, added: ‘Estimating future sales of electric cars is not quite like sticking the tail on the donkey, but not far from it. There are so many variables to factor in that even those paid to predict the future of low-carbon vehicles cannot agree on what is in store. The only common ground amongst the experts is that we are unlikely to see as many electric cars sold as politicians might like.

‘It is more than two years since the Government introduced the plug-in car grant. Yet even with subsidies of £5,000 per vehicle available only 3,600 cars have been purchased through the scheme.’

He added: ‘Eventually there will need to be a step change in the type of cars we drive. To help achieve this, the RAC Foundation believes a target for new car CO2 emissions of nearing 60g/km is needed for 2025. This challenging goal would help preserve the impetus car manufacturers are already demonstrating in terms of technological advancement. Electric cars might eventually come into their own: but there is no guarantee that they won’t be beaten at their own game by other low-carbon technologies.’

www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk can show you the best deals based on your individual requirements, from your estimated fuel spend to the size of your fleet.  

The AA has predicted that petrol prices could dip over the next two to three weeks

Apr 22nd, 2013

Prices at the pumps decreased slightly during the past month. That is according to the latest fuel price survey from AA.

Declining oil prices on world markets and the strength of the Euro against the US dollar are said to be contributing factors to the drop in fuel prices.

The AA points out that while oil prices tend to grab people’s attention they are not as big a factor as local taxes in the price that drivers pay. Through a combination of excise duties including carbon tax and VAT, it says over 57% of the price of both diesel and petrol is tax.

AA president Edmund King said: “Last April, UK petrol consumption fell. In October, it did the same.

“And in February, the UK sold the lowest volume of petrol in 23 years of recording.

“In the past 12 months, oil and fuel price speculation has swung back and forth through the fuel market like a wrecking ball, smashing family budgets, rocking the foundations of fuel retailer and business viability.”

He continued: “The last 12 months have shown pump price volatility is more acute than ever, driven largely by speculation.”

“At least, though, the current prices are going in the right ­direction – giving drivers a breath of optimistic spring air.”

Did you know we can save you a guaranteed further 3 pence per litre all year on diesel pump prices when using one of our fuel cards?  

Visit www.forecourtfuelcards.co.uk  for more information.