This paper presents a novel Simplified Node decomposition and Platoon (SNAP) head selection cluster-based routing algorithm for Vehicular Ad hoc Networks (VANET) communication. The major novelty of the paper is the two proposed algorithms through which the number of platoons and platoon heads (PH) are decided upon for increasing the network lifetime. Algorithm-1 analyze the distribution of nodes and forms a set of possible minimum number of platoons (clusters) having equal number nodes, based on Hierarchical clustering technique. The algorithm-2 partitions the given network into platoons and selects the platoon head (PH) based on coverage range of wireless node. It uses SPSS statistical software tool for platoon decomposition and also to determine the platoon head (PH). The number of iterations required for selection of PH is found to be minimum, irrespective of the number of network nodes. The platoon is controlled by its platoon head (PH) and the data transfer happens locally between the platoon nodes and its head. The platoon head alone communicates with the road side unit (RSU) and avoids multiple data link between the individual nodes of platoon to RSU. The performance of SNAP algorithm has been verified using NS-2 network simulator and found to consume less transmission energy, increased node and network lifetime which in turn increase the overall efficiency of the network. © 2016, ISAROB.