Ahead of the Budget the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging the Government to cut fuel duty to reduce the burden of soaring energy costs and fuel prices on consumers and businesses. In its letter, the PRA explains that rapid increase in the wholesale price of petrol and diesel have had to be passed on to the motorist. The association explains; “Our members have done what they can to alleviate the increases, but the speed at which prices have moved has been unprecedented and has left many forecourt operators with negative fuel margins”.
With the fuel shortage appearing to ease in most regions and the situation back to normal in many locations – excepting London and the South East – new figures reveal how many drivers have been affected since the crisis began.
Figures from the RAC reveal that petrol prices in the UK have hit an eight-year high, and are set to continue to rise, as demand outstrips supply. There have been price rises for nine months in a row, with the latest hikes in July being 3.4p for a litre of petrol and 2.4p for a litre of diesel.
Diesel spills from HGVs are listed as a major cause of death and serious injury on the UK’s roads. In addition, they represent both an obvious environmental contamination issue and unnecessary wastage of a fleet’s most costly commodity. A company based in the UK, with offices on four continents, TISS has innovated a range of award-winning fuel security products to tackle this issue, called TankSafe. Approved by leading truck original equipment manufacturers, the product can be fitted on new-build trucks or purchased for fitment retrospectively from distributors in 60 countries. In recognition of the brand’s global reputation, TISS has opted to rebrand the company TankSafe. TISS CEO, Ryan Wholey, explained that the “global transport industry trusts and respects the TankSafe brand, so it makes sense to fully align our identity with that.” He added that the flagship TankSafe Optimum “is far more than an anti-siphon. It certainly stops all fuel theft but, crucially, makes roads safer and protects the environment due to its unique capability to prevent overfilling of fuel tanks and diesel spills.”
In its response to the consultation on ending the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans, the National Franchised Dealers Association has highlighted dealers’ concerns and provided the Government with detailed recommendations to ensure that the transition to zero-emission vehicles can be sustained. The Government has proposed that the original 2040 date be brought forward to 2035 or perhaps earlier, yet no clear strategy has been defined.
Ending the sale of new petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars and vans by 2035 or earlier would not only be unfeasible but seriously economically damaging, particularly at a time when the economy is struggling to recover from the Coronavirus lockdown. The original date of 2040 is already a very tough ask”, said Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).
A new survey of 2,000 UK drivers reveals that almost a third (30 per cent) say that if they were buying a new car or a new second-hand car they would not know whether to buy a petrol, electric or diesel one. Younger drivers, 18 – 34s, are even more undecided with 41 per cent saying they are unsure what type of fuel-powered car to go for.
Elta Automotive Ltd has expanded its range of fuel delivery modules with the introduction of eight further part numbers under its popular VXPRO brand. The new additions cater for models including the Land Rover Freelander 1.8-litre petrol from 1998-2006 (VXPRO part number EF4082), Mercedes C-Class 2.0, 2.6 and 3.2-litre petrol from 2000-2002 (EF4100), various 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0-litre petrol SEAT Cordoba/Ibiza, Skoda Fabia I/II and VW Polo between 2002-2014 (EF4137) and VW Transporter/Caravelle 1.9 and 2.5-litre TDI between 2003-2009 (EF4138/EF4139).
Senior sources have confirmed that the Government would announce the 2ppl fuel duty cut later this year – the first reduction of the motoring tax in eight years. “The PRA has welcomed hints carried by national media that the Treasury may be considering fuel duty cuts in the upcoming Autumn Budget”, said Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA).
The retail motor industry must do more to educate customers on the wide range of fuel choices they now face, members of the Vehicle Remarketing Association were told at the organisation’s July member meeting. Both David Bailey, professor of business economics at the Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham, and Rupert Pontin, insight director at Cazana, spoke at the event and highlighted how this process would be crucial to future sales.
MOL and Total have signed an agreement in Budapest to provide for acceptance of MOL Group Cards by Total in its network of stations in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Germany. Total fuel cards will also be accepted in MOL’s and Slovnaft’s network of stations in Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Audi has announced that it is expanding its research into synthetic diesel fuel with a new pilot facility in Switzerland. The automaker has been engaged in synthetic diesel research for four years. The company announced the expansion of this project earlier this month.
The headline news from chancellor Phillip Hammond’s latest budget is that Stamp duty is to be abolished immediately for first-time buyers purchasing properties worth up to £300,000. Those first-time buyers purchasing properties over this amount won’t pay stamp duty on the first £300,000. However, there was less to say with regards to the automotive industry and business in general.
Nevertheless, the fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 has been scrapped. At the same time car tax for new diesel cars not meeting latest standards is to rise by one band next year. The good news for businesses reliant on deliveries is that this particular tax hike will not apply to van owners.