Cutting public sector refuelling costs

Anyone managing vehicles in the public sector knows all about the high cost of diesel and petrol. They also know that every Chancellor from David Lloyd George to Philip Hammond has been responsible for an ever-growing chunk of the pump price. Nobody in the public sector, though, should be paying pump prices for their petrol or diesel.

Each of your drivers should carry at least one fuel card, because fuel cards are not all the same. If you already have a fuel card, it may not be right for your specific needs. In that case, you will be over-paying for fuel, rather than saving money.

Any other means of refuelling means paperwork and staff time to deal with it. None of that is necessary with the right fuel card. Steve Clarke, group marketing manager for The Fuelcard People, has been working with public sector fleets for many years. He said, “Those receipts, invoices, statements, forms, cheques and other bureaucracy all disappear. Instead, a single weekly invoice covers all refuelling for every vehicle. Then, a single payment is made automatically by direct debit. Staff who previously spent hours juggling fuel-related paperwork are freed for more productive tasks.”

There is no ‘one size fits all’ fuel card offering savings on pump prices. Consider a rural council, an NHS Trust, a regional police service, a metropolitan borough and a department of national government. These public sector organisations all have vehicles. Their fleets will be vastly different in size and types of vehicles used. They operate in different environments, with different objectives. All will want to refuel as cost-efficiently as possible.

It should be obvious that a handful of small vans out in the countryside will not have the same refuelling requirements as, for example, a large city-based ambulance fleet. Every public sector body can find discounted fuel, but each will benefit most from having a fuel card, or cards, carefully matched to its specific needs.

This means researching the entire market, then preparing a formal tender process. As with any other procurement, this can be a lengthy and costly business. The alternative is to shorten the route, by taking advantage of the Crown Commercial Service and only considering CCS suppliers. This reduces the management and administration workload, with tendering already having been carried out by the CCS, and brings greater confidence in the eventual selection.

The CCS is an executive agency and trading fund of the Cabinet Office. Responsible for improving government commercial and procurement activity, it provides a professional procurement service to the public sector. CCS framework agreements are a set of pre-tendered contracts with suppliers from which public sector customers can purchase goods and services. It saves them the considerable time and money associated with conducting their own procurement exercise. Suppliers are carefully evaluated during the tender process and pre-agreed terms and conditions offer customers sound contractual safeguards.

The Fuelcard People has signed a Framework Agreement with the CCS, making it easy for public sector vehicles to access cut-price fuel. The Agreement, RM1027 – Fuel Cards and Associated Services, covers all of the Fuelcard People brands, which also include Dieselink and Bunkercard. Apart from greatly shortening supplier approval, it allows public sector bodies to avoid the transaction fees, network charges and other hidden extras increasingly imposed by other suppliers.
Steve Clarke said, “This agreement simplifies the public sector procurement process, because the CCS has established pre-agreed terms and conditions for individual contracts. Anybody in the public sector running vehicles can now arrange fuel cards within minutes, rather than weeks. Whichever fuel card they choose from our range, they can expect to save up to 5p per litre for both diesel and petrol. They can also be assured that there will not be transaction charges, whenever they refuel, or any other additional fees.” 
The Framework Agreement can be used by organisations across the UK public sector including central government, local government, health, education, devolved administrations, emergency services, defence and not-for-profit organisations.
Whether a public sector body runs just a couple of van or thousands of mixed vehicles, it can cut running costs within minutes. The CCS has done all of the legwork, so that an organisation needs only to choose the fuel card or cards from The Fuelcard People to suit its specific needs. Being independent and impartial, with an unbeatable range, it has no vested interest in pushing customers toward any particular solution.

Whichever fuel card best matches your needs, it will come with a host of further benefits, from custom reports to 24/7 account access. Your dedicated account manager will be happy to explain these, as well as to answer any queries. Unlike other suppliers, who insist that customers should queue for a random, anonymous call centre operator, The Fuelcard People will ensure that you always talk to the same person, using their direct line.

Only The Fuelcard People, through its CCS Framework Agreement, can assure a public sector customer of refuelling with the best possible combination of service, savings and security.

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