06 Aug
Currency fluctuations are equating to stable prices at fuel pumps across New Zealand.

Is the declining dollar helping Kiwi drivers?

Whether it's fleet drivers or the average motorist, getting the most from a tank of fuel can be a big win. After all, a few cents saved per litre can quickly add up over time. Even if you're not inclined to use a fuel card, keeping track of prices at the pumps can be a fruitful endeavour.

Stable fuel prices

Fortunately, while the steady decline of the New Zealand dollar over the last few months may not have been great news for everyone, it is actively keeping the cost of petrol at a relatively stable level.

This is due to the fact that the majority of oil companies trade their produce against the US dollar. Moreover, falling commodities prices – including that of oil – have effectively offset any increases that the average person would have felt at the pumps.

"Motorists are being cushioned somewhat from the effect of a substantially softening dollar by decreasing oil prices," explained Z Energy spokesperson Jonathan Hill, as quoted by stuff.co.nz.

The question of tax

Naturally, the price at the pump will often be dictated by a number of outside influences. Alongside the cost of oil, taxation plays a part. At the start of July, the petrol tax collected by New Zealand's land transport system increased by three cents per litre. However, levies collected by the government-backed Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) were effectively reduced by the same rate.

"The tax changes cancel each other out meaning they shouldn't change prices at the pump," explained AA PetrolWatch spokesperson Mark Stockdale.

Ultimately, providing there aren't sweeping increases introduced by the fuel companies, it appears that prices at the pumps across New Zealand are relatively stable. While it's important for both individuals and businesses to keep an eye on prices, it's perhaps the latter that could save the most.

For example, if fleet managers can be aware of the exterior factors that affect fuel pricing – such as taxation and currency rates – they should be able to predict their fuel expenditure more accurately.