Fleet News

ECOs and fleets can mix

A COMPANY has proved that a traditional fleet can operate seamlessly alongside an employee car ownership scheme to provide efficient and safe driver management and save money.

Young & Co’s brewery has been monitoring the benefit of running the twin system since it was launched three years ago and has declared it a success.

Peter Whitehead, finance director at the brewery, said: ‘The company has saved on its fleet costs and no longer has the administrative burden of running its own fleet. Our drivers are happy because they know the scheme is designed around them.’

The launch followed an in-depth review of the operation of its 100-vehicle fleet, which was outright purchased before the changes.

Maintenance was also in-house and carried out by its own workshops in Wandsworth.

Working with Provecta Car Plan, the firm developed a fleet scheme that was segmented according to drivers’ business mileage profiles.

Whitehead added: ‘We identified one group of drivers where it would be more cost effective if they opted out and switched to employee car ownership.

‘The other group did fewer business miles, were better off in company cars and so we identified that contract hire was the best route in terms of savings for the company.’

Drivers under both the ECO scheme and contract hire have the same choice of vehicles and all their maintenance, servicing and repair is managed by Provecta.

About 85% of drivers are provided with a car through the ECO scheme and communication was put at the heart of operating the policy.

Whitehead said: ‘We were able to demonstrate that they would benefit with a better choice of car and no-one would be discriminated against because of the type of scheme they were in. It was very important that the whole policy was fair and centred on the driver.’

Fleet NewsNet reported last month that the number of drivers covering business mileage in private cars has rocketed, leading to a major fall in the number of tax-paying company car drivers.

However, companies are realising that responsibility for drivers does not just stop at the company car, but covers private cars used for business as well.

In an interview with Fleet NewsNet, Transport Minister Dr Stephen Ladyman warned companies they had to take their responsibility to all drivers seriously. He said: ‘If they are driving on business then you are responsible for them.’

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