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Letters to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

ECO schemes don’t suit all fleet drivers

I read with interest the feature “Playing the waiting game on ECO schemes” (Fleet News, November 1).

The running of employee car ownership (ECO) schemes can require more administration than a typical company car scheme.

But, given the savings such schemes can attract, it encourages many employers to live with that hassle.

There are a number of specialist providers that have developed software which can be used to save on administration and the costs of this service can be funded out of the savings pot.

ECO is not for everybody and it is important that those deciding on a particular funding method do so with their eyes open to the issues.

The suggestion that the impact of health and safety related legislation has ended the flood of alternative schemes is just not the case.

Many employers are still looking to change their arrangements and there is no mass move back in to company cars.

The suggestion that approved mileage allowance payments (AMAPs) can be significantly reduced and therefore put ECO schemes at risk is amazing.

If these rates are reduced then people will be out of pocket and this will not be acceptable to those involved.

In addition, any changes in rates will add to the administration of the employer and the Government has made commitments that this will not happen.

At present no-one is aware of the numbers of employees undertaking business travel, their mileage and the type of car they use.

This is a complex area and cannot be changed overnight without a real possibility of a public outcry.

We cannot expect things to happen in the short to medium term and many have now decided no longer to freeze any policy changes and bravely move forward with their new policies based on the present system continuing for some time.

Bourne Business Consulting LLP

Where do I find the cheap fuel in your list?

Every week Fleet News reports on the national average cost of fuel from the forecourt in your panel on page two called UK Fuel Prices.

In a recent issue it was reported that the average fuel price for diesel was 101.6 pence per litre.

However, in my local town the average cost across garage forecourts is 105.6ppl and the best I have seen in East Anglia is 102.9ppl which was at a Tesco outlet.

I would be very interested to find where I can get diesel for 101.6ppl or less if this figure is the national average.

By email

Ed: Our fuel price figures are sourced from the AA and Arval, who undertake national surveys of fuel prices by branded outlet (eg all Shell stations).

Both firms offer fuel search facilities on their websites – www.theaa.com and www.arval.co.uk – which allow you to enter your postcode and search locally for the cheapest fuel prices.

Fitting speed limiters to vehicles is not the answer

Although a retired engineer, occasionally copies of Fleet News are passed on to me, and are read with interest.

The proposal to fit fleet cars and vans with speed limiters seems to be yet another poorly thought-out initiative from those who should know better. If only they lived in the real world.

Has any thought been given to the real safety or congestion implications?

I am not advocating law breaking but the proposal really does have serious drawbacks.

Having followed HGVs either tailgating or struggling to overtake one another while using speed limiters, we all know the effects speed limiters have on HGVs.

On one occasion, out of curiosity, I followed such a contest on the A1 motorway south of Peterborough where fortunately there are four lanes.

It took three miles for the faster truck to pass and pull in front of the slower one.

With speed limiters in light vehicles, the same situation would ensue with long lines of vehicles travelling nose to tail (and in my experience, dangerously close together) in the outer lane of dual carriageways and motorways.

Any incident at the head of the queue will result in an enormous accident.

Even if not immediately, accidents are likely to occur when frustration boils over, especially with the driver of an unrestricted private car.

Accidents are more likely to be reduced by educating drivers to travel at a speed appropriate to the conditions and to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

The benefits will be fewer accidents and lower costs due to reduced wear and tear, and improved fuel consumption.

Also, the spin off costs to the community of accidents will also be reduced, as will the environmental impact of business travel.

by email

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