Fleet News

News analysis: Green policies top agenda

ENVIRONMENTAL issues and health and safety remain paramount factors when developing company car policies, a new study has found.

Nearly a quarter of all fleets now have a green transport policy in place and 27% restrict car choice to diesel engines only.

Almost half of all companies (48%) now encourage employees to cycle to work and car sharing is encouraged by more than a third of companies.

The findings are produced in Company Car UK 2007, produced by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Monks division.

The study gathered data from almost 190 companies who collectively manage more than 81,000 company cars.

It covers car availability, car allocation, flexibility, cash allowances, fuel provision, mileage allowance and taxation.

Gary Hull, director of employment solutions, said: ‘Company car policies in UK companies are continuing to evolve with many companies now taking environmental pressures and road safety into account even more so than before.

‘This will have to be recognised by providers as they need to ensure that employees have access to, and are encouraged to take up, green transport options.’

Other key findings include the fact that many companies have guidelines for work-related safety and more than 90% recognise the need to communicate with drivers on mobile phone use in cars. Also, 80% carry out driving licence checks on staff who drive on company business.

The report also found that the typical salary at which a car is provided as a standard benefit continues to rise and is now £35,000, up from £33,500 in 2006. And it notes a decrease in the number of companies providing all fuel for private use. In 70% of companies, some drivers elected not to receive fuel for private motoring.

Mr Hull added: ‘In his March 1998 budget, the chancellor said it was his intention to discourage employers from providing, and employees from accepting, free fuel.

‘The consequent increase in the taxation of the provision of fuel for private use has therefore meant that the benefit has become less desirable for many employees and so a number of companies are introducing a policy whereby the provision of fuel for private motoring is an optional benefit.’

  • For details of how to obtain the report, visit www.monkspwc.co.uk.

  • Control of fuel costs

    2007 (% companies) 2006 (% companies)
    Fuel cards 54 64
    Company credit cards 9 7
    Company garage accounts 1 1
    Reimbursement expenses
    against receipted bills 21 15
    Fixed pence per mile allowance 57 53
    Weekly/monthly fuel allowance 4 5

  • Cash-for-car

    At least one employee wishing to switch (% companies saying 'yes')
    back from allowance to company car
    Company turnover Parent Subsidiary
    Under £100m 24 56
    £100m-£500m 73 41
    £500m-£2,000m 60 67
    Over £2,000m 72 71
    Sample size 83% 89%

  • Vehicle replacement by job level

    (% companies)
    Post two three four 60,000 80,000 100,000
    years years years miles miles miles
    Chairman 4 44 48 14 32 11
    Chief executive 2 43 53 14 34 21
    Director 1 46 51 16 30 19
    Senior manager 1 45 54 18 30 14
    Middle manager 1 44 54 18 30 15
    Area sales manager 2 48 49 16 35 16
    Sales representative 1 52 45 16 28 15
    Minimum status car 0 41 58 19 38 13
    Minimum business need car 3 42 52 12 39 13

  • Car policy responsibility

    (% companies)
    Admin Development Cost
    HR department 38 70 29
    Fleet department 47 27 28
    Finance department 13 13 34
    Procurement 10 6 17
    Other 9 6 9
    Sample size 174 175 173

  • Companies and the environment

    (% companies)
    Under £100m- £500m- Over All
    £100m £500m £2,000m £2,000m
    Encourage walking 21 18 9 21 18
    Relocation expenses 17 18 50 32 29
    Flexitime 38 41 41 46 42
    Promote low-emission cars 55 29 45 46 46
    Promote alternative fuel cars 21 12 5 18 15
    Plant trees 10 6 5 18 10
    Encourage car sharing 34 59 27 46 40

  • Private fuel by job level

    % of companies providing all private fuel
    Post 2007 2006
    Chairman 52 60
    Chief executive 57 62
    Director 55 59
    Senior manager 41 51
    Middle manager 31 36
    Area sales manager 26 35
    Sales representative 24 35
    Minimum status car 19 23
    Minimum business need car 22 25

  • Fuel operating costs

    Responsibility by company turnover %
    Under £100m- £500m- More than All%
    £100m £500m £2,000m £2,000m
    Full-time fleet manager 38 34 45 58 45
    External fleet management organisation 9 26 42 40 28
    In-house transport dept 15 8 9 21 14
    Contract hire/contract purchase only 20 32 27 13 22
    Another executive 42 29 18 9 25

  • total in most columns will exceed 100% as some firms use more than one method

  • Attitude to diesel

    % companies
    2007 2006
    Restricted choice to diesel only 27 24
    Encourage choice of diesel 73 76
    Discourage choice of diesel 0 0
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