Bowdraper Group took on five 1.0 GS Yaris cars in 2000 as part of a move to downsize in advance of changes to benefit-in-kind taxation rules , based on the Toyota's wholelife costs, specification and reputation for reliability.
Now, Bowdraper is adding an extra six Yaris GS models with the new 1.4 D-4D common rail diesel engine, with more expected to be ordered over the next 12 months.
The 35-vehicle fleet is now running 14 Yaris models with plans to have a total of 22. Based at Leamington Spa, Bowdraper uses a network of area managers to co-ordinate the activities of 1,500 cleaning staff, specialising in office and factory work.
The area managers, operating from local offices or their homes, will cover up to 30,000 miles a year in the Yaris. Mark Jessup, Bowdraper Group director, said: 'The drivers love them. We've had no mechanical breakdowns and the servicing so far has been very cheap.'
He added that when managers needed to carry a lot of equipment they simply folded the back seats down. The diesel Toyotas will replace Vauxhall Astra estates on Bowdraper's fleet, and all the Yarises are finished in silver and liveried.