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Suggestion drivers should pre-pay for fuel - RAC comment

News   •   Nov 05, 2018 13:52 GMT

Reacting to reports that have suggested drivers could be asked for pay up-front for fuel in order to tackle fuel thefts, RAC fuel spokesman Simon Williams: 

"While a blanket approach of compelling every forecourt to introduce pre-payment, pay-at-pump technology could solve the problem of bilking, it could also have some unintended consequences.

"Firstly, there would be an immediate financial impact on forcing fuel retailers to upgrade their pumps - this might be a cost easily swallowed by larger fuel retailers, but for the thousands of independent forecourts who already make a small margin on selling fuel, it could be a different matter altogether, possibly threatening the viability of some smaller operations. Arguably, some retailers may believe they have no choice but to charge more for fuel to cover their costs.

"Some independent forecourts also rely on drivers spending money in their on-site stores in order to make ends meet - something that could disappear if every driver paid at the pump. It could also mean people no longer having the option of paying for fuel using cash.

"It would certainly make sense however for those retailers who suffer regular fuel thefts to consider investing in pre-payment systems, or demand drivers pay in person before they top up."