The UK fleet industry is being called upon by Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) to consider procurement as part of its strategic business planning for 2013 in order to survive a challenging 12 month period. ERA's 'smarter spending' tips for fleet operators are designed to help the industry cope with HMRC business mileage audits, duty of care and rising fuel costs. With the CO2 emissions legislation due to come into force in April 2013 for writing down allowances and lease restrictions, businesses are encouraged to review their fleet and set a maximum CO2 emission of 130g/km. Any vehicle generating more emissions than this figure will face a restriction on the amount the vehicle can be written down for tax purposes. HMRC is also actively reviewing business mileage auditing procedures. Any organisation with a private/business mileage split recorded by drivers as more than 40/60 is at risk of an audit. Fleet managers are therefore urged to ensure audits are robust and accurately generated. Fuel prices also remain an issue for the ERA with a 38 per cent increase since January 2010 and this trend is set to continue. ERA recommends fleet operators insist on refuelling at supermarkets where prices are cheapest and avoid purchasing high octane fuels. Over the last year, ERA's business fleet consultants have been pleased to report the majority of firms dealt well with cost-cutting measures in response to increasing costs across their supply chain. But there is some concern that firms are neglecting the likelihood of 2013 presenting similar challenges. Sean Bingham, principal consultant at ERA, said: "Business fleets have just faced one of the toughest periods in recent memory, but what concerns me is that many organisations aren't fully prepared for next year. "But relying on cost cutting isn't sustainable, so everyone from the CEO to the fleet manager must recognise the key role they, and smarter spending strategies, can play in delivering effective strategies for 2013." Fleet operators also need to think smarter when it comes to cost-effective fleet repair and maintenance. At IT Fleet Automotive our industry-leading techniques, technology and training are the ideal combination for forward-thinking fleets looking to keep vehicles on the road for longer and maximising productivity. If you are interested in our services and would like to see what we can do for your business then call our friendly team today on 01473 313057 or drop us a line using our online enquiry form.