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Welcome to MT's fleet car supplement, in which we take an up-to-the minute look at the shape of company transport in the cleaner, greener 21st century. It has been stereotyped as a rather grubby 'white van man' world, but, as we discover within these pages, 'fleet' is no longer an 'f' word. The world of fleet management and strategy is coming out of the shadows. Drivers are increasingly being encouraged to think more carefully about the cars they drive. Like Campbell Hodgetts, major accounts manager at energy-efficiency firm Savawatt UK (profiled p75), many are abandoning gas-guzzling status machines in favour of more environmentally friendly wheels.

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

In Hodgetts' case, this is the Toyota Prius hybrid, a car that proves you don't have to pay too high a price in terms of the driving experience to get class-leading CO2 emissions. And even those who are loath to hand over the keys to their S-class Merc can do their bit to help the planet. As Nigel Underdown, head of transport advice for the Energy Saving Trust (a government-funded body tasked with reducing the nation's company car CO2 emissions), puts it: 'Captains of industry rarely drive hybrid vehicles, which is not surprising given the limited choice available. But there are cars with the right image - modern BMW and Mercedes diesels, for example, that are also very efficient.'

Even more important than massaging the egos of company car drivers is the fact that a cleaner, greener fleet is almost always a cheaper and more efficient one. Better residuals and lower running costs are all sound business reasons for choosing low-emission vehicles for your company wheels.

The Energy Saving Trust's green fleet review (see www.est.org.uk) - free to all company car and van fleets of 50 vehicles or more - aims to cut spending as well as reduce carbon output. Says Underdown: 'If we couldn't shave at least 10%-15% off a typical fleet budget, we'd be disappointed.' So going green can be good for the pocket as well as the planet. You know it makes sense.

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