A FLEET decision-maker has ordered a fleet of Renault Meganes worth nearly £500,000 at showroom prices after its high safety levels saved an employee from injury in a serious crash.
Ilkeston Co-op Travel has taken on 40 Renault Megane hatchbacks for managers of its travel centres in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire regions.
It assessed several models before making the decision, but said that the safety levels of the Megane, which secured a maximum five-stars in the European New Car Assessment Programme, proved in a real-world accident, had a major impact on the decision-making process.
Graham Bastin, the firm's fleet manager, said: 'It was the safety elements of the car which stood out. During the selection process, we took on a new Megane demonstration vehicle and while that was being driven by a member of staff it was involved in a serious accident.
'The car was completely written off, but thanks to the high level of safety features, the driver and the passenger walked away without a scratch.'
Bastin also praised other aspects of the car, adding: 'Its comfort and refinement levels were outstanding and the travel centre managers who are taking on the fleet liked the modern design which matches the company.'
In the past 10 years, the company has grown from running two travel centres to 40, covering the East Midlands and South Yorkshire regions.
Last year, Ilkeston Co-op Travel won the 'Best Independent Travel Agency Chain in the Country' award at the annual British Travel Awards.
The value of using Euro NCAP ratings for keeping fleet drivers safe was highlighted in a similar incident in 1999, when top fleet manager David Lee walked away from a head-on car crash in a vehicle he chose because of its high Euro NCAP safety rating (Fleet NewsNet February 5, 1999).