Fleet News

Fleets in focus: Vauxhall

Insurance partner Zurich estimates that Vauxhall’s premiums are around £290 per car lower than the average fully comprehensive premium.

It equates to a total annual bill of around £1 million less than a fleet of Vauxhall’s size would expect to be paying.

Staff also have to complete online e-learning and training modules via a bespoke course created with Interactive Driving Systems to increase their awareness of risk and hazard perception.

The training is linked to government TV adverts, such as the dangers of speeding.

Vauxhall encourages family and friends to take part, while staff are incentivised to complete modules via a monthly draw to win £200 of shopping vouchers.

“It’s a drip effect showing employees the risks,” says Monk.

“It’s about people’s welfare, not just saving the company money or a tick box for risk management.”

Although, he adds: “Your best salesman can wipe out any profit they make by having one collision.”

Monk doesn’t just look inwards when spreading the message either.

Vauxhall was an early submission to become a Driving for Better Business Champion, which it achieved in January 2010.

“We take our message out to our customers about how they can use this within their own businesses,” Monk says.

“What a lot of companies aren’t getting is a failure to understand that this can all be measured and actioned.

Many think that accidents are a necessary evil of business – they aren’t.”

However, he adds: “Training can be your worst enemy if it’s not linked to an understanding of what you are trying to achieve.

"The key is to audit and assess risk to understand the issues you are facing.”
Persistency is also key.

“It has taken nine years to get a true, in-built system throughout the business,” Monk says.

“Cultural change has come and it’s been driven from the top down.”

‘Most employees have two new cars a year’

Vauxhall’s 4,500 company cars are on an employee car ownership (ECO) scheme.

The company switched from a blend of ECO and contract hire in 2003 because it is cheaper for both staff and the business.

Cars are typically replaced every eight months or 11,000 miles which means “most employees have two brand new cars every year”, according to Simon Monk.

Part of the reason is to ensure a steady flow of top-quality cars into the used market helping to strengthen residuals.

“Dealers are crying out for these cars and they get better prices than the guides would suggest,” says Monk.

Vehicles are carefully selected to ensure they have the most attractive specifications and colours, although a balance needs to be struck between company and employee needs.

Vauxhall keeps tight control on vehicle damage. Staff are charged for scuffs to alloys or general abuse.

No-one is allowed to drive their own vehicle on business; this policy was implemented six years ago and affected several hundred people.

They now are provided with a pool car.

“There were too many safety issues and there was also the cost of paying the mileage rates,” says Monk.

“It also means everyone that does business for Vauxhall is in a Vauxhall car.”

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