Popularity of SUVs hits fleet costs and carbon targets

The ever increasing popularity of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) as company cars in the UK is hurting the bottom lines and emissions targets of fleets.

According to fleet management software company Chevin, even the most car-like SUVs are around 10-20 per cent worse for fuel economy and carbon emissions. And, currently, the company says that there is a distinct lack of hybrid or electric vehicle (EV) options in the SUV category.

However, SUVs are the best-selling car type in the UK at the moment. Furthermore, analysis by Dataforce has shown that SUVs are likely to take over compact cars to become the biggest part of all fleet sales within the next couple of years.

If your business is thinking of adding more SUVs to your roster of fleet vehicles, or if it is thinking of bucking the trend to be more cost efficient, be sure that you have the correct levels of commercial motor fleet insurance in place to be certain that your vehicles are always fully covered.

Ashley Sowerby, the managing director of Chevin, said of the current trend for SUVs: “Many drivers like SUVs a great deal thanks to their commanding driving position, their road presence and the fact that they are perceived as something more interesting than a family hatch or saloon.

“This puts a lot of pressure on human resources departments and fleets to add these vehicles to their choice lists but it does create a general problem. SUVs are heavier and less aerodynamic than their conventional car equivalents and, as a result, tend to use more fuel and have high emissions.”

Sowerby by went on to say that there will always be a tense standoff between HR departments and staff when it comes to balancing driver needs with that of the business and the environment.