Arval has announced it is capping the fuel price that it applies to its card acceptance rate for independent

retailers. The company said it wanted to support the independent sector due to soaring fuel prices, pointing out that diesel was now averaging more than £1.21 a litre (and still rising), and petrol prices were not far behind.

In a statement it explained: "Price rises to date have been largely driven by increases in domestic taxation and duty, crude oil, and exchange rate fluctuations. These factors raise the price of fuel for the consumer but do not equate to more margin for the independent retailer."

According to Arval, it has written to more than 700 independent fuel retailers this week informing them it would cap the impact of these price rises on accepting Arval cards. It said this initiative, which takes imediate effect, was specifically designed to support the independent fuel retailers through the challenges that the current economic climate had created.

Brian Madderson and Julian Phillips from RMI Petrol commented: "The smaller volume sites amongst our membership will welcome this timely initiative from Arval to keep their card fees pegged at a specific level despite the continuing escalation of fuel prices. RMI Petrol welcomes Arval’s support for independents, which will help them in a period of continuing pressure on fuel price margins."

Danny Clenaghan, card development director at Arval, said: "The AllStar network and the coverage it provides is a fundamental element of Arval’s market leading proposition. Independent retailers are a valued and important element of this network for both Arval and our customers, we have built strong relationships with them and as part of this approach it is important that we can support them during challenging economic conditions."