Fleets are being urged to give their drivers enough information so they can make a decision that not only takes into account the environmental impact of the vehicle today, but its cost to the driver as environmental legislation increases.
The call from fleet and fuel management company Arval comes at a time when the government and local authorities are considering policies that target high-emitting vehicles.
Head of market analysis Mike Waters said: ‘We are already seeing high-emitting 4x4 vehicles being targeted. If the next few years experience the same sort of targeting of high emission and 4x4 vehicles then drivers will increasingly begin to question whether this type of vehicle is a sensible choice.
‘My fear is that many drivers and companies could be faced with increasing bills solely based on the emission profile of the vehicle they choose today.’
Recent policies and proposals that target high-emission vehicles include the increase in the number of vehicle excise duty bands and London mayor Ken Livingstone’s plan to create new congestion charges for 4x4s.
Waters added: ‘Political momentum is clearly growing. Fleets have to take a more forward-thinking approach and encourage drivers to consider their choices carefully before making a final decision.
‘Another option is to help drivers make the right vehicle choice by setting environmental benchmarks for selection lists.’
A recent poll of top fleet manager concerns carried out as part of GE Commercial Finance, Fleet Services’ Company Car Trends, saw environmental issues listed as one of the top three, along with duty of care and fuel prices (Fleet News, December 21, 2006).