Audi’s A3 grabbed the headline title at the awards held last night, becoming the fifth manufacturer to capture the honour, which has previously been dominated by Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen with BMW winning with the 3 Series for the first time last year. 

The A3 was recognised for its wide range of low emission petrol and diesel engines, strong residual values as well as a range of in-car technology. 

Meanwhile, ACFO members voted the Transit Connect Van the nation’s favourite Small Van for the 11th time in succession, while its Transit stablemate remained on the winner’s rostrum for the third consecutive year to claim the Large Van of the Year title for the 17th time in the history of the awards. 

Ford also claimed the award for Environmental Initiative of the Year with its EcoBoost 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine boasting up to 123bhp. 

Vauxhall retained the Green Vehicle of the Year Award with the Ampera, the manufacturer’s extended range electric vehicle and the 2012 European Car of the Year. 

Meanwhile, Volvo, which last year won the Fleet Safety Initiative of the Year Award for the world’s first pedestrian airbag, retained the title for its suite of pedestrian protection systems that, in addition to the airbag, include pedestrian detection with full auto brake and a blind spot information system. 

Finally, Marshall Leasing won the Fleet Service Company of the Year Award with ACFO members declaring that the organisation offered the best overall combination of quality products, service and integrity and fully understood the requirements of fleet decision-makers. It is the second time the company has captured the title having first won it when the category was introduced in 2010. 

ACFO chairman Damian James said: ‘Fleet decision-makers are reliant on motor manufacturers to deliver vehicles that are cost effective to operate, safe, reliable and environmentally-friendly and supplier companies to provide a first class service. 

‘Operating successfully in partnership it means that through the availability of top quality vehicles and first rate suppliers, vehicle downtime can be kept to an absolute minimum and fleet managers can focus on the efficient and effective operation of their vehicles to support their businesses.’ 



Fleet Safety Initiative of the Year

Winner – Volvo Pedestrian Protection

Runners-up – Ford Driver Assistance Pack, RAC Risk Management, Volvo City Safety


Fleet Service Company of the Year

Winner – Marshall Leasing

Runner-up – LeasePlan UK


Environmental Initiative of the Year

Winner – Ford EcoBoost 1.0-litre engine

Runner-up – BMW EfficientDynamics


Small Van of the Year

Winner – Ford Transit Connect

Runner-up – Volkswagen Caddy


Large Van of the Year 

Winner – Ford Transit

Runner-up – Mercedes-Benz Sprinter


Green Vehicle of the Year 

Winner – Vauxhall Ampera

Runner-up – Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi 95 ECOnetic (87g/km)


Fleet Car of the Year 

Winner – Audi A3

up – Mercedes-Benz A-Class