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The Price of Fuel vs. The Cost of Fueling

By U.S. Bank

In early February, diesel prices stood 55 cents higher per gallon than a year ago, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.1 Regular unleaded had increased almost as much — up 53 cents per gallon. That puts undeniable pressure on fleet budgets, but for best-in-class commercial fleet managers, it doesn’t necessarily change the way they operate. For them, smart fuel management didn’t start with today’s price hike and won’t go away with tomorrow’s dip.

Fuel costs are always top of mind for fleet management professionals, no matter the pump price. This is rooted in the dual reality that (a) fuel prices are volatile — even when they are low, we know they can’t stay low forever; and (b) the “price of fuel” is not the same as the “cost of fueling” in any case — total fuel costs extend far beyond the per‑gallon price, and that is what must be managed.

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