Skoda and Licence Bureau were the new company names on the winners’ rostrum when the annual awards from ACFO, the UK’s premier fleet decision-makers’ organisation, were presented for the 34th year.
The Skoda Superb was joint winner of the Fleet Car of the Year Award with the Mercedes-Benz C-Class - a first win for the popular fleet model after the marque’s A-Class won the title three years ago.
Meanwhile, Licence Bureau, which provides fleets with a driver licence validation service, shared the Fleet Service Company of the Year Award with the AA, which three years ago won the Fleet Safety Initiative of the Year Award.
A capacity audience of 200 ACFO members and their guests attended the annual Awards with the winners revealed during a gala dinner at the St John’s Hotel, Solihull, tonight (Thursday, 16 November, 2017).
The Awards further the voice of fleet operators as they continue to influence motor manufacturers and service providers as well as government and its agencies and thus shape tomorrow’s transport operations.
Vehicle contract hire and fleet management company Marshall Leasing which has more than 6,000 company cars and vans on its books, notched its fourth ACFO Award winning the Fleet Leasing Company of the Year title having previously walked away with trophies last year and in 2013 and 2010.
Road safety charity Brake was a first-time ACFO Award winner last year when it captured the Fleet Safety Initiative of the Year and it retained the title in 2017 for providing fleet decision-makers with a range of resources - including events and webinars and expert advice - to further improve occupational road risk management across the corporate sector.
There was also a highly commended in the category for personal technology innovator Apple, which earlier this year on iPhones running iOS 11 introduced a ‘Do Not Disturb’ while driving feature.
Tesla won the newly named Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle of the Year Award with its executive Model S - the car being recognised by ACFO members for the second consecutive year having last year been named Green Vehicle of the Year.
Finally, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter retained its place from last year as the fleet favourite in the Large Van of the Year category, while the Ford Transit Connect returned to the winners’ circle after missing out last year to collect the Small Van of the Year Award for the 13th time.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “The fleet industry continues to evolve and the 2017 results reflect the broadening of excellence across the supply chain with two first-time winners in a marketplace that is frequently considered mature.
“That shows that fleet decision-makers are always prepared to introduce new vehicles to their operations and engage with suppliers that can show they are ‘best-in-class.”
The Awards, which are voted online exclusively by the ACFO membership following nominations from across the industry, are highly prized because unlike many other awards they reflect the day-to-day operational experience and expertise of fleet decision-makers.
Mr Pryor added: “ACFO’s annual awards provide a further opportunity for fleet decision-makers to get their views over to vehicle manufacturers and service companies.
“Fleet decision-makers are reliant on motor manufacturers to deliver vehicles that are cost effective to operate, safe, reliable and environmentally-friendly and suppliers and other organisations to provide a first class service.
“Operating successfully in partnership, it means that through the availability of top quality vehicles and first rate suppliers, vehicle downtime can be kept to an absolute minimum and fleet managers can focus on the efficient and effective operation of their vehicles to support their businesses.”
Fleet Safety Service/Initiative of the Year (sponsored by Suzuki GB)
Winner - Brake
Runner-up - Apple
Fleet Service Company of the Year (sponsored by Suzuki GB)
Joint winners - AA and Licence Bureau
Fleet Leasing Company of the Year (sponsored by Suzuki GB)
Winner - Marshall Leasing
Runner-up - Zenith
Small Van of the Year (sponsored by Apollo Vredestein UK)
Winner - Ford Transit Connect
Runner-up - Volkswagen Caddy
Large Van of the Year (sponsored by Apollo Vredestein UK)
Winner - Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Runner-up - Ford Transit
Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle of the Year (sponsored by Tusker)
Winner - Tesla Model S
Joint runners-up - BMW i3 and Hyundai Ioniq
Fleet Car of the Year (sponsored by Marshall Leasing)
Joint winners - Mercedes-Benz C Class and Skoda Superb