AS fleet manager for a Nottingham-based pet product company, Alan Phillips is all too aware of the importance of controlling costs.
And since taking on the role he has brought about improvements in Armitage Brothers' business fuel economy by introducing fuel cards and regular driver reporting. But he has taken fleet frugality a step further by competing an 839-mile journey from John O'Groats to Land's End on a single tank of diesel, with 10 litres to spare.
His vehicle for the task was a Toyota Avensis 2.0-litre D-4D saloon with a 60-litre tank, supplied by Toyota Fleet. His economy marathon also raised £1,000 for Children In Need.
Setting off at 1am for the 18-hour journey, Phillips said the steep hills of the Highlands presented the biggest challenge. 'I feathered the throttle along the twisty roads and gradually watched the average on the computer come up to 73.5mpg with an average speed of 42mph by the time I reached Inverness. By halfway, near Kendal, I had averaged 45mph and 78.3mpg.'
Phillips' aim was to cruise at 50mph to 60mph on motorways but roadworks en route meant this was not always possible.
His highest average reading of 81.3mpg came at the end of the M5, but the final stage along the hilly A30 reduced that figure to more than 75mpg by the time he reached Land's End.