Fleet News

Recruitment and retention issues put green vehicles down choice lists

FLEETS are snubbing demands to offer the most environmentally-friendly vehicles to staff in time for carbon dioxide-based company car tax in 2002 because they fear restricting choice would damage recruitment and staff retention. Research by fleet management and leasing company Godfrey Davis, unveiled in a report called Company Car Strategy - 2000 and Beyond, found that 88% of fleets had not made allowance for the introduction of emission-based benefit in kind tax and 60% have no plans to take action.

The survey adds to the overwhelming evidence of inaction among fleet managers backed up by several reports, including the AA's 'Fleets Fuels and Taxes' report, unveiled at Fleet Show 2000. But Godfrey Davis' researchers, who spoke to 300 fleets and found that only 12% of companies had made an allowance for CO2-based company car tax, also discovered that 70% of firms said reducing choice would damage recruitment and retention of staff.

Nigel Underdown, director of marketing for Godfrey Davis said: 'It is alarming to learn that so few companies have prepared for the new emissions based taxation. The detail may be lacking, but the intention is clearly there from the Government and fleets should take note. Companies must realise that the cars drivers are selecting today will be subject to this new tax and employers have to take this into account now.'

The survey also showed 93% of fleets had no plans to introduce alternative fuels, while only 3% of companies have a formal green policy, with 98% saying providing cars is not out of step with being a 'green' employer. While on average 51% of companies offer a cash alternative to their fleet drivers, only 1% of firms have reported 100% take-up. In fleets of more than 500 vehicles, 73% of firms offer a cash alternative.

Godfrey Davis found that 16% of fleets plan to introduce a cash alternative and 17% plan to introduce personal leasing. The survey showed 8% of fleets planned to stop providing free fuel for private use, despite the 40% increase in fuel scale charges in the Budget and only 10% of fleets expect to change fuel policy in the next year.

Underdown said: 'Our research confirms that, like it or not, the company car continues to be an important tool in staff recruitment and retention.'

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