The cost of fuel is ranked alongside risk management as one of the most important issues faced by many police fleet managers.
John Bradley, fleet manager of Hampshire police, said: 'The cost of fuel is probably the biggest issue we face. Our fleet covers 15 million miles each year and we are constantly looking at ways of improving our performance, such as new technology, alternative fuels and switching to diesels.
'I'm extremely impressed with the range of good diesels available now and we have recently taken on some BMW 330ds as traffic patrol vehicles to improve fuel costs.'
Duncan Watkins, fleet manager of South Yorkshire police, said forces have to strike a balance in choosing the right type of vehicle for the job with one eye on wholelife costs. 'We have looked at alternative fuels, but believe diesel will be the way forward with the latest range of common rail engines and particulate traps. In trials we have found we can use diesels in high performance areas, which could lead to important savings.'