This section of the Volkswagen Fleet Managers' Guide looks at the whole environmental area of the fleet manager's job. There can be no doubt that this is absolutely central to the successful operation of any fleet, because so much of the cost profile of all cars now has CO2 and other "green" factors embedded.
Steadily since 2001, we have had:
- March 2001 - All new cars have CO2 value as basis of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED)
- April 2002 - All company car drivers now taxed by reference to car's CO2
- April 2004 - Fuel for private use based on car's CO2 3% diesel supplement waived for Euro IV compliant diesels 100% first-year writing down allowance on cars with 120 or less g/km CO2
- April 2008 - 100% first-year writing down allowance only available on cars with 110 or less g/km CO2
- April 2009 - New corporation tax structure with key threshold for purchase and leasing based on CO2 instead of cost New VED structure to apply "showroom tax" to highe remitting models
That list covers only the key fiscal impacts on the car market in general and the fleet sector in particular. It is immediately obvious that this is a persistent and long-term trend in fiscal policy. There have been many other impacts as well:
- Big increases in oil costs have hit larger, poor fuel performance cars through much higher fuel costs
- High fuel costs coupled with higher VED rates have increased costs directly, and have also:hit residual values of larger, less fuel-efficient cars
All of these factors indicate clearly that the only rational direction for controlling fleet costs is to recognise the need to change - to bring about a reduction in the fuel bill and in the other major costs. And that way must start with a serious look at the whole fleet policy. The days when the allocation policy could be allowed to let any driver to have any car within their grade bracket are probably over - unless that allocation policy has been framed with the environmental impact on costs clearly in mind.Put simply, green fleet management must be the way to go, simply because it is going to be cheaper. The reverse is also true: a well-run, cost-efficient fleet is almost certainly going to be very green! These positions follow quite simply, because the cost of fuel is now an even larger component of the total whole-life cost that it was just a year or so ago.