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Cambridgeshire County Council to cut costs & risk with car share scheme

The move forms part of the council’s continuing efforts to provide more flexible and cost-effective transport. In addition, by using the programme to replace its existing pool cars and move away from “grey” fleet usage, the initiative is intended to help control cost and reduce emissions whilst addressing its duty of care to staff.

The council has initially taken eight brand-new, low CO2 emission vehicles, with six based at its main offices in Cambridge, one in Huntingdon and one in March.

Around 250 of the council’s 5,000 employees have already signed up. However, if the pilot is successful the plan is to expand the car share programme to other council locations throughout Cambridgeshire. The vehicles are primarily being targeted at frequent, short-term trips, where previously employees would have used either the council’s pool cars or their own cars (and then reclaimed mileage reimbursement).

Adrian Bewley, director of business rental at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: ‘This type of car sharing programme is ideal for businesses and especially for the public sector, where many organisations operate their own pool cars and the “grey fleet” is currently still a preferred mobility option for many employees.

‘Using a specialist car sharing service means workers who make shorter, more frequent journeys can utilise cars that are shared instead of using their own. Meanwhile, their employers save money, have a better grasp of the environmental impact of their business travel and don’t face the same liability concerns over the condition of the vehicles being driven.

‘In addition, the management information that we are able to capture using the in-car technology is a great tool to help organisations track driver behaviour.  This includes details about what time the vehicle was reserved from, the length of time the employee actually used the vehicle for and how many miles were driven. 

 If an employee is regularly reserving the vehicle in a way that hinders others use of that vehicle (perhaps for much longer periods than it is actually used for), a friendly reminder can be provided to help organisations make the most of this programme.’

He added: ‘We continue to strive to help organisations improve efficiency and cut transport costs, whether they need vehicles by the hour, by the day or for months at a time.’ 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.