Fleet News

Managers show 'little interest' in fuel efficiency for car choice

AUTOLEASE is using technology developed in-house to encourage consideration of fuel economy as a parameter in car choice. But it has met with a lack of interest from fleet managers despite clear evidence that fuel can account for hundreds of pounds on top of the monthly rental of the most popular fleet cars.

The contract hire company claims to be unique in having an in-house-developed computer system, known as Autoquote, giving it a technological advantage over competitors to provide data on deals where fuel efficiency is one of the fleet requirements. Its quotation system is designed to give customers the opportunity to choose vehicles based on mpg rates, alongside preferences such as engine size and insurance grouping.

However, making the choice simpler has not been met with corresponding heightening of interest. Only 10% of fleet policies are determined using fuel analysis. Autolease's experience reflects research carried out for the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions which showed that fleet managers' ignorance of fuel economy was costing UK industry £450 million a year.

Autolease managing director Martin Tucker said: 'The most common criteria companies use to arrange business are rental costs, the model, make, whether cars are petrol or diesel and the length of contract. The efficiency of a car will come somewhere after these, if at all. I don't know why it comes so far down fleet managers' priorities. They just don't look at it closely enough.'

John Given, Autolease sales director, said: 'For fleet managers to say they don't look at fuel economies because it is too time-consuming is unreasonable. We have a system that can do it automatically and quickly even if they are so specific as to want a car that does more than 32.4mpg, with ABS, four doors and automatic transmission.'

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