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HMRC initiative slashes grey fleet CO2

Date: 27 July 2010   |   Author: Tristan Young

HMRC has launched a scheme to cut the carbon emissions of its grey fleet that could be followed by a host of public sector transport managers who run large numbers of grey fleet vehicles.

Grey fleet vehicles are those cars owned by private individuals, but used on business. The vehicles are usually funded for company use on a mileage-rate basis and are often poorly monitored for their CO2 emissions.

The initiative was set up last year by HMRC transport boss Pete Gleeson to reduce CO2 output of the organisation's highest mileage grey fleet drivers by offering them a lower-CO2 pool car for business-only mileage.

Speaking exclusively to BusinessCar about the scheme, Gleeson said: "HMRC is keen to find ways to reduce carbon from its necessary travel and had a 10% carbon reduction target from travel for the year-to-March 2010. In an initiative to address the top tier of grey fleet drivers, HMRC identified these top users and sought a grant from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to provide capital to fund alternative vehicles.

"We were successful in obtaining a £1.4 million capital grant and after a selection exercise based on key factors - safety, whole-life costs, usability and low carbon - selected the VW Golf Bluemotion. The capital was sufficient for outright purchase of 88 vehicles.

"The basic idea of the scheme was to provide a vehicle for business purposes only and base it at an office close to the user or at the user's home, but barring any commuting or other private travel in the vehicle.

"The users pay no private contribution and a fuel card is supplied to facilitate refuelling without a financial impact on the drivers," said Gleeson.

Speaking at the recent Future of Fleet conference organised by public sector fleet firm Automotive Leasing, Gleeson warned the audience that the key to cutting CO2 was measuring current output and added that few public sector fleets were equipped to do this.