According to a poll conducted by window company Autoglass last year, 66% of fleet managers said the price of fuel is their biggest worry in 2017.

Service and maintenance costs followed closely behind at 64%, whilst CO2 emissions came third – which shot up from being in final place in 2014.

Given a list of options to rank, the managers polled listed driver satisfaction as least important in 2017, suggesting a shift in priorities from community to cost.

What else will fleet managers have to contend with of late?

Attributed to the changes in company car taxation policies which take effect in April this year, concerns about tax have unsurprisingly increased. New rules state that employees with the choice of a company car or cash allowance will be taxed not on the option they choose, but on whichever is the greater value (with the exception of ultra-low emission vehicles as an incentive to green transport). In addition, all new cars bought from 1 April 2017 will be taxed on a combination of CO2 emissions and list price. Vehicles ordered before that will be taxed under current legislation for four years, before switching entirely in 2021.

Reducing costs
Budgets were already put under pressure last year, and top-down cost reduction seems set to stay. A fleet manager may have already researched competitive alternatives and found the fleet already has the best available option, said Julie Bromley, from mechanical group Reedy Industries.

Communicating a viable approach to cost control to a senior executive without a specialism in fleet management is another challenge which must be met, she suggested.

Hailed by some as a revolution, telematics in fleet vehicles are praised for providing a robust data stream of routing, driver behaviours and location-based information. Whilst the tech seems here to stay, some vendors and systems have been criticised for providing too much data to process rather than a customised set of data.