Fleet News

Survey finds fleets are shunning cost control tools in the fight for better efficiency

ROCKETING fleet running costs have sparked a fight for efficiency among fleet managers. Yet as they struggle against a raft of rising prices, vital weapons in their battle are being ignored, a new Lex Vehicle Leasing/Fleet News survey of fleet managers has revealed.

Nearly three quarters of fleet managers will not consider any form of downsizing next year and a third of companies still do not see preparing for carbon dioxide-based company car tax as a priority. More than 60% say professional training is not on their 'to do' list for next year.

However, the top five issues fleet managers believe they will face next year are driven by cost savings, with rising fuel prices, driver safety and benefit-in-kind tax increases all listed as a top priority by more than 70% of fleet managers.

Introducing risk management and combatting falling residual values both take top priority for more than 60%. With two safety-focused issues in the top five, fleet managers have taken on board the Government's demands that cutting accidents should be a priority. And rising fuel costs prompted 56.6% of fleets to say they would be putting more diesel cars on to their fleets.

Jon Walden, managing director of Lex Vehicle Leasing, said: 'It is interesting that four of the top five issues for fleet managers relate to costs. Given the unprecedented decline in residual values and totally unjustified increase in the price of fuel over the past year, this is perhaps not surprising.

'It is also interesting that safety is fleet managers' number two priority for the next year. This is a clear message about the importance fleet managers put on this issue and a clear message to service providers that this is a customer need which has yet to be met.'

Other findings showed that half the fleet managers interviewed said alternative fuel issues were going to be a key area for next year, along with cash for car demands and the potential arrival of road tolls. A third of fleet managers said they were considering purchasing vehicles from the internet or outsourcing basic fleet management functions.

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