Turbocharge your fleet: 3 effective steps to saving money through carbon reduction

As part of Pendragon Vehicle Management’s ongoing ‘Turbocharge’ campaign, the fleet management company detail 3 practical initiatives you can apply to your vehicle fleet now to help reduce carbon emissions.

For the first time in nearly two decades, average new car CO2 emissions rose. This increase has partially been attributed to confusion and uncertainty around diesel, tax and clean air zones.

Striving for carbon reduction however has clear benefits, and by employing effective fleet management techniques to reduce your vehicle fleet’s carbon emissions, you can save your business money, comply with reporting and duty of care requirements, and help to protect the environment.

Below are 3 carbon-reducing initiatives you could apply to your business fleet now:

Measure your carbon footprint

Critically, there are two key pieces of data required to calculate your fleet’s carbon footprint - business mileage and fuel consumption, though it is good practice to also record car-specific CO2 emissions. Fuel cards and telematics can both be used to streamline gathering this information, and online calculators can be used to help you work out your fleet’s footprint.

With this data, you are gaining insight that can be used to identify fuel savings, driver training, inefficient vehicles and inflated or false mileage claims. Targeting improvements in these areas will help you increase your profit margins.

There are further benefits as well - if you use cash allowances or have a grey fleet, some of the important information you need to demonstrate your duty of care is also used in the carbon footprint calculation, for example the type of vehicle your employee is using and where they are driving to. If you also collect fuel consumption and carbon emission of these vehicles, you’ll be able to estimate the footprint of this portion of your fleet.

Review your vehicle selection policy

Choosing the right vehicle for your business fleet is essential, otherwise you could end up with a vehicle that is not fit for purpose, and costly to your business and the environment.

You should clearly define your needs and how they will be used. This will help determine, among other factors, what fuel type your vehicles should be.

Despite the negative media coverage, our analysis found that modern-day diesels are still the most cost-effective for high mileage and motorway journeys. Hybrid vehicles have higher on the road CO2 emissions and lower real-world MPG than officially reported, and with generally higher P11D values meant that they were less cost effective than a new diesel. Until the electric charging infrastructure and the product range, particularly electric commercial vehicles, improves, diesel vehicles should not be discounted.

With choosing the right car, it’s important that your analysis goes beyond comparing rental values of the vehicle, and instead review car selection on a whole life cost basis to get a holistic view of the total cost of your vehicle. Similarly, when considering your vehicle choice list, the cost and environmental arguments for adopting a basic capping level on CO2 and MPG are very strong. By rewriting your choice list to include only vehicles with CO2 figures of no more than 130g/km and with fuel consumption of no less than an average of 50mpg you will realise savings in fuel, National Insurance and Benefit in Kind taxation.

Utilising new technology

In addition to reviewing fuel types, there are an array of devices that can aid carbon reduction. Telematics can help inform your vehicle choice policy and carbon footprint, through tracking mileage and fuel consumption, whilst also telling you where your vehicles are and how they are being driven.

Engaging in driver training and improving standards could lead to smoother, better planned journeys, reducing fuel consumption, length of journeys and reducing potential risk, as can light bars that provide real-time feedback to the driver in the event of harsh breaking, acceleration or turning.


Whether used in isolation or together as part of a cohesive carbon reduction effort, these initiatives can power tangible savings in your business and be used to inform further developments. With the continued rise in CO2-based Benefit-in-Kind rates and last year’s revised VED rates causing fleet costs to creep up, switching to low-carbon vehicles can help improve your bottom-line and turbocharge your fleet.

Pendragon Vehicle Management have over 30 years’ experience helping UK businesses to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of their fleet operations. Pendragon offer a variety of fleet funding methods, fleet management services, daily rental and fleet consultation. Contact Pendragon on 01332 267 389, email info@pendragon.uk.com or visit our website.

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