Fleet News

Satellite navigation the latest hot option for fleets

SATELLITE navigation has replaced air-conditioning as the most requested option following moves from manufacturers to include air conditioning as standard on entry-level models.

As technology becomes cheaper, drivers are getting accustomed to such extras but from a fleet management point of view, it’s worth working out whether the options will also add extra value to the fleet.

According to industry experts, the most common optional extras include metallic paint, air-conditioning and satellite navigation.

It is all well and good kitting the whole fleet out with satellite navigation units but do the costs outweigh the benefits and will it improve the vehicle’s value at disposal time?

One fleet hoping satellite navigation units will deliver added benefits is Hampshire Constabulary. The police fleet is trialling the Trafficmaster SmartNav system over the next nine months.

John Bradley, fleet manager at Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘We believe it will help drive down unnecessary mileage and improve response times and driver and public safety.’

Not all fleets share that opinion and fleet managers must weigh up the benefits of satellite navigation for themselves.

Anita Gray, fleet contracts and administration manager at Computacenter, said she believed air-conditioning should be standard on all vehicles, as well as lumbar support on seats for the benefit of drivers.

But satellite navigation units were not a priority for the Computacenter fleet.

Gray explained: ‘Satellite navigation is an obvious one but I don’t think it’s necessary as a standard option. It would drive up costs too much and not all drivers need it.’

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