Fleet News

Whitehall tells fleets 'get safe and green'

A NEW Government fleet has introduced criteria to its company car scheme to prohibit vehicles that do not meet strict environmental and crash safety standards.

The new fleet strategy introduced by the Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI), one of the Government's newly formed bodies, could serve as a blueprint for all Government departments, following a directive from the Cabinet.

This directed Government fleets to lead by example by adopting a company car policy that only includes safe and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

The ALI's fleet will triple from 40 vehicles to more than 120 during the next year, and all its new cars must have CO2 emissions below 190g/km.

Its policy also stipulates that only vehicles achieving three stars or more in the European New Car Assessment Programme crash tests will be accessible to its user-chooser company car drivers.

The ALI also used vehicle reliability and 'wholelife costs' as key elements in establishing its choice list and setting allowance levels.

Its new company car scheme also offers employees a PCP option, or a cash allowance to fund their own private cars, but any vehicles financed in this way must also meet the ALI's strict safety and environmental criteria.

Graham Hine, facilities manager for the ALI, said: 'We set out to establish some ground-breaking standards in the public sector and we have achieved this.

'We were happy to comply with the Cabinet stipulation that vehicle fleets should be conscious of environmental issues now and in the future. Many of our drivers cover more than 20,000 to 30,000 miles a year on inspection duty.

'Their safety is paramount, which is why we also considered the crash safety test rating of individual vehicles.'

In addition to setting safety and emissions standards, company car drivers are also encouraged and supported in receiving advanced driver training.

The contract to operate the ALI company car fleet has been awarded to Fleetlease (UK), which will provide vehicles on four-year or 80,000 miles replacement cycles.

Keith Marshall, the ALI's director of inspection (planning) said: 'Our drivers cover thousands of miles a year, so it was essential we found a reliable provider which could supply vehicles with high safety ratings and which were environmentally friendly.'

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