Subsidised scheme promises reduced fuel bills

Catering equipment providers and services firms with staff on the road could bring down the cost of their fuel bills thanks to a new centrally-subsidised driving initiative.

The Energy Saving Trust is urging companies to undertake its Smarter Driving Programme and shave up to 15% off their annual petrol expenses in the process.

The Trust has just begun a national roadshow to highlight the scheme, which trains employees in techniques to help them drive more efficiently and is a proven method of reducing the cost of fuel and the likelihood of accidents.

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It estimates that drivers who complete the course could enjoy as much as 20p savings per litre on fuel.

Around 9,000 employees across England – working for organisations which operate company fleets of more than 20 vehicles – are expected to be trained by the Energy Saving Trust over the next nine months.

The training is subsidised by the Department for Transport and takes just 50 minutes per person.

“Smarter driving is all about reducing fuel consumption,” said Bob Saynor, Smarter Driving programme manager for the Energy Saving Trust. “Our trainers work on techniques such as changing up at low revs and helping drivers anticipate the road further ahead. Learning a few simple techniques not only makes an economical difference to drivers but also makes them safer as they have better road sense.”

The training starts and finishes at the workplace in order to minimise disruption to the working day.

Smarter Driving courses can be organised through a new online scheduling system which allows businesses to book their own sessions and reminds them of their appointment.

Up to eight smarter driving sessions can take place at one workplace in one day. Each lesson costs £25 per driver, with the rest subsidised by the government. The Energy Saving Trust provides the vehicles and insurance.

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