Challenges for Fleets in the United Kingdom

Although Fleetio is a US-based company, we currently have customers in over 25 different countries around the world, including quite a few the United Kingdom. Admittedly, our team tends to write articles primarily around operating a fleet in North America, but we like to touch on other areas as well.  Having recently spent some time in England and Scotland, I feel like this is a great time to talk about the issues facing fleets in the United Kingdom.

A Close Eye on Tyres

Since we are on the other side of the pond today, I’ll happily oblige the British spelling of our rubbery assets. Whereas good tyre management is highly recommended in the US, it is actually the law in the UK. The legal limit for minimum tread depth is 1.6 millimetres, which has to be maintained around the entire circumference. If your good judgement lapses and you choose to go too long without a fresh set, then you could be awarded penalty points and a hefty fine.

Adding to the scrutiny, there is also the requirement for your tyres to be compatible with the other types fitted to the vehicle. Any visible bulge, tear or rip in the cord will get you docked as well.

So, with the compounded challenge of running an entire fleet of vehicles, how do you best manage tyre replacement? First off, it is suggested that instead of getting down to the absolute minimum, you should schedule to get new rubber at around a 3 mm tread depth. Have your drivers and mechanics keep a tyre gauge handy, plan regular (daily or weekly) inspections, and update measurements regularly in your fleet management software.

The Cost of Fuel

In America, we consider $4 per gallon to be outlandish. Rounding out 2013, petrol prices in the United Kingdom were north of 6£ (almost $10) per gallon. As you might imagine, this changes priorities a bit when it comes to managing expenses. If there was ever an environment conducive to pro-active fuel management, this is the place. It is extremely important for fleets to spec the appropriate vehicles and keep a close eye on vehicle weight, engine displacement and responsible driving. You also might want to consider fuel cards for bulk discounts and tighter purchasing controls.

Given the cost of petrol, alternative fuels very much enter the conversation if you are managing a fleet in the UK. Diesel, EVs, and biofuels are all very much in play, especially with applicable tax credits.

MOT Inspection

For every vehicle in your fleet over 3 years old, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) requires an annual inspection/test to ensure that a vehicle falls within the requirements for emissions, roadworthiness and safety. Instead of waiting until the notice comes out, it would be worth setting an annual reminder for each of your vehicles and being proactive about scheduling.

Once you have the inspection certificate and record, be sure to store a copy online in addition to having one in the vehicle itself.

Reducing CO2 Emissions

Due to strict requirements, a fleet manager in the UK has to be cognizant of the CO2 emissions released by their vehicles. Cooperating with the current threshold will save you money on fleet operations, so it is a good idea to do your homework before purchasing a new or used vehicle. The MOT has an easy lookup tool and a good target is below 130g/km of CO2 per vehicle

We hope this information helps! Got some feedback? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

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