Leasing company Lombard has kicked off the new-year by offering a series of money saving hints for fleets.

The company, backed by the Royal Bank of Scotland, has put forward these six methods it claims will reduce fleet spending in the next year.

1. Lease your cars rather than buying them outright as residual values are in ‘sharp decline’.

2. Extend vehicle contracts. Lombard said this could be a ‘longer-term approach to save money’.

3. Go for a large funding company that can buy cars in bulk and pass on the savings.

4. Understand the new tax changes. Lombard explained: “Cars producing more than 160g/km of CO2 will be subject to a writing-down allowance of only 10%, while those producing 160g/km or less will qualify for a 20% allowance. Leased cars in the higher category will have 15% of the relevant payments disallowed while those in the lower category will have no disallowance. This will make a massive difference. For example, a company could claim over £8500 on a sub-161g/km CO2 car – such as a 1.6-litre diesel-engined Focus – with a new value of £20,000 and 70% depreciation after three years. However, if the car produced 161g/km CO2 or more only just over £4800 could be claimed. The relationship between CO2 emissions and Vehicle Excise Duty levels is also being strengthened from April, with differences of up to £250 per year on cars in the two categories.”

5. Go green. “The lower the CO2 emissions, the lower its whole-life cost will be,” said Rob Bailey, Lombard’s fleet boss.

6. Buy more cars. “If you offer drivers a cash-for-car option you are probably paying considerably more than providing them with vehicles through a well-structured in-house fleet.”