Fleet News

Return of the fleet pool car on the cards

CHANGES in company car tax in April 2002 could see fleets re-introducing pool cars, according to industry experts. Fleet management software company Chevin Computer Systems believes that the pool car, often the butt of office jokes and almost always the worst maintained vehicle on each fleet, is about to enjoy a comeback.

Chevin believes that for many fleets - especially those concerned that the new carbon dioxide emissions-based company car tax system will place a large burden on many of their individual drivers - the greater use of pool cars will offer an ideal tax-efficient solution. As a result it has created an internal booking and management system, based on its RoadBASE fleet management system.

Chevin managing director Ashley Sowerby said: 'Until now pool cars were the poor relation of any fleet, because most companies were unable to manage them effectively. However our new module could be just what many companies need when the new CO2-based tax regime begins to bite next April, as pool cars form such a great way of operating company vehicles tax-effectively.'

The company claims its first customer for the new system is a services business which has ordered it to manage a batch of 30 new pool cars, because it is more tax effective for drivers and makes better economic sense for the company. However, Chevin declined to name the customer.

Bob Blackman, of fleet consultant Emmerson Hill, said: 'If companies are doing away with allocated company cars but still have business travel needs, the pool car is the answer. For this reason I think there could well be a renaissance for the 'business resource' car as I prefer to call it, to fill gaps where either people don't have company cars, or they need extra vehicles. The perception in the past has been that such vehicles are wasteful, but a good management system can do away with that.'

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