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Crunching the Costs of International Haulage

With recent government figures showing that UK diesel prices are the highest in Europe, smart fuel purchasing can be the difference between profit and loss.

UK Hauliers are paying 10p more for a litre of diesel than their counterparts in Europe, according to recent statistics from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change. The same figures showed diesel prices varied widely across Europe. Signals from the energy industry indicate that fuel prices are likely to stay high, so a smart strategy for fuel purchasing is a top priority for international hauliers.

Against this backdrop, access to good information to support refuelling requirements is critical. Knowing the best place to refuel from a cost perspective can have a significant impact on a haulier’s bottom line. The volatile nature of fuel pricing across Europe and the complexity of managing that information means that increasingly hauliers are turning to fuel card providers to help them keep down costs.

Fuel card providers such as Retail Decisions (ReD) provide this data on a 24/7 basis, providing hauliers with sophisticated pricing information that helps route planning: for example, UK to Austria, the lowest priced fuel is in Luxembourg and hauliers use this data to plan their refuelling strategies. ReD also provides transaction information on fuel consumption to keep track of drivers’ fuel spending. Online account management –increasingly a significant part of any fuel solution – is also provided around the clock.

Another part of the cost-management equation is VAT – which also varies significantly across Europe. Any VAT registered haulier can recover the VAT on fuel they have purchased in mainland Europe and this is a service that a good fuel card provider should offer to their customers. ReD does this on its customers behalf in order to reduce expense management concerns and also provides dedicated account handlers to minimise the time spent on administration.

With diesel prices remaining high and the tax burden putting UK-based international hauliers at a further disadvantage to their mainland rivals, getting the best deal on your fuel costs is now more important than ever.

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