Leaving the engine running when vehicles are parked up or stationary might seem harmless. But in reality it could be damaging your business as well as the environment. There are three financial costs – the obvious impact, the hidden cost, and the surprise penalty payment.
The obvious impact to the bottom line is through wasted fuel. The Department for Transport (DfT) estimates that a commercial vehicle left idling can burn up to two litres of fuel per hour. While two litres at around £1 a litre might not seem much, it can soon add up over time. For example, five vehicles, each idling for two hours a week, could be burning through 1,000 litres a year. That is £2,000 of your profits up in smoke.
The hidden cost is vehicle wear and tear; running the engine while stationary puts unwanted strain on your vehicles. Decades ago, some engines benefited from a few minutes to warm up, but these days it is unnecessary - and it causes a higher amount of damage than turning the engine on and off. Researchers in the USA also found that idling can create twice as much wear and tear as occurs under normal driving conditions.
You can be fined up to £80 for running the engine while parked up in certain areas of the UK. Some councils and local authorities have introduced the fines to support Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs). The central London borough of Westminster is one example. Technically, idling can also be considered an offence under Section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Furthermore, it is a breach of the Highway Code, which states that you have to switch off the engine, headlights and fog lights when parked on the roadside.
Air quality is an increasingly important issue in urban areas. Emissions, such as Particulate Matter (PM), are harmful to health and can increase the risk of asthma and heart disease. In fact, air pollution from vehicles is a major factor in thousands of premature deaths every year in the UK. And of course burning fuel also releases greenhouse gases linked to global warming. The DfT estimates that a commercial vehicle emits 5kg of CO₂ for every hour of engine idling.
Engine idling is bad for business, bad for the vehicle, bad for our health and bad for the planet. Trakm8 Prime is a great way to prevent engine idling in your company vehicles. Our self-install tracking device monitors engine idling and can send you real-time alerts, enabling you to identify the worst culprits and help them address their behaviour. Priced from just £6.99 per vehicle per month, Trakm8 Prime is an affordable vehicle tracking solution that is packed with other great money and time-saving features.