Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
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Money Talk: Diesel blues for some and bad apples for others

It happened in August. Motorists suddenly found pump prices of diesel were falling more steeply than those of unleaded. By the end of the month the unthinkable had happened on many forecourts diesel was actually cheaper than petrol. For some of the millions of today's diesel drivers this felt like the first time ever.

Money Talk: Heads in the cloud over the cost of accounting

There's a scenario that often plays out when we first meet a prospective new retail operator: after the usual exchange of pleasantries we listen to their plans for their new business; funding it, staffing and operating it. Eventually the conversation touches on their 'accounting' expectations. Nine times out of 10 their most immediate concern is VAT returns. Most are also sensible enough to realise that they'll need some form of management accounts; they know that trying to manage any business relying solely on annual financial accounts is a nonsensical proposition.

Money Talk: Mr Osborne's very unwelcome surprises

George Osborne presented his first proper Tory Budget on July 8 and, while it left many things unchanged from the earlier March version, there were some announcements that did take commentators particularly various employers' and business organisations by surprise. Probably the biggest of these surprises, and one that naturally hasn't gone down very well with employers, was the announcement of the National Living Wage (NLW). The pre-July Budget scenario was that there were increases to the National Minimum Wage (NMW) due to come into effect from October 1, with the resulting rates becoming:

Money Talk: Auto Enrolment - creeping ever closer

We've mentioned it before, but make no excuse for highlighting it again: Auto Enrolment is coming your way and you need to be ready for it. We're talking about the legal responsibility of all employers to provide an appropriate, approved workplace pension scheme for their staff. It doesn't matter whether you run a site as a dealer, or as a commission-operator; whether you trade as a limited company or as a sole-trader/partnership: if you employ staff and are registered as an employer with HMRC then Auto Enrolment will affect you. The only question is 'when' and the short answer is 'anytime between now and October 2018'.

Money Talk: How to help with your business rates revaluation

The latest round of property valuations for business rates purposes is now in full swing. Since early February, the Valuations Office Agency (VOA) has been issuing questionnaires to thousands of businesses across England and Wales, and a similar exercise is happening in Scotland. The information will be used to update the rateable values of business premises as at a nominal date of April 1, 2015, with this forming the basis of the business rates to be charged from April 2017.

Money Talk: Don't ignore individual site-operator finances

Hardly a day goes by without the sell-off of yet another tranche of forecourts by a major oil company to one of the numerous independently-owned groups in the UK retail market. Almost inevitably there are the associated recruitment ads by some of these same groups, looking for people to join them as site managers or more often commission operators, to run the sites that they're acquiring. This pattern has been going on for a while now, and seems destined to continue until the last of the traditional oil companies sells off its last retail property in the UK.

Money Talk: Budget 2015 (the March one)

It was always likely to be a strange Budget coming as it did just seven weeks before the General Election which looks highly likely to end without any clear winning majority. The Chancellor had to stand up and deliver a Budget that somehow appealed to his existing voters but didn't scare off those who might be thinking of joining them on May 7; and do so in the knowledge that he might not be in a position to put his announced measures into practice after that date.

Money Talk: Why small businesses need accountancy advice

We meet owners of small businesses at many events trade shows, franchise seminars, awards functions and just about anywhere else where business people gather. Being friendly, we speak to them. In oh-so-many instances, our newly-found acquaintance will say something along the lines of: "Mine's only a small business" or "I only run a com-op site" invariably followed by "so I don't really need much accounting" Maybe it's just a polite way of trying to end a conversation with accountants?

Money Talk: Fuel price crash continues - for now

It's difficult to avoid using hyperbole when describing the current fall in pump prices: unparalleled is one adjective that springs to mind. Even those of us who've been involved in this business for 30 or more years struggle to remember anything quite like it.

Money Talk: We're now trading in a deflationary universe

It seemed that many consumer spokespersons and media commentators were in a state of glee with each seemingly daily fall in the price of oil in the closing weeks of 2014. At times there was an almost vicious element to some of the pieces; some celebrating the oil industry getting its comeuppance for causing years of misery, others insisting that because the price of Brent Crude had dropped from $130 to around $60 per barrel, petrol prices still hadn't fallen far enough, fast enough. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the media coverage was written by people who have no idea how any industry actually works, and wouldn't know what a barrel of Brent Crude was even if you tipped one over them.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 20 January 2020
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East133.4167.40141.10128.52
East Midlands132.93141.67128.44
London133.0565.90142.23128.80
North East131.55139.57126.67
North West132.1066.90140.54127.58
Northern Ireland129.82134.61125.46
Scotland132.65139.08127.50
South East133.80141.93129.03
South West132.9567.90139.13128.12
Wales132.1064.90137.03127.13
West Midlands132.7866.57142.07128.26
Yorkshire & Humber131.9963.90141.14127.34

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