UK-based fleet software and management specialist FleetCheck has cautioned that soaring inflation will have “huge pressure” on fleet managers.

Earlier this week, an economist at the US banking group Citi warned that inflation in the UK could peak at 18.6% in January 2023, Reuters reported.

According to FleetCheck managing director Peter Golding, the spike is likely to be temporary, but it would still force businesses to take action to limit costs.

Golding said: “It is going to cause all kinds of effects, ranging from rapidly rising prices to a general sense of very real unease.

“There will be huge pressure on fleet managers to contain costs as much as possible. Generally, most of these will be variable forms of expenditure rather than fixed costs, we expect, at least in the short-medium term.”

In that situation, fleet managers could take all kinds of measures such as cutting fuel usage by allowing only essential journeys, something that happened during the 2008 financial crisis.

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Fleet managers could also cut repair and maintenance spending.

“Clearly, safety should not be compromised but there may be opportunities here, such as looking to new suppliers or buying non-manufacturers parts where appropriate,” Golding added.

According to Golding, the paramount task for fleet managers was to be prepared with ideas to cut costs when needed.

He said: “This is something that is almost certainly going to happen and having an emergency strategy that you can employ quickly and effectively could make a difference to something as fundamental as the survival of your business.

“We are currently talking to many fleet managers who use our software about ways in which they can take greater control over costs.”

Golding stressed that fleet managers should be prepared for the situation, hoping that inflation does not spike to that extent.