One of the changes we can expect in the world of Fleet in the coming months is the impact of changes to the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) on the cost of fleets.

This controversial test has made the wider news, as the more stringent tests which take place in the real world, as opposed to laboratory conditions, have revealed vehicles produce far more CO2 than manufacturers had previously revealed.

We are strong advocates of understanding the total cost of ownership, and according to research firm JATO Dynamics, changes to these tests could bring about substantial tax increases for Fleets. In effect since last September – and applying to all new car registrations from this September, these WLTP tests replace the previous New European Drive Cycle (NEDC) tests that had proven so inaccurate.

All cars will need to be retested before September to produce new WLTP data, and due to some legacy issues, there will be a crossover period for Fleets wherein both sets of data will be required. Tools exist that allow new WLTP tests to be converted to NEDC equivalence. JATO further warns that according to their own testing, these numbers have been up to almost 20% higher.

Sean Bingham, Head of Fleet Management at ERA says “It’s becoming clearer that the disparities are going to be higher than anticipated, meaning increasing costs for Fleet operators.”

As ever, our advice is to seek independent expert advice.

Sean continues: “It seems to me that whilst the costs themselves are increasing, so is the level of knowledge that is required to understand all the rules and considerations. The landscape is constantly moving, and with responsibilities for Fleet often divided between Finance, HR and Operational departments, working out the optimal path is not just challenging, it’s likely to be different per organisation.”

In order to manage your fleet operations for maximum benefit and minimum cost to you and your employees, contact us today for some impartial advice from knowledgeable experts on fleet cost management.

Article by: Sean Bingham