How often do you turn up for a meeting, only to find there are no spaces in the office car park? I only ask because I heard a great story recently about company car parking.

Seems the fleet manager at this particular firm (no names, no pack drill, I’m afraid) was in the habit of leaving unwanted and unused company cars parked up in the limited number of spaces under the office. Sometimes they were from employees who had left and sometimes just between allocation as people moved jobs.

Anyway, things came to a head on the day the managing director couldn’t find a space and ended up in the very expensive pay-and-display down the road.

You might think this exceptional (the bit about cars sitting around doing nothing, not the cost of pay-and-display parking) but I can assure you it’s not.

We’re currently talking to a company where, until recently, if an employee left, the regional manager used to take the car home and park it on his drive while they worked out what to do next.

These are both medium-sized companies but the point of these two stories (and I could give you a couple more) is that this industry spends a huge amount of time trying to save money on vehicle acquisition, rather less time on cost-effective disposal – and very little time the most efficient use of vehicles in service.

Having a car sitting down in the car park for a couple of weeks is not cost effective use of company funds. Letting a manager take it home and park it on a drive where it will quietly get forgotten about until a new employee joins is madness.

And how about the new employee who turns up all eager and keen, ready to take delivery of his/her new company car – only to find it’s been sitting around gathering dust for a couple of weeks and is already due to go in for a routine service.

So, next time you can’t find a parking spot, take a look at the cars in the car park and ask yourself if they’re actually in use – or if that very expensive bit of real estate is just being used for storage.

I believe it’s an issue that very few are prepared to tackle. You expect your staff to be productive: why don’t you feel the same way about your cars?

Andy Brown is managing director of CD Fleet Services