Planning For the Future of Rising Fuel Prices

future fuel pricesAs a fleet manager, you need to know what your vehicles are doing today, while also asking yourself questions about what your fleet will look like five years down the road.

For example: What will oil prices be like in the future?

As Automotive Fleet’s Sherb Brown noted recently, fuel prices aren’t expected to increase too dramatically this year, and while that can have a negative effect on the economy, there’s also an upside for fleet managers. It means that the money you spend on fuel can be used elsewhere.

But Brown writes that fleet managers should also keep future prices in mind:

No matter what the price of oil is today, fleet managers need to think about prices three to five years down the road. You can enjoy those reduced fuel bills today, but consider the used-vehicle market in 2019 and 2020, when you are filling out those selectors. If prices spike down the road you may find yourself with a ‘white elephant’ fleet that no one wants to take off your hands.”

This argument is along the lines of one we’ve made before. Even if prices are low now, fleet owners should still take measures to improve the way they buy fuel in order to save when prices start to rise again (and that is a question of “when,” not “if.”)

We’ll also use this opportunity to point out that even when fuel prices dip, your fuel invoices still need to be checked for accuracy. It’s not unusual for invoices to have incorrectly billed fees or taxes, and market volatility can increase the odds of a mistake in billing.

And even if fuel prices are low, you might be paying too much in delivery fees or fuel card transactions. It’s also worth examining your fuel program to make sure you have fraud/theft controls in place.

Sokolis Group can help you manage all of those things. We’ve spent more than a decade helping our clients reduce and control their fuel costs. We can work with you to negotiate fuel prices with your suppliers, audit your fuel programs for errors, and collect, analyze and report on data collected from multiple vendors.

Sokolis Group can also help by evaluating your business to see if mobile fueling will work for you. Our experts can help you manage a fuel card program, allowing you to take maximize advantage of control features and benefits. We can save you money, no matter how high or low fuel prices go.

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