Fleet News

Drivers cut time behind wheel


Company car drivers appear to be spending less time behind the wheel.

A new survey has revealed that 46% now spend less than two hours a day behind the wheel, while just 8% spend longer than 30 hours a week driving.

With average commutes in many areas hitting one hour, this suggests that almost half of company car drivers are using their cars just to get to and from the office.

The survey of 504 car company drivers, which was carried out by Skoda, suggested that stresses such as fatigue and traffic congestion are beginning to change attitudes to company car use.

While some companies may believe the 10-hour weekly figure suggested by the survey underestimates the true time drivers spend behind the wheel, the BVRLA believes it is an accurate reflection.

“I’d suggest that it’s probably not very far from the truth,” said British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association spokesman Robin Mackonochie.

“In our survey on CO2 emissions at the end of last year, the average mileage across the fleet was 21,643 miles a year.

"Given that average speeds are around 35-40mph, that would mean the average company car driver is behind the wheel for 11 hours per week.”

However, fleet operators’ association ACFO had reservations about the survey. 

“A sample of 500 drivers is very small compared to the total number of company car drivers out on the road – somewhere in the region of three million,” said the association’s chairman, Julie Jenner.

“I am a bit surprised to hear that 46% of drivers are spending less than 10 hours per week driving, but not surprised that company cars are provided to drivers doing a minimal amount of driving.”

Ms Jenner points out that many company cars are provided for public sector workers who are not high-mileage drivers.

In addition, there are also a large number of employees who qualify for a car based purely on their position, irrespective of mileage.

While drivers may be spending less time behind the wheel, they are showing no signs of abandoning their company cars.

The survey found that company drivers remain divided on adopting alternatives such as video-conferencing and working from home, with 46% in favour and 45% against.

Martin Burke, head of business sales at Skoda, explained: “When it comes to work-related travel, the car remains the business tool of choice.

" Benefits of face-to-face interaction and a break from the office clearly offset the nuisance of traffic congestion for most workers.”

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