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Diesel still default choice for fleet rentals, reports Meridian

By / 4 years ago / Latest News / 1 Comment

A reported migration from fleets away from diesels is still failing to impact the rental sector, where diesel is still the default fleet choice.


Meridian Vehicle Solutions managing director, Phil Jerome.

So says Meridian Vehicle Solutions, adding that rental requests for petrol or other fuels are almost unknown.

Managing director Phil Jerome acknowledged that there are clouds gathering over the future of diesel – with diesel registrations down 20% in May and the Government having confirmed again in its air quality plans that it will “continue to explore the appropriate tax treatment for diesel vehicles and will engage with stakeholders ahead of making any tax changes at Autumn Budget 2017” – as announced in the Spring Budget.

However, he said that such factors are yet to have any effect at all on the medium rental sector and for now fleet customers are sticking with what they know – with recent research also showing that used car demand for diesels remains unabated.

Phil Jerome did acknowledge that any change in rental demand for diesel would likely affect rates quickly, adding that if a drop in diesel demand is indicative of an overall fall in customer interest and there is a corresponding reduction in diesel RVs, then rental rates for diesels would have to inevitably rise within months, further enhancing the attractiveness of alternatively fuelled rental vehicles.

He added: “These are certainly interesting times when it comes to fuel choices and it is clear that the decades-long dominance of diesel in fleet is probably coming to end. However, questions remain over how long this process will take and its extent.”

His comments come as companies have been urged to rethink their strategies on overall fleet vehicle choices, rather than defaulting to diesel here too, with Puddy Vehicle Solutions (PVS) founder Marcus Puddy arguing that there is no definitive right fleet fuel at present and stressing that fleets need to undertake whole-life cost analysis based on the type of journeys company cars will be undertaking.

And fleet industry guru Professor Colin Tourick has also written an article for Fleet World over the last month for fleets, looking at alternatives to diesels and particularly stressing the need to carry out analysis of petrol-engined and ULEV vehicles in advance of any government action in this year’s inaugural Autumn Budget.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.