Fleet News

Death knell for the status car culture

BUSINESSES across Britain must start to plan for the types of company cars they will be using in five years' time and how their staff will use them if they are to avoid stiff financial penalties designed to protect the environment. But the company car is here to stay and will continue to play a critically important role in British business, according to Liberal Democrat transport and environment spokesman Matthew Taylor, not least in providing tens of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly in the UK automotive industry.

However, he claims, the car wars culture with workers striving to have the biggest, shiniest vehicle in the company parking slot is about to be consigned to corporate history. With pressure growing for companies to consider trains, buses and increased use of e-mail alongside their vehicle fleets to ease road congestion, pollution and to conserve resources, firms must start to change their traditional fleet strategies.

Taylor, who is to visit the three-day Fleet Show on its second day, Wednesday, at the NEC, Birmingham, said: 'The company car culture is going to change. People are going to care much less about having a big company car on their drive as a status symbol and more about getting to their business in the most efficient way possible, be it in a smaller, 'greener' car, or by bus or train, or by doing the work via e-mail. We need to encourage businesses to buy cars that are more environmentally friendly. Then we have to ensure that it makes financial sense to travel when possible by train or by bus, rather than one person in one car.'

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