It can hardly come as any surprise that, with escalating fuel prices, a general organisational focus on reducing costs and greater attention paid to corporate social responsibility, company car mileage has dropped.

Add gradually improving public transport (albeit very limited) and vastly improved conference technology and the case for not using company or grey fleet vehicles and moving away from face-to-face meetings is gaining wider acceptance.

Also, faced with even greater time pressures at work, executives are becoming far more receptive to telephone or video conference calls than they were just a few years ago.

The strides taken in making people a few hundred miles away sound as if they are in the same meeting room has certainly helped in that regard and, for those reliant on ‘looking at the colour of their eyes’, video conferencing is no longer such a poor substitute for one-on-one meetings.

Some organisations are going to ever greater lengths to discourage the use of company and grey fleet vehicles by making outside meetings a last resort.

Where travel is sanctioned, then the first way of making savings is by proper journey planning – not just route planning but through choice of the most economic form of transport, starting with use of public transport or a combination of car and public transport and extending to use of pool cars, short-term rental or car sharing.

The management of fleet costs has extended beyond discouraging company or private car use. Specifying the best vehicles ‘fit for purpose’ has seen fuel economy rise up the agenda. Assessed properly, vehicle choice based on fuel economy can save up to 14p per litre according to Allstar, not to be sneered at when fuel prices have risen by more than half in the last six years.

Add the bonus of lower BiK rates for drivers and carbon emission footprints for organisations and no wonder company cars are getting smaller and ever more fuel efficient.

And, as we all know, fuel savings can also be achieved through influencing driver behaviour from proper journey planning at the outset to driving tips on raising average mileage per gallon. The added bonus of the latter is not only in lower fuel costs but also in reduced accident costs too.

A few years ago, the Energy Saving Trust calculated that lowering annual business mileage from 12,000 miles by 10% could save £177 per car in fuel alone and raise productivity by 30 hours. Since then, average business mileage across the board has dropped further still.

All the above is impacting policies as many fleets take action to lower mileage and, by definition, running costs. The consequences are not only far reaching for management but for vehicle manufacturers and fleet suppliers too.

When you consider the prediction by business insight firm, International Data Corporation, that by 2015, 37% of the world’s entire workforce will work remotely using mobile technology, the implications for fleet are all too clear.

Realistically, two years away may be too optimistic but with technological advances gathering pace all the time business mileage will inevitably go only one way, downhill.