Fleet News

Fleets must look to telematics, says VELO

IN-CAR telematics systems could be the only solution to help fleet operators cope with congestion charging and the massive amounts of administration that will come with it, fleet management firm VELO has claimed.

A growing number of companies are raising concerns about the effect of congestion charging, as the deadline nears for its launch next year. Rental companies are already warning prices could rise or operations could close because of increased costs related to the scheme, which is intended to cut traffic levels.

VELO says the 'ring fencing' function of some telematics packages will determine exactly if and when vehicles entered congestion charging zones, ensuring fleet records are precise, up to date, and able to be checked against bills sent from local authorities. It will also be able to warn drivers when they are about to enter paid-for zones and direct them away.

Spencer King, from VELO, said: 'With millions of fleet journeys into towns and cities, the simplest way to administer and control travel is via in-car tracking and reporting technology.

'The technology is already there and has been mooted for use with managing health and safety risk and reducing fleet costs, but now there is the new benefit of being able to automatically check the number of visits to a particular town and city.'

Apart from ensuring fleets are not being overcharged, such systems should be able to help operators predict monthly vehicle movements. In the London congestion charging scheme, which start in February next year, fleets are being asked to provide estimates for the months ahead for entries into the zone. This is then reconciled at the end of the month, and telematics could help make estimates, and therefore budgeting, more accurate.

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