A new contract to manage the Ministry of Defence’s fleet of lease and hire vehicles will target savings of £100 million. It follows the Defence Secretary’s instruction last year that the cost of vehicle hire was reviewed and reduced.
The £47 million contract has been awarded to Babcock. The company manage the so called ‘white fleet’ of cars, vans, trucks and specialist vehicles on behalf of the MOD, covering the UK and Northern Europe, as well as short-term hire around the world. The new contract will help deliver the savings target of £100 million over six years for vehicle hiring and leasing.
The initial service within mainland UK is planned to start in September this year, followed by Northern Ireland in October and the rest of the world planned for April 2017.
The MOD uses hire or lease vehicles to transport personnel and equipment around the country, often to areas not readily accessible by public transport.
The vehicles are used for various tasks, ranging from moving defence personnel and stores to support military operations or training exercises to operational taskings such as mountain rescue and emergency support to the civil authorities and the civilian communities, for example to assist with flood relief.
The contract offers the opportunity to trigger a change in culture with greater use of scheduled transport services and vehicle sharing. The Army, the MOD’s largest user of fleet vehicles, is already using a car pooling hub at Aldershot.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“Defence has the strongest incentive to be efficient. Every pound that we save on vehicle hire will be reinvested into a defence budget that keeps Britain safe. I want to see us meet and exceed the £100m target.”