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The start point for the best source of fleet information

The A-Z of fleet guide

Date: 26 March 2012

Businesscar's complete alphabetical guide to the vital fleet industry terms and phrases (D-L)



The decrease in value of an item over a period of time, partly due to wear and tear. The depreciation of a vehicle is the most important consideration for fleets when exploring whole-life costs.


A heavy mineral oil used as fuel in diesel car engines. Typically more popular than unleaded fuel for fleets due to greater efficiency.

Diesel surcharge

The surcharge placed on diesel-powered company cars, putting them three BIK bands higher than a car emitting the same CO2 following Government concerns that diesels produce more NOx and particulates than equivalent petrol engines. It's due to be abolished in 2015.

Driver training

Educating company drivers through in-car, online or classroom training to raise awareness on areas including safety and efficient driving.

Duty of care

Duty of care is a legal obligation for employers to look after, as far as possible, staff's health and safety and welfare while at work. For fleet managers, duty of care is paramount.


The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is a branch of the Department for Transport and manages UK driving licences and registration certificates.



Employee Car Ownership schemes are a loan facility enabling the employee to buy his own car for business use. These schemes are usually backed by service agreements offering an experience similar to that of owning a company car.

Electric vehicles

Now coming to the market in increasing numbers, electric vehicles are more expensive than conventional petrol or diesel cars to buy, and have a limited range of around 60 miles, but only cost pennies to recharge. Vehicles included the Mitsubishi i-Miev, Citroen C-Zero, Peugeot Ion, Nissan Leaf and the Renault Fluence, Kangoo and Twizy models.


The waste products emitted by a vehicle including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons and particulates.


Electronic Stability Programme, standard on some cars and optional on others, is an anti-skid control system that uses electronics and the braking system to prevent skids during emergency manoeuvres.



A natural resource burned to produce energy that will eventually be exhausted. Vehicles have been traditionally powered by unleaded and diesel fuel.

Fleet management

The management of a company's fleet including overseeing vehicle maintenance, risk, health and safety, telematics and drivers.

Fuel cards

A fuel card can be used to pay for fuel at a service station as well as other car-related products as determined by a company, such as oil or screen-wash. The cards let fleet managers keep track of expenditure and mileage through fuel reporting, and remove the need for drivers to have cash.


Grey fleet

An employee's own vehicle used for business journeys. Traditionally a worry for some fleets as they are likely to be older and less environmentally friendly, and may not be serviced to the same level as a company or hire car.



HM Revenue and Customs is the Government department responsible for collecting taxes.


A hybrid vehicle is one that uses two or more power sources, typically an internal combustion engine coupled with an electric battery.


A highly flammable gaseous element. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are considered to be one key alternative to internal combustion engines in the future because the technology emits nothing but water. Although development cars are being run in some countries, they're still a decade away due to the expense and packaging issues, and would require a new fuelling infrastructure.



The Institute of Car Fleet Management is an independent not-for-profit organisation aimed at furthering the education, recognising the achievements, and advancing the profession of car fleet management.

Internal combustion engine

An engine traditionally used to power a car, and where motion is created by burning fuel within the engine. Also referred to as ICE.


An annual policy bought by vehicle owners to alleviate costs incurred by a car accident or other damage.


Journey planning

Planning journeys is a way to maximise productivity and minimise cost, including considering modes of transport other than company cars and ensuring the most sensible and time-efficient routes are chosen.



Light commercial vehicle, or van, weighing up to 3.5 tonnes.

Lead times

The length of time it will take for a vehicle to be delivered from the order date.

Leasing industry

Encompassing leasing and contract hire companies, with giant Lex Autolease leading the pack in terms of volume.

Licence checking

The task of checking company car drivers' licences to ensure they are driving legally.

Low rolling-resistance tyres

These tyres have less friction than normal tyres on a road surface, although makers claim there is no reduction in durability or grip. They are designed to maximise a car's fuel efficiency.


Liquefied petroleum gas is an alternative fuel. Vehicles can be converted to use LPG, which is around half the price of fossil fuels.

A-Z continued