As countries across Europe move further into recession it goes without saying that businesses are managing their costs more tightly. The impact on the fleet is a focus on controlling and reducing the total cost of vehicle ownership. For the majority of company car fleets, fuel is their second highest expenditure at around 25 per cent, with only depreciation costing more. The volatile oil prices that we have seen this year look set to continue, which will have an impact on fuel costs. The uncertainty that this creates is crippling for organisations, and makes it nearly impossible to set a fuel budget and stick to it. The result, as fleet operators pull out all the stops to control their fuel costs, is that fuel card policies have become a must. Despite the challenging economic conditions, business travel is not going to go away and so fuel cards are essential for any leasing company as they strive to support their customers through these challenging times. Without full visibility or understanding of a customers fuel costs, theres not a chance that fleet operators can manage them effectively, let alone achieve reductions. It is only with fuel card reporting that the fleet manager gains visibility of data on what, where, when and how much fuel is being purchased each time the card is used, providing an accurate map of the mileage completed by a fleet. Without this information it is near-impossible to police drivers effectively and remove unnecessary cost.