Fleet News

Fleets target fuel in cost-cutting drive

COST-conscious fleet decision makers are examining initiatives to reduce their share of the UK fleet parc's £132 billion annual bill, with particular focus on reducing fuel, maintenance and insurance expenditure.

The cost of keeping the company car fleet moving is an estimated £65.8 billion, with light commercial vehicles eating up £22.8 billion, while lorries cost £43.3 billion, according to a new poll by MORI.

The research, carried out for Fleetstar Information Systems, a division of Trafficmaster, revealed that 91 per cent of fleets were looking to cut costs, with 86 per cent looking at fuel, 79 per cent maintenance costs and 71 per cent insurance.

Fleetstar commissioned the analysis to assess the extent to which fleets are using telematics to cut running costs of their fleet.

Telematics systems can track vehicle movements, so companies can more effectively manage staff on the road, but can also report back details of speeding, harsh braking, vehicle mileage, and a range of other information, to help manage other costs.

Only 8 per cent of those interviewed used any form of telematics system, although 63 per cent of firms believe productivity could increase if drivers were able to move more quickly from A to B and half of fleet managers agree that staff being held up in congestion is costing them money.

A third of fleets with between 20 and 100 vehicles said they would welcome real-time information about the location and whereabouts of their fleet vehicles, rising to 48 per cent for 100-plus fleets.

Chris Haynes, chief executive of Fleetstar, said: 'It is surprising that so many fleets are not turning to telematics to help them manage their operations more effectively. But there is no doubt that telematics systems can dramatically reduce the operating costs of UK fleets.'

The firm has now commissioned further research from Cranfield Centre for Logistics and Transportation to examine exact potential cost savings from using telematics and highlight health and safety benefits from having constant contact with drivers on the road.

Last week, civil engineering firm Propin Services revealed it had slashed its fuel and wages bill by £500 a week by using telematics systems to monitor and manage its fleet of just seven Ford Transits vehicles on the road.

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