Consignia has a fleet of 40,000 vehicles while BT operates a 58,000-vehicle fleet, giving the two companies a potential combined fleet size of nearly 100,000 vehicles.
If the move goes ahead, it would lead to the creation of a fleet to rival the very largest contract hire and leasing companies in the country.
Consignia is looking to outsource its fleet as a way of benefiting from the expertise and buying power of industry specialists while freeing up its fleet service arm to operate more commercially.
BT Fleet Partners is involved in a similar process and is looking for a partner to help it develop future services. It plans to open its garage network to offer servicing and fleet management to other companies to develop its in-house operations.
Janet Entwistle, general manager, BT Fleet, confirmed that BT had formally expressed an interest in running Consignia's fleet for two reasons. 'Firstly, we have the skills and experience necessary to run the operation effectively and in a way that would provide Consignia with the service it needs. This opportunity plays to our strengths.
'Secondly, we see it as a route to gain scale in the light commercial vehicle sector where we see ourselves as having a particularly unique selling point.'
She added: 'Our strategy is to grow and develop the BT Fleet Partners business with a partner and this would help us achieve that.'
Competition for Consignia's 40,000-vehicle fleet is fierce, with about 40 companies having expressed an interest in bidding. As well as BT, Lex Service is also known to be interested, having previously won a 10-year £500 million contract from the Ministry of Defence to manage 9,000 non-military road vehicles.
Potential suppliers were invited to bid for three main parts of Consignia's business - business cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy goods vehicles. Bidders were invited to a management open day.