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Fleet Hire Limited is an established, independent medium sized vehicle management business that focuses on supporting the national and local needs of fleet operators.

AdBlue

Andy Williams - Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fleet Hire chief operating officer, Chris Joyce, on why the cost of AdBlue should be factored into whole life cost calculations

Most people in the fleet industry are now familiar with the use of AdBlue in modern diesel engined cars and why it is necessary to help control emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx). As a leasing company, we are currently reporting fewer issues with the use of this additive across our fleet than when it first came on the scene.

As many are now aware, the latest Euro6 emissions regulations for diesel cars and vans came into force in September and cut the permissible limits for NOx from 180mg/km to just 80mg/km, with the aim of limiting the impact on the environment and public health.

The most common remedy that manufacturers have come up with to tackle this issue are after-treatment systems such as Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) which work with the injection of synthetic urea, widely known as AdBlue.

Our evidence suggests that usage can be quite high, especially for long distance drivers, and it is estimated that a typical passenger car will consume approximately 1.5 litres of AdBlue every 620 miles.

It is the cost of topping up the AdBlue tank that is one of the more contentious areas, and we have seen top-ups costs vary from as little as £9 to as high as £63. The lower end of the scale tends to be the province of the independent suppliers that have appeared on the market, while the highest costs seem to come directly from manufacturers’ own dealers.

Like any other consumable, the cost of AdBlue is rarely borne by the supplying leasing company, who usually expects the fleet customer to cover the cost, as with any other consumable such as petrol, diesel or oil.

Some vehicles have large AdBlue reservoirs while others have a smaller capacity for the size of vehicle; most do not have an accurate gauge to show the level of the tank and the only sign of falling levels typically come with the first warning light.

Most drivers are now aware that failure to comply with the warning lights that appear on the dashboard will eventually result in the car failing to start at all.

With such a wide divergence of prices and capacities, our advice to fleet customers is to factor in the cost of AdBlue into their whole life cost calculations for each vehicle, as they would with any consumable, to gain a true and accurate picture of the cost of running that particular model on their fleet.

Fleet Hire chief operating officer, Chris Joyce

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