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Fuel prices likely to be hit by unrest in Ukraine

Last month, the RAC said that the issues in the Ukraine would ‘unfortunately affect everyone driving a vehicle in the UK as the fuel market is intrinsically linked to major international political events’.

‘Following the continuing unrest, Steve Clake of The Fuel Card Group, said: ‘Managers should not be surprised when pump prices rise because oil is such a sensitive, volatile market. We saw price hikes of varying duration following the invasion of Kuwait, when Hurricane Ike hit Texas and after Chavez died in Venezuela. Anything upsetting the status quo in an oil-producing region, even a simple currency fluctuation, will affect prices.’

Clarke advised fleet managers not to panic. ‘Fuel prices occasionally fall for a while, but the historical trend is always upwards, as it is for everything else. The only sensible action is to ensure that you are always paying as little as possible for fuel in the first place.’

Following a brief period of lower forecourt prices at the beginning of 2014, they were already rising again before Russian troops were seen on Ukraine streets. That increase was largely due to the US dollar strengthening against the pound.

Clarke added: ‘This might mean pain on the forecourts, but nobody running a fleet should ever be paying anywhere near pump prices, when having the right fuel card would mean a saving of up to 4p per litre.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.