With UK fleet sales currently 3.6% up on 1996 when a record 955,371 vehicles were bought by fleets, the industry is on course to buy one million cars for the first time. PHH Vehicle Management Services, Lex Vehicle Leasing and Lease Plan are among companies which have reported record order banks with demand particularly high for German marques.
Prestige marques are making significant inroads into the volume end of the new registration market, according to David Knight, managing director of PHH, which operates more than 225,000 vehicles. He attributed the trend to companies providing an improved benefits package to recruit and retain staff.
Lease Plan, which has seen August orders rise 28% compared to August 1996, has seen demand for BMW and Audi vehicles rocket, although Vauxhall remains the most popular marque and Ford orders are also up. Lex Vehicle Leasing, the UK's largest leasing company with 86,000 vehicles, has an order bank approaching 5,000 vehicles with the majority due for delivery this month.