If there is such a thing as a silver lining in these dark clouds of a gloomy August then perhaps it could be BP’s stand against Arval over card charges.

The fact the charges are based on a percentage rather than a flat fee basis, has long been a running sore within the industry, but retailers have worked the costs into their overheads as they really had no choice. Turning away the potential 1.2 million motorists with an Arval card was really not an option. Also it’s not something to be taken on single-handedly. Why would a company change its juicy fee structure based on the complaints of one or two customers? Like any kind of protest, people have to vote with their feet - in large numbers.

But orchestrating such an action among thousands of independent retailers is just not possible.

And so life went on - until the recent sky-rocketing fuel price rises that have well and truly put the spotlight on the ludicrous reality of Arval’s fee structure in which the higher the fuel price, the more Arval makes per litre, and the less likely the retailer is to make anything at all.

Well now - thanks to BP - it seems like the wheels could start to come off for the card company if it does not indulge in some tactful negotiating. Perhaps other companies could join the discussions?

Arval has, after all, been promising retailers who have complained thus far, a review - hopefully any ensuing ’favourable terms’ would not be confined to just BP!