Paul Hollick
Paul Hollick, chairman of the Institute of Car Fleet Management
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Paul Hollick
Paul Hollick of Alphabet

BUSINESS car managers are continuing to suffer with the spiralling cost of company car control, a survey by Alphabet has revealed.

The UK-based fleet manager’s annual Alphabet Fleet Management Report 2012, found that controlling costs and understanding what causes them to rise, is the number one priority for business car managers.

68% of company car managers list rising costs as their number one worry

The concern shows a rise on the 2011 figures, with 68 per cent listing it as a worry. That’s six per increase, and can be attributed to the relentless rise in petrol and diesel prices over the last 12 months – a concern that takes second place on the list.

Insurance is the area in which company car managers have seen the biggest hike in cost, overtaking maintenance and repair in last year’s survey. A reasonable 17 per cent were quoted lower premiums year-on-year in 2011, with the figure dropping to just 10 per cent in 2012. This comes as a hard pill to swallow when you note that fewer fleets reported an increase in accidents last year (14 per cent in 2012 vs 17 per cent in 2011).

  • Insurance accounts for the biggest hike in costs

Paul Hollick, sales and marketing director for Alphabet, said: “Given the weak state of the global economy, the fact that costs are top priority for the UK fleet is not surprising.”

In an effort to save money, the survey discovered that an overwhelming 62 per cent of SME company car managers had attempted to negotiate with fleet suppliers.

Also on the list of cost-cutting measures was journey evaluation and an increase in teleconferencing, which by simply staying in the office can significantly reduce expenditure.

One area that seems to have slipped in the last 12 months, is driver training.

Focus on hazard awareness and ECO driving is proven to cut repair bills as well as reduce fuel consumption, yet only 46 per cent of business car managers ranked it as an important factor during these tough economic times.

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