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Fleet News Conference: Fleets must unlock cost savings

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(Hit for Six) Companies have been urged to take a fresh look at their fleets in the face of unprecedented changes and challenges facing the industry.

Areas they need to investigate include fuel policies, vehicle funding, vehicle choice, emissions limits and even drink and drugs policies, which could unlock savings, enhance fleet safety and protect the environment.

The call to action was issued to fleets during the Hit for Six South Conference, sponsored by Lex, which took place in Oxford today (Tuesday).

The conference covered six of the most important issue in fleet, as voted for by fleet decision-makers, including risk management, green fleet management, grey fleet, taxation and running costs and funding.

One key area of debate was the future fuel choices fleets will be making amid concern that diesels no longer offer value for money because of the price premium the fuel carries over petrol and the higher cost of purchasing vehicles.

Colin Whelan, research audit and analyst manager for residual value expert CAP, warned that in some cases, common fleet diesels would have to cover more than 80,000 miles just to break even compared to the running costs of an equivalent petrol.

The challenge of choosing the right fleet is made harder because of changes to capital allowances that come into force next year, fleet managers were told.

Under current rules, fleets are allowed to claim 20% of the depreciating balance of their vehicle against corporation tax, restricted to a maximum of £3,000.

 

But from April next year, the system will be based on CO2, with cars emitting more than 160g/km of CO2 allowed a written down allowance of 10%, compared to cars of 160g/km and under, which can write down 20%.

Lex Momentum’s Chris Chandler said fleets had to take action to understand the new rules, and consider capping fleet choice lists at 160g/km, particularly job need cars.

The potential savings from getting the shape of the fleet right are enormous, delegates heard.

Glenn Ewen, fleet manager for Clear Channel UK, which has 370 LCVs and 160 cars, revealed how he had already capped vehicles on the choice list at 150g/km this year as part of a long-term green drive that slashed emissions by 1,760 tonnes of CO2, cut 4.75 million miles from annual mileage and saved £200,000 a year on fuel and congestion charging bills.

  • Our second and final Hit for Six Conference takes place in Bradford on September 30.

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