However, Association of Car Fleet Operators chairman and fleet consultant Tony Leigh warned that not all fleets may be so flexible. 'I can't see it getting into serious fleet use because of the problem of reallocating the vehicle if the driver leaves,' he said.
Nicky Stock, partner car plan administrator at Arthur Anderson Consulting said handles about 600 vehicles including four-wheel-drive, run on a free choice user-chooser basis. And David Farrell, managing director of Essex-based fleet management company SCMC, said he would recommend the Freelander to customers.
Graham Zacharias, group finance director of Fairey Group, which runs 250 cars, said: 'Freelander would fit in with our fleet because it would be an interesting compromise for people who do no want a big, heavy 4x4. On the road it is nice to drive with a very nice gearbox, with positive but light steering - it felt like a saloon car on the road.'