The ahead-of-schedule savings are being generated from improved acquisition costs for all new vehicles, which are selected through the use of Fleet Alliance's competitive tendering solution, and better contract mileage management of existing vehicles on the legacy fleet.

To monitor the efficiency of the fleet management initiatives it has put in place, Fleet Alliance has also introduced a "savings tracker" for Gala Coral to show the extent of the savings that are being made and the areas in which they are being achieved.

One key area of cost saving is in the contract mileage management of existing leased vehicles. The legacy fleet is being provided by the previous leasing supplier with set contracts until the vehicles are replaced at the end-of-lease agreement under the new competitive tendering system.

Using accurate driver profiling techniques, Fleet Alliance forward projects the anticipated mileage for each vehicle and then re-negotiates contracts where the vehicle will exceed the lease terms and, as such, incur additional costs to the business.

All new vehicles are added to the fleet using competitive tendering, employing Fleet Alliance's panel of three preferred funders who all quote for each new vehicle. Only the most cost-effective quote is accepted, an approach that has been proven to cut acquisition costs by 10-12%.

Gala Coral Group operates 1,600 licensed betting shops, 27 casinos and 145 bingo clubs in the UK, employing 16,000 people, with a further 400 betting shops in Italy.

Following Fleet Alliance advice, it has now switched from a two-badge fleet with Ford and Toyota to models from the Volkswagen Audi Group for the majority of its company car drivers, with Mercedes and BMW also available for senior managers. Directors have a free choice of vehicle.

Drivers are able to select and identify their next company car online through a new, specially designed web portal, a significant electronic improvement over the previous manually operated system.

Group efficiency director, Diane Atkins, said: 'We could not be happier with Fleet Alliance's performance and we are now projecting full first-year savings of £150,000, rising to £430,000 by the end of the second year as more new vehicles are competitively tendered on to our fleet.

'I think this has demonstrated to us that we were not optimising the efficiencies of the fleet before their appointment and are now able to realise the full benefit of an outsourced fleet management solution.'

Fleet Alliance is also responsible for ensuring that Gala Coral meets its Corporate Social Responsibility objectives. This includes checking licences for all drivers, and their nominated drivers, arranging driver training for those identified as high risk, managing mileages across both the grey and company car fleets and verifying that scheduled services are carried out.

'They are playing just as an effective role in managing our CSR objectives as they are in managing down our costs,' added Diane Atkins.