Some firms are, however, also future-proofing themselves against fuel price rises by investing the savings in buying fuel-saving hybrid vehicles.
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The RAC Fuel Watch survey of 500 business decision-makers found that more than one in four admit their staff are making more journeys by vehicle because of the fall in fuel costs. This could be because driving is now appreciably cheaper than other forms of transport such as rail or air.
RAC corporate business sales director Jenny Powley added it shows businesses are not simply banking the saved cash, but are “getting on the road to drive their businesses forward.
“By adding new vehicles to fleets, embarking on motor journeys and covering more miles, companies appear to be doing more business, and we are certain this will be rewarded.”
The fall in fuel prices over the past few years is striking: from an all-time high of 148p per litre of diesel in April 2012, the average cost today for both petrol and diesel hovers around the 112p per litre mark. On large fleets of vehicles, that’s a significant saving.
Brexit is unlikely to push up costs either: the pound has weakened, but so too has the price of crude oil – meaning prices are predicted to fall further in coming weeks. The RAC is predicting a 2p per litre cut.
Some bold firms are taking full advantage by actually buying less fuel-efficient cars – 22% have chosen larger, less economical cars as a result of cheap fuel.
More sensibly, 18% are putting the extra cash into hybrid vehicles – which the RAC says indicates the technology is now sufficiently advanced for fleets to consider it viable.