Impacts of the budget are yet to be seen or felt

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After a rise in fuel duty was reportedly tabled, it is welcome relief that the Chancellor has decided to hold fuel duty for the 12th year in a row in today’s Budget. However, this announcement is set against a backdrop of increasing pressures on fleet fuel spend, with petrol prices reaching new highs, somewhat offsetting fuel duty campaigners’ triumph over the continued freeze.

This makes the need for stringent cost control measures and effective fuel strategies all the more critical. Changing priorities and ensuring the UK was a forerunner in the race to zero was clear, with a £817 million pot committed for the electrification of UK vehicles and their supply chains, on top of the £620 million of additional investment recently announced for public charging in residential areas and targeted plug-in vehicle grants.

However, the decision not to cut VAT on household energy in the face spiralling bills could potentially dampen enthusiasm for EV adoption amongst company car users. In the Autumn Statement, the government has also underlined its commitment to boosting transport in the city regions, with £6.9 bn injected into train, tram, bus and cycle projects, which, coupled with rising fuel and energy bills, could further accelerate the industry’s inevitable move to a mobility model.

Whilst the impacts of the budget are yet to be seen or felt, fleets will no doubt be waiting with bated breath to see how these and other factors will affect their fleet spend and makeup over the coming year and beyond.