Fleet News

Shocking cost of rising congestion

Growing congestion means company car drivers spend almost a third of their working year sitting behind the wheel of their vehicles, a new study has shown.

The average driver spends a minimum of 70 days a year sitting in their car while on company business. This is despite that fact that the same survey reveals that annual business mileage has dropped by more than 10% to just over 14,000 miles.

The growing problem of congestion is costing UK businesses millions of pounds in wasted productivity, the report produced by Bank of Scotland Vehicle Finance found. Its annual report, now in its sixth year, gives a snapshot into the thinking of today’s fleet drivers and this year’s report received a record 10,000 responses.

It sought views on public transport, the environment, speed limits and duty of care, including mobile phone use in cars.

The survey also revealed that despite spending so long in their vehicles, most drivers would never use public transport. Three-quarters of respondents said they would never dream of taking a bus on a business trip and more than a third said catching a train was out of the question.

The train is only used occasionally by just over half of those surveyed, with cost and the possibility of delays deterring many.

A total of 80% of employers are not actively encouraging their staff to use alternative transport, it found.

Sean Bingham, director of new business at Bank of Scotland Vehicle, said: “There is a clear lack of direction when it comes to encouraging alternative modes of transport. Firms need to adopt a more flexible approach when it comes to travel arrangements.”

Growing concern about the environment was also evident, with 90% of respondents saying they have or would consider opting for a dual-fuel vehicle, up from 36% last year.

But when asked if their company encouraged the use of alternatively-fuelled vehicles, only 16% said they did. A vehicle’s fuel economy has also become a bigger concern when choosing a company car, topping the list along with safety. In last year’s survey, fuel economy was ranked fourth.

Mr Bingham added: “With the new advisory fuel rates coming into effect earlier this year, it is no surprise that more and more drivers are now paying closer attention to the fuel economy of their vehicle.

“Increasing congestion on Britain’s roads and ever-increasing business pressures inevitably result in lower mpgs being achieved than those published by the manufacturers.

“In effect, the new figures are too low as HMRC has refused to take into account these factors despite strong evidence to the contrary.”

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