Meridian Vehicle Solutions has begun offering petrol-engined cars on its rental fleet for the first time.
The medium-term rental specialist has petrol versions of the Volvo V40 (pictured), Mercedes A-Class and Volvo XC60 on its fleet, in addition to diesel equivalents, and said it intended to increase the number of petrol vehicles available for hire.
It said its fleet customers were starting “to turn away from diesel”.
“It is certainly possible to overstate the extent to which diesel may be falling out of favour with fleets and we want to be very careful with any rebalancing of our fleet mix,” said Meridian managing director, Phil Jerome (pictured).
“In the past, nearly all corporate customers calling to book a rental car wanted diesel. However, there is now a growing acceptance of petrol models and indeed some customers are actively requesting them, generally as a result of the negative press diesel has received.
“Our view is that a Euro 6 diesel remains the best fleet solution for the majority of fleet users when you weigh up factors including emissions, economy, tax and performance.
“The latest generation of petrol engines have, however, made strides and are also a good option for some operators. We expect to see a gradual increase in the percentage of petrol vehicles on our fleet over time.”
He added that the recent increase in VED increases and benefit-in-kind announced in the Budget could have an effect on fleets’ choice of vehicles.
“None of these measures are particularly significant in themselves but together will have a cumulative impact on fleet use of diesel cars over time.”
“We are moving away from a one-fuel-fits-all situation to one where fleets are gaining knowledge about the suitability of different fuels for different applications. Medium-term rental companies like ourselves will change their proposition to meet this need.”