So says Lex Autolease after the company’s data showed that the rise would mean that an SME business running a fleet of 20 transit vans would see its fuel costs leap by more than £300 per month.
The figures are based upon Lex Autolease’s average fleet size for an SME business, with each van typically covering 30,000 miles per year.
Commenting on the implications for the nation’s hard-pressed firms, Chris Chandler, principal consultant at Lex Autolease, said: ‘Small businesses throughout the country rely upon their vehicles to carry out their day-to-day activities.
‘A three pence rise in fuel duty would deliver a significant blow to small businesses, many of which are already facing challenging economic conditions and rising costs.’
He added: ‘While it is important to keep an eye on the prices at the pump, companies need to focus on factors that they can control in order to minimise costs and offset the rise in fuel duty, such as carefully monitoring driver behaviour.
‘Fleet operators must take proactive steps to ensure that drivers are given fuel efficient vehicles, are taught how to drive them efficiently, and plan their routes effectively. Fuel efficient driving techniques will not only reduce fuel costs but will also increase safety and lower maintenance and repair costs.’