Could some public sector organisations really dump their entire fleets? That was the eyebrow-raising suggestion from Leaseplan’s public sector expert Stuart Walker, who told BusinessCar that he knows of more than one body that has tabled the proposal.

It would certainly be a radical approach to addressing the huge budget problems that will explode on public sector fleets this year, but would it really save any money? Remove someone’s company car and on top of the de-motivational HR impact, they’ll potentially be inclined to try and cover more miles to recoup some of the perceived financial loss through AMAP fuel payments.

Although the scale of the cuts is unprecedented, the obvious ‘red pen’ solutions of just striking out entire lines of the balance sheet may not be the most effective long-term financial solution. And that’s before issues such as duty of care or eco considerations come into play, as private cars are, generally speaking, serviced less frequently, older and less environmentally friendly.

An eminently sensible, if long-time-coming, solution is to finally leverage the economies of scale that come with the public sector. The new framework agreements that have been drip-feeding into place so far this year make sense for all concerned, and allow departments, councils and agencies to continue to offer services while making savings. There are still plenty of places fleets can save money without resorting to spectacular and drastic action that could rewrite the book on the laws of unintended consequences.

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