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Highland Council slashes travel costs with new car club

Highland Council has cut its travel costs by a third and reduced its carbon footprint by introducing Enterprise Car Club vehicles to replace ‘grey fleet’ travel.

The council has seen significant cost and emissions savings under its new business travel strategy, which includes the new Enterprise Car Club vehicles

Deployed as part of a wider review of staff travel, the move has seen 26 dedicated car club vehicles introduced from Enterprise while car club technology has also been installed in nine of the council’s own pool cars. Since then, the council’s average business road travel costs – generated by many of its 10,000 employees having to travel large distances to and from around 70 local offices, schools and depots – have decreased by around a third, when comparing the cost per mile of the car club to its grey fleet mileage reimbursement cost.

The new car club has also saved around 50 tonnes of CO2 compared to grey fleet travel, helped by the use of cleaner vehicles compared to the 4x4s that many staff were previously using. The Enterprise fleet includes four Nissan Leaf electric cars and the council is in the process of procuring additional plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles through the Switched-On Fleets initiative.

Overall, Highland Council estimates that its review of staff travel, including switching to Enterprise Car Club, will reduce its annual grey fleet mileage by around 1.2 million miles over the course of 2018-19, from the six million miles identified under a review 18 months ago. It is also considering introducing Enterprise Car Club vans.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of Highland Council’s Environment, Development & Infrastructure Committee, said: “Introducing Enterprise Car Club has been a hugely popular innovation for our employees, and it has also enabled us to control costs and reduce our carbon footprint. A comprehensive new approach to travel, underpinned by Enterprise’s car club, has transformed our business travel. Our staff can book and take the cars they need, either beforehand or on the day, and many no longer have to drive to work – so can walk, cycle or use public transport instead.

“It also means we now have control over all the previously unmanaged elements of business travel. We know employees are in safe, low-emission, well-maintained cars and can use the wealth of data provided by Enterprise to keep finding efficiencies and improving how, where and when our people drive for business. We can keep providing important local services and do so in a more cost-effective and sustainable way.”

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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.