Fleet News

Survey finds fleets bow to outside influence

FLEET management companies are deciding and influencing fleet policies more than ever, according to the 'Company Car Report 1996' by W F Corroon.

The survey of 519 organisations employing 730,000 people reveals that while fleet managers play a key role in influencing fleet policies, their role in deciding fleet policies is behind that of managing directors, financial directors, human resources directors and outside agencies such as fleet management companies.

Last year's survey revealed that 2% of fleet policies were influenced by fleet management companies while 1% of policies were decided by them. This year the figures have risen to 13% and 12% respectively. It also reveals that the human resources director has influence in 29% of fleet policy decisions and decided 16% of fleet policies. In very large organisations the decision-making figure rises to 52% (1995: 45%).

While the fleet manager may decide just 7% of fleet policies compared to 65% of fleet decisions being made by the managing director and 26% by the finance director, the fleet manager is a major influencer of fleet decisions - in 35% of cases - only topped by finance directors who influence 39% of fleet policy decisions.

When asked which fleet policies were under review companies said:

A free summary report will be sent to all survey respondents while the main report, due to be published in September, costs £200 to non-respondents and £95 to respondents. Copies are available from Mrs J Ashard, W F Corroon, Friars Street, Ipswich IP1 1TA. Tel: 01473 223650.

SURVEY figures reveal that the number of fleets on contract hire has almost doubled in the last three years from 19% to 35%, while the number of companies which purchase their fleets outright has dropped from 58% in 1993 to 50% this year - although that is a 4% rise on 1994 and 1995 levels.

While cash allowances are becoming more widely available their take-up remains minimal and they are still largely voluntary. However, while 13% of all companies make a cash alternative compulsory the figure rises to 30% in very small companies.

According to the survey average fleet replacement cycles for very large, large and medium sized organisations are dropping by up to 10% to just over 40 months in most cases from as high as 46 months. However, small and very small companies are increasing replacement cycles by around 4% to more than 40 months from just under 40 months. The survey also reveals that while most companies allow staff to trade down to a less expensive car, fewer companies allow employees to select a more expensive car than their normal entitlement.

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