Fleet News

Fleet managers could help SMMT hit fuel saving targets

Stoke-on-Trent-based Motiva Group has urged fleet managers to back a campaign by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to help motorists drive more efficiently.

The SMMT claims that UK drivers could save more than £6.8 billion a year by introducing improvements to their driving style.

It believes simple changes could reduce UK motorists’ fuel bills by 20 per cent – without affecting travel time or speed.

Longton vehicle solutions business Motiva believes the benefits could be even greater for fleet operators.

Peter Davenport, group managing director at Motiva, said: “Let’s not kid ourselves. In general, if someone is driving a fleet van or car they are likely to be less concerned about, say, harsh acceleration, than if they were in their own car.

“That has a really significant impact of fuel consumption – and of course cost to the employer.

“It also means that if fleet managers work with drivers to instil good habits, the savings could be even greater.

“Fuel prices are on the rise again because of the value of the pound against the U.S. dollar and the situation in Egypt and Syria, so maximising fuel efficiency has never been so important.”

The SMMT believes all motorists could achieve – and in many cases exceed – the official European miles per gallon figures for vehicles.

The AA, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, Guild of Motoring Writers, Institute of Advanced Motorists, Motor Codes and RAC are also backing the cause.

Mr Davenport said: “How many times do you hear drivers describing manufacturers’ mpg claims as fictional?

“The fact is, if you introduce technology to monitor driver behaviour and then act on the information you receive, consumption can be drastically reduced.”

Mr Davenport said it was important to build a culture of driver support and training, rather than a culture of criticism.

He added: “Fleet managers are under intense pressure to bring down costs, and fuel is usually the second biggest fleet cost after depreciation.

“Using fleet monitoring to alter driver behaviour can really drive down fuel bills, but there are other benefits as well.

“Insurance premiums often go down because the real-time location of the vehicle is always accessible, and emissions are also reduced significantly.”

Motiva’s Motrak system pinpoints the exact location of a vehicle, it manages private mileage claims and it can identify inefficient driver behaviour such as harsh braking and acceleration.

Motiva operates a fleet of about 5,000 cars and commercial vehicles through its contract hire division. It offers short-term rentals through its M-Way brand, funded or non-funded fleet provision and fleet and fuel management.

Medium-term rental from three months to one year is offered under the Lite-Lease banner, and vehicle tracking is provided through the Motrak brand.

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