The Vehicle The Vehicle
It is vital to select the right cars and vans for fleet use, to strike the right balance between fitness for purpose and environmental impact.
This is not just a matter of downsizing body and engine size, although these have a place. It's much more a process to look at "best in class" across the fleet market, to identify models that will meet the physical size requirements (small hatchback/ MPV/ estate car etc) with low CO2 values, good build quality, high residuals, combined with driver acceptability.
There are very clear differences between the models on offer from different manufacturers. The Volkswagen brand brings the reputation, high residuals and excellent build quality to a range has been designed for driver and fleet manager appeal. And behind that is a history of strong environmental leadership in engine technologies, up to and including Volkswagen's BlueMotion range. With contenders in every market sector, this range should be considered seriously as a part of any green fleet strategy.
Part of this element of the policy should include the way the allocation system is structured, with upper limits of CO2 emissions forming part of the decision process. The thresholds for VED, driver tax and (from April 2009) the corporation tax threshold (at 160g/km) should be included with whole-life cost data to build the choice-list in a way that offers attractive choice to drivers, within a responsible framework that is going to provide the right set of tools for good environmental policy.
To complete the picture, an insurance grouping limit, and a Euro NCAP performance requirement can also be factored in. Many fleets have already moved to this type of multi-faceted approach, with good results for costs and reduced fuel use.
All major leasing companies have the capacity to offer their clients allocation/ availability lists with these levels of detail, since they already hold all the necessary background information within their overall quotation systems. All that's needed is for the client to request this facility.