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Fuel costs to hit car choice, says Renault fleet boss

Date: 28 April 2008

Rocketing fuel costs coupled to tighter CO2 tax rules will see fleets cut their drivers' vehicle choice, according to Renault fleet boss Keith Hawes.

"If a finance director is looking at his fleet, he would be doing the analysis of what cars are most fuel-efficient. And there will be a point at which they're going to look at changing their fleets," said Hawes.

"Rising costs will mean narrower choice. Fleet managers will look at fuel costs as well as CO2."

Hawes highlighted the new 160g/km CO2 level for capital allowances as a factor.

"The 160g/km limit has not had an impact yet, but will on lease and rental rates."

However, Renault has not yet experienced a high take-up of its greenest, most efficient cars, running contrary to VW, Ford and Vauxhall.

"I'm not convinced there's lots of demand for these green cars. We get questions on safety and CO2 at the tender stage, but there's not a massive take-up yet. But there will be.

"We have the Eco2 brand. It is not a specific model in each range, it just has to meet three criteria: less than 140g/km CO2, built at an eco factory meeting an environmental ISO, and has to be a minimum of 95% recyclable.

"We don't have a Bluemotion, but we do have 37 cars in our Eco2 range. Eco2 is a label, not a badge. Going green should be everything you produce, not a specific model."