Smaller fleets are put off going green because they perceive it as expensive, according to a new survey.
Research has found that more than 70% of companies with fleets of up to 100 vehicles rate having a green fleet as important or very important.
But that figure is not matched by a keenness to invest, as 56% are not prepared to allocate any budget.
Although 65% say they are likely or very likely to choose environmentally sensitive vehicles, only 26% are likely to restrict user-choosers to greener cars, and only 36% would consider hybrids.
Just 17% say they would consider electric vehicles.
The survey, by Lombard Vehicle Management, also found that small to medium-sized firms perceived carbon offsetting as much more expensive than it really is.
Lombard says the monthly cost of offsetting a panel van over 20,000 miles a year is around £7 a month, but those surveyed expected it to be more – 40% quoted more than £10 a month.
There was some encouraging news as three-quarters of businesses would be prepared to pay up to £4 a month to offset their emissions, and many said they would want public recognition of the act, such as through signs on vehicles.
This indicates that corporate image as well as cost is a key factor.
“In many ways, the overall findings are not surprising, but they are still concerning,” said Rob Bailey, head of Lombard Vehicle Management.
“The majority of respondents have fleets of less than 50 vehicles, and these companies may be feeling the effects of the tougher economic conditions more than larger businesses.
“It is clear that it will be necessary to both educate the business community about the true cost of going green and the financial advantages of doing so.”