“Retail-minus” offers the best fuel pricing plan most of the time. Why is that?
Generally, retail minus provides several benefits to fleet managers and drivers that is not offered through cost-plus.
First, "retail-minus" provides the best transparency to the pump price: the pump is the pump price, no matter what. In today's volatile markets and increasingly complicated regulatory environment, managers need a pricing structure that allows for self-reporting and ease of auditing.
By contrast, "cost-plus" requires the fleet manager to place significant trust in the pricing providers to set fair index pricing. And when not all the information is immediately obvious, it can be difficult to determine whether the index benefits the fleet manager, or just the suppliers.
Next, a fuel plan with broad acceptance is critical, because then fuel consumers may choose the retailer best for them at the time of purchase.
"Retail-minus" provides that choice, since drivers simply pay pump price, then receive a discount negotiable through their fuel card provider. In contrast, only about 30,000 U.S. stations currently support cost plus pricing plans. Retail minus plans, by nature of how they are structured, gives drivers the freedom and flexibility to react to local changes and secure the best price available.