Forecourt Trader - 30 years at the heart of the fuel retailing community
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Money Talk: Counting the cost of handling all that cash

It was interesting to read the feature in July's edition of FT 'Change on the Cards', which highlighted the growing frustration of many dealers with fuel cards. As we've pointed out on these pages previously, the real problem with the terms under which most retailers work with those cards is not so much the margin although that could always be better but the adverse impact that the payment terms have on the retailer's cash flow. Unfortunately fuel cards do now represent a very significant chunk of core volume for many dealer sites (and that really means fuel volume historically fuel cards have generated negligible non-fuel sales). These are customers who still come to fill up even if your pole price is 3 or 4ppl more than the nearest supermarket, so it's very difficult to see how anything will change. The tail now wags the dog.

Money Talk: The modern forecourt - is it partially exempt?

Every now and again an issue crops up that highlights the changing nature of petrol retailing. Occasionally it surfaces as a small, apparently isolated query which then seems to spread at a rather unexpected rate. Suddenly we have to look at more than just one or two retailers to check whether there may be implications for others. The subject of VAT partial exemption is one such issue and it may affect you.

Money Talk: Accountants don't bite (unless provoked)

While many people are off enjoying their summer holidays, July and August see many accounting professionals wishing that they could extend theirs indefinitely rather than going back to the office and trying to sort out the latest 'jumble in a shoe box' that some of their clients hand to them as part of their year-end records.

Money Talk: How to avoid the Take That approach to tax

It happens with almost monotonous regularity another very wealthy celebrity 'outed' as owing the taxman several million pounds because some exotic 'tax-saving' scheme for which they'd signed up has been declared illegal.

Money Talk: Been here long? If you're a newcomer... read on

Sometimes it's easy to forget that at any given time, there are always a few people who are new to this industry in fact, new to being in their own business at all. Of course, there's some 'churn' in petrol retailing, as in every other walk of life.

Money Talk: Budget measures slip in through the back door

Any readers below the age of say 40 might be amazed to hear that until not so many years ago, 'Budget Day' was one of the most eagerly anticipated and busiest days in the petrol retailers' calendar. It was typically preceded by weeks of speculation about how much extra fuel and tobacco to order, on the assumption that both were sure to rise by quite a considerable amount at 6pm or midnight on the day. There would be queues of cars forming on forecourts during the afternoon, and a complete crush at home time as punters took every opportunity to fill up before the dreaded price increases came into effect.

Money Talk: Auto Enrolment is on its way to your business

You may have heard of it already, but if you haven't, we're talking about pensions. And it will affect you and every other employer in the country. You need to know about the regulations and make sure that you're ready, since the penalties for failing to do so are quite eye-watering. The scheme started for the largest employers at the end of 2012, but one way or another, it will come to you between now and 2018. That may sound like a long time, but the more staff you employ, the sooner it will be.

Money Talk: Could a fuel retailing revolution be on its way?

T here have been several news stories from the petroleum retailing sector in the past few weeks that at first glance appear unrelated. There was Esso confirming its move towards a wholesale supply mode. Then major supermarket chains admitting that their fuel operations are hurting their bottom line. And now rumours of a possible major new player poised to enter the UK market this year. In the background, we have heard from several retailers currently operating oil company-owned sites that those sites have quietly been put up for sale (again). No wonder many individual site operators are wondering what the implications will be for their own businesses and whether there's a major upheaval about to hit the industry.

Money Talk: It's no time to withhold your financial secrets

January is always a very busy month for accountants, dominated primarily by the need to ensure that clients' personal self-assessment tax returns (SATRs) all get filed by the 31st at the very latest.

Money Talk: 'Tis the season to be wary

The scam email problem is so common that it's almost become a cliché. You receive an email from some individual in a far-flung country, offering a sizeable chunk of their 'lottery winnings'. All you need to do is give them a bit of help to get the money into the UK, and to do so, they just need your bank details. It's an oldie-but-goodie, although that doesn't stop the scammers from trying variations on it even now. But some more recent attempts have been a bit more subtle, and not so immediately recognisable for what they are.

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Weekly retail fuel prices: 4 November 2019
RegionDieselLPGSuper ULUL
East130.9367.90138.13126.75
East Midlands130.73139.73126.64
London130.73139.60127.04
North East129.5562.90137.10125.31
North West129.9963.90138.40126.48
Northern Ireland128.05133.57124.33
Scotland130.6059.30137.24126.23
South East131.4566.90139.66127.42
South West130.7674.90137.94126.68
Wales129.84136.06125.42
West Midlands130.4059.90137.63126.57
Yorkshire & Humber130.02139.47126.29

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When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?

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