Fleet News

Fleets extend contracts as political uncertainty prevails

POLITICAL uncertainty as to the outcome of yesterday's (Thursday's) general election has resulted in some fleets extending their agreements with contract hire companies. With the polls predicting the Labour Party would form the next government today, some fleets were said to be waiting for a June mini-budget before taking on new contracts.

Cowie Interleasing non-executive chairman Sir James McKinnon told Cowie Group's annual meeting that a feature of the first quarter of 1997's trading had been 'a large increase in the number of extensions to contracts, possibly due to the general election'.

Cowie Interleasing has seen contracts extended on 700-800 vehicles. A spokesman said: 'These fleets believe the Labour Party will win the election and that there will be a mini-budget in June. They want to see the impact of that budget on the company car.'

Ian Goswell, of Dial Contracts, said: 'In general, fleets have been re-assured by what the leading political parties have said about the company car. But there has been some some uncertainty as to what will happen after the election.' A Lex Vehicle Leasing spokesman said: 'We have seen no change in extending replacement cycles as a result of the election'. And Rob Whalley, managing director of Fleetlease, reported no move to extend contracts.

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