Fuel card company Arval has agreed to review its charges, following uproar by retailers in the wake of soaring fuel prices. In a statement issued to Forecourt Trader, Arval said it was talking to retailers about making changes to its current system. Danny

Clenaghan, Arval card development director, stated: "We are sensitive to the present

market conditions and we are involved in discussions with a number of dealer groups, and independent dealers, to review the current situation and agree a satisfactory position for all involved."

He also acknowledged that rising fuel prices were having a knock-on effect on the costs of using the cards. Retailers say credit card and fuel card charges have become a huge issue recently.

According to Ray Holloway, director of the Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA), some banks are now making more profit than retailers from the sale of a litre of fuel. The PRA has grown so concerned about the situation it has already held one meeting with Arval to discuss the issue, with another organised for this month.

Holloway said what was needed was a capped percentage or a price per litre charge.

Andrew Lawrence, who runs Lawrences Garages (London) Ltd, described the current situation as "ludicrous", adding that his company had recently been selling diesel at a loss on fuel cards.

He welcomed any move by Arval to talk to retailers and try to find a solution to the problem, adding that a move to charging by the litre rather than on a general percentage of the total fuel sale would be a "fairer" system.

Other retailers have already fallen foul of the price hikes. Steve Jones, of Nuns’ Bridges Filling Station in Norfolk, recently had his Arval contract terminated because he had been surcharging customers.

See News Extra feature on page 11.