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Mike Waters' blog: 31 March 2014 - A thrifty future

Date: 31 March 2014

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company

There are definitely signs that we are starting to see the green shoots of economic recovery.

From the rebound in the housing market and predictions for growth this year through to the availability of lending, we are seeing signs that the economy is getting back on track.

Conversely, the last few years have left us scarred to some extent.

There remains a great focus on cost control and a clear intention to find the most cost effective solutions for now and the longer term; a stance that makes perfect sense.

Effective cost control is something that you should aim for irrespective of economic conditions.

In the next few years, it is unlikely that the cost of motoring will fall.

I would be surprised if fuel prices went down, tax policy is likely to mirror improvements in technology, so more efficient vehicles will minimise your costs but won't necessarily save you money, and insurance premiums are not going to become less expensive.

Sounds like a gloomy picture, especially when you consider that it's impossible to influence the price of motoring related products and services. But on a much more upbeat note you can make a positive difference to your costs.

The best way to do this is through a whole life cost approach, which as the name suggests, means getting visibility of the full range of costs associated with your car or van.

This holistic view means that you can review every element of cost and minimise it.

So what does this mean in practice? It means things like selecting the lowest emitting vehicles to minimise tax.

It means selecting vehicles with good fuel consumption to reduce fuel spend.

Likewise, demonstrating efficient driving behaviours can reduce the frequency that you need to refuel and reduce servicing and maintenance costs.

It means not speeding or parking illegally to eradicate fines.

These are all good examples that should underpin your vehicle strategy. Driving is never going to be cheap, but for businesses and individuals it is essential, so you might as well aim to get the best bang for your buck and a prudent approach is always a good one.



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