Fleet News

Budget grasps green nettle

ENVIRONMENTALLY-friendly initiatives could account for as much as 20% of Budget Rent A Car's revenues within five years as the company offers a suite of green transport solutions. While the car hire giant remains committed to its core business, it has identified a burgeoning corporate demand for travel schemes that avoid the present or future pitfalls of mounting fleet expenditure and congestion and workplace parking charges.

Doug Sawers, managing director of Budget UK, said: 'Many directors of big companies are saying they have to be greener, but there is not always an obvious solution.' While short term hire has already proved itself to be a practical and cost-effective alternative to a pool fleet, employers are now looking at more environmentally friendly commuter plans and business transport. Budget has invested heavily in this area, launching the innovative Edinburgh City Car Club, the UK's biggest car share programme whose success has led the city council to add a fifth dedicated parking station for car club members at the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce - a high profile site to attract the attention of the business community.

The rental firm has also acquired green travel specialist VIPRE, which has 40 years' experience of designing corporate commuter programmes, advising organisations and setting up 'driveshare' schemes whereby employees are assembled into groups according to their address and working hours, and then share the same minibus to work. Manchester Airport has already implemented VIPRE plans, and Sawers said the company was pursuing 30-40 'serious' leads with other major employers, from the hundreds of enquiries it has received.

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