Fleets are increasingly opting for greener cars, changing their buying habits at a speed that is even surprising manufacturers, according to Renault.
The French manufacturer was taken by surprise when more fleets opted for the lowest-emitting new Laguna than it expected.
The French carmaker is currently making a big deal of its environmentally-friendly range, sporting its ECO2 label.
Vehicles wearing the label, which launched last year, emit less than 140g/km of CO2.
Fleet interest in greener models has been higher than expected and this trend is likely to continue with next year’s changes to the rules on writing-down allowances.
“More fleets are going for the lowest-emitting Laguna, the 1.5 dCi 110, rather than the 2.0 dCi 130,” said Louise O’Sullivan, Renault’s brand manager.
“That really surprised us. From feedback through the fleet teams, that’s what the user-choosers are asking for to save company car tax and next year the companies themselves will make the same decision because of the change in writing-down allowances.”
Ms O’Sullivan said there was a big focus on going green as one of the core aspects of the Renault brand.
“For every new vehicle that we bring out we’re aspiring to make it ECO2 where possible,” she said.
“Last year a large proportion of our sales in the UK were of vehicles that carry the ECO2 label, so people are becoming much more aware.”
Whether that is because of genuine social conscience or the cost benefits of running a more efficient vehicle is unclear, but Ms O’Sullivan said it was likely to be a combination of both.
“I think the label probably draws people’s attention to the environmental side,” she said.
“But while people in the UK want to be environmentally friendly, they are also very cost conscious. We have been drawing attention to the cost benefits and that’s really made people start to look at it.”