Summer fuel prices impact drivers and company budgets

Most drivers know that summer fuel prices are significantly higher than those they see throughout the rest of the year, and with the warmer months quickly approaching, companies and municipalities that rely on small and medium-sized vehicles may become increasingly concerned about the impact these costs will have on their operations. Some may remember the excessive prices seen in past summers and have implemented route optimization software solutions to reduce fuel consumption and cut costs.

This summer, fleets may notice a bit of relief from the generally high prices they've seen at the pump in recent years. Reports suggest the cost of gas will average about $3.63 per gallon this summer, and while this cost is lower than 2012's average price, it may still be considered too extreme for companies that rack up a high number of miles.

The estimates for this summer's average gas price comes in at nearly 20 cents above what purchasers feel is the "breaking point" for fuel costs. A survey from AAA revealed most consumers feel gas is too expensive once it hits $3.44 per gallon. Fleets that rely on diesel may have an even harder time justifying fuel costs, as diesel is typically even more expensive than gasoline. 

Gas and diesel costs have a significant impact on businesses, especially during the summer when per gallon prices are higher than normal. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed said that in order to limit expenses and pay for fuel, they may delay big purchases or investments, while 54 percent would be more interested in a fuel efficient vehicle and 86 percent would reduce the number of miles driven. Companies with managers who are serious about purchasing or already using vehicle routing software may not need to make the investment in hybrids or delay business purchases to enhance operations. The technology allows those businesses to reduce miles driven, use less gas and save money as fuel prices rise.