New report sheds light on petrol pricing

One of the best ways in which an organisation can look to improve the efficiency of its fleet is by minimising petrol expenses and reducing fuel consumption.

There are many ways to do this, each with its own pros and cons to consider. For example, some companies might look to invest in green cars and eco-friendly vehicles that are not just good for the environment, but more economical as well.

Others might invest in fleet management software which can provide comprehensive and intelligent fuel management reporting in order to determine which vehicles are consuming the most petrol.

Australian organisations really determined to cut fuel consumption may also be interested in the results of a new study from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, which was published in the journal Energy Policy last month.

According to an article published by News Limited on March 28, the study found that petrol prices are consistently higher towards the end of the week.

Of the 114 cities and towns analysed in compiling the report, 90 per cent recorded a peak in petrol prices on either Thursday or Friday.

In contrast, News Limited reports that the best time to buy petrol is on Tuesday, when nearly "nearly two-thirds" of the locations analysed recorded their lowest price points.

University of New England economics professor Abbas Valadkhani, who authored the study, says the results are clear cut.

"Everyone in Australia, avoid Thursday and Friday, that is the message," Mr Valadkhani told News Limited.

However Australian Automobile Association executive director Andrew McKellar has warned motorists not to read too much into these findings.

While Mr McKellar notes that "motorists can certainly get a better deal if they are conscious of the fuel price cycle," he also points out that the fuel cycle has "changed substantially" since Mr Valadkhani conducted his research.

"The fact that it's less predictable works to the advantage of the major retailers in the market," Mr McKellar explained to News Limited.

So for now at least, it seems like organisations interested in reducing fuel expenses might be better off investing in software for fleet management, which can provide them with comprehensive fuel consumption reports on the performance of each vehicle.

By carefully evaluating these reports, it is possible to determine which vehicles should be kept out on the road and which may be need of repair or disposal.