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Fuel prices may currently be at a record high – but a new proposal to help motorists search for the cheapest fuel in their area may be on its way.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Business Secretary Grant Shapps have proposed that government officials look into developing an online platform for drivers to find the best places to fill their vehicles.
Similar platforms are already widely available in Northern Ireland and Germany and have been credited with reducing the costs associated with refilling vehicles. If the UK government chooses to create a similar platform, the public will be able to view the prices of fuel at any petrol station in the country.
Although not announced as part of the Spring Budget, rising fuel prices are often at the forefront of government discussions. It follows recent conversations where 29 MPs spoke in support of a watchdog system to monitor fuel and diesel prices – with former ministers Priti Patel and Dame Andrea Leadsom backing the move.
The watchdog programme would be expected to initially run on a voluntary basis, with volunteers documenting the fuel prices they see. However, if a government-run central platform was developed, the Chancellor has proposed that petrol stations be required to submit their pricing to a central body.
The government hopes that a platform like this would keep fuel prices fair. It was recently reported that fuel prices fell just 3% for customers in December – whereas the wholesale cost fell by more than 25%.
Although this is a positive development for those who drive for work, the centralised fuel price platform still isn’t confirmed. If you’re frequently driving for work, these high petrol and diesel prices will soon add up.
One way to plan for these high costs is to check the RAC Fuel Watch, which tracks the latest UK average fuel prices online. However, for those who drive daily or for large distances as part of their job, this may not be enough without the government’s commitment of support.
Another option for frequent drivers is to consider an electric car or van. As well as their environmental benefits, electric vehicles also cost significantly less to run – allowing you to avoid the rising costs of fuel prices in the UK.
Speaking about the latest diesel prices, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams said: “Two weeks ago, we pointed to how easy it was for retailers to slash diesel prices given how low the wholesale price had fallen. It’s a sad reality that prices have merely trickled down by only around a penny since then. We now hope at least one major retailer finally decides the time is right to cut the prices to more reasonable levels, which will surely mean others follow. If this doesn’t happen, the best drivers can do is shop around and try to find a forecourt that’s charging less than the RAC Fuel Watch average.”
What do you think of the proposed centralised platform of UK fuel prices? Would this benefit your business, or are you more likely to switch to an electric vehicle if prices keep rising? Let us know in the comments below.
Rosanna Parrish is a Copywriter at Simply Business, specialising in legal and HR content. Trained at London College of Communication, she has been creating content professionally for eight years at publications across the UK and Spain. Starting her career in health insurance, she also worked in education marketing before returning to the insurance world. Rosanna also writes about wellbeing in the workplace. She lives by the sea and does her best writing in coffee shops.
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