Although the British Government boasts about strong economic growth, low interest rates, and very low inflation, truck operators in the UK are collapsing under the weight of startling cost rises, while many of their suppliers are cutting prices and finding it harder than ever to make a profit. This article seeks an answer to this paradox in a searching examination of vehicle fleet operating cost trends, and includes some detailed tables. In 1998, lorry operating costs remained broadly in line with Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation, which was 3.0% in November 1998. However, the author's research points to an average 5-9% rise in vehicle operating costs during 1999, with the exact amount depending on vehicle size. This is between four and seven times the current RPI inflation rate. Suddenly, it seems totally inappropriate to link road transport pricing to the RPI. One reason is that the RPIX inflation rate (inflation excluding mortgages), which was 2.2% in November 1999, amalgamates goods inflation at -2.7% and services inflation at 3.9%. Another is that there were unusually high price rises in 1999, including a 9.8% duty rise for ultra-low sulphur diesel. The article also discusses vehicle excise duty, capital costs, depreciation, driver costs, maintenance, finance, insurance, overheads, and the economic outlook.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Road Transport Engineeers

    1 Cromwell Place
    London SW1 25F,   England 
  • Authors:
    • WILCOX, D
  • Publication Date: 2000-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 14-20
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00790289
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 11 2000 12:00AM