Reviewing the allocation policy Reviewing the allocation policy
The whole business environment is dynamic, with demands and economic factors changing constantly. Vehicle specifications change too with regular improvements from manufacturers to all the attributes of their models. It is a fact that the version of just about any model on sale today is bigger, heavier, faster, cleaner - and probably more expensive - than its predecessor model of 5 - 7 years ago. It will have substantially more equipment as standard: items which were only available on a few luxury models in the past are now commonplace or standard on everyday fleet models - safety-related items like Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), multiple airbags; while creature comforts have advanced too - audio equipment and air conditioning to name just two features.
For all these reasons the fleet needs to review its underlying needs on a fairly regular basis - perhaps every 4 to 6 years. Ideally the review needs to start with the proverbial clean sheet of paper, and identify who "needs" cars; what size and level these cars should be to ensure fitness for the business purposes; and then work towards selecting the car models themselves based on the business need. In some cases downsizing from an upper-medium car like the Passat to a lower-medium class like Jetta or Golf might be highly appropriate.
Clever use of the range of specifications available can often mean that drivers do not feel disadvantaged: indeed the benefits of reducing benefit tax and private fuel costs might actually be appreciated. Similarly, different types of vehicle might be considered rather than the "standard" hatchback/ saloon options - estates, SUVs, MPVs and other styles might be considered - subject always to fitness for purpose and overall cost profiles.
Fleet costs - particularly fuel economy and environmental performance and resulting tax charges - will be a major factor in the decision. A review of the allocation policy offers the chance to right-size at least parts of the fleet, saving money, driver tax, and CO2 emissions. The dynamics of the market suggest that this kind of serious review should be made every 4 to 6 years, to ensure the fleet in place actually meets the needs of the business.