Regional fuel tax - No pain, no gain, right?

Kirsten Hawke

No one is in any doubt that serious changes are needed to get Auckland’s chocka-block transport system flowing.

Regional fuel tax - No pain, no gain, right?

For the commuters that sit day in, day out in snakes of standing traffic or the people who plan their daily activities around the queues, it’s a no brainer that an urgent solution is needed.

World class transport networks in Hong Kong, Zurich and Paris demonstrate how great infrastructure results in more prosperity for cities and put Auckland’s roads to shame.

Yes, they may be more affluent and ancient economies but shouldn’t we aim for the top?

If you want to see how Auckland compares check out the TomTom Traffic Index that ranks New Zealand’s largest city 40th in the world for traffic congestion.

So, this week the much-debated and widely bemoaned regional fuel tax rolled out in Auckland.

BUSINESS buddy has investigated how this new tax of 11.5 cents per litre affects big city drivers.

Is it as bad as it seems?

The price rise kicked in on July 1, 2018.

While some think this is an eye-watering hike, it actually brings Aucklanders in line with what the rest of the country pays to fill their utes, cars, vans, motorbikes, fizz boats and lawnmowers.

The regional fuel tax will help fund the Auckland transport alignment project, which is a $28 billion overhaul of Auckland's transport infrastructure, set to run from 2018-2028.

For small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and even big businesses, the long-term profitability should improve with less time wasted in traffic jams.

How to keep the costs down

Shopping for fuel really has become a thing.

There are now cheapest fuel apps available such as GASPY  that hunt out the best prices at the pump.

Supermarket receipts are an option to reduce your bill but fuel discount cards make much more sense, especially when it comes to reducing admin costs by linking fuel accounts to Xero.

People are also being advised to remove roof racks and avoid using air con to improve fuel efficiency.

Be aware that a wide-open car window is reported to increase drag and decrease fuel efficiency so do some research about the best way to keep warm or cool in your vehicle.

It may be time to trade in a gas guzzler for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, whether it’s petrol, hybrid or fully electric.

Of course, carpooling, cycling and walking to work are becoming more appealing, where possible.

A couple of years ago BUSINESS buddy introduced work from anywhere Fridays, which means our team can plan to be off the road during peak traffic times.

Flexible work arrangements may be a great incentive for your staff right now.

If you think the regional fuel tax is going to have an impact on your business cash flow, feel free to contact BUSINESS buddy on 0800 283 399 to discuss further.

Kirsten Hawke