Fleet News

Firms run 'ghost fleets' of under-used vehicles

British businesses have been accused of running a ‘ghost fleet’ of company cars and vans that rarely leave the car park.

New research into the transport policies of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) by Enterprise Rent-A-Car, found that 45% use their vehicles for less than two hours every day.

Assuming a five-day working week, these vehicles are used for less than three weeks’ continual driving every year and sit idle for the remaining 49.

Similarly, trucks and vans are being left standing, with 54% of businesses admitting that they use them for less than two hours each day.

“When I first joined the company, this was certainly something we had a problem with,” said Leigh Stiff, fleet manager at Hannaford. “To sort it out, I adopted a ‘use it or lose it’ approach.

“We still have a car and van that are not allocated to anyone, but they work out nicely as part of the pool for the time being.

“When the time comes to return these vehicles, I will not look to replace them as it will encourage us to work our fleet more effectively and hire vehicles on an as and when basis.”

Rob Ingram, director of business rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car said the study reflects the lack of attention that many businesses give to their transport policy.

“Many businesses simply are not aware of the options that can be available to them when it comes to planning their transport policy,” explained Ingram.

“But this is definitely something that is worth exploring, as it clearly makes no sense to pay to buy and run vehicles that are left to depreciate in the car park.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car asked more than 400 managing directors, senior partners or board members of SMEs about the transport policy of their business.

For all the latest advice and information on fleet management, have a read of our fleet operations section.

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