Fleet News

Hurdles to a fair and balanced Euro fleet

An exclusive leasing benchmark demonstrates the difficulties pan-European fleet managers face when attempting to operate a fair and balanced company car choice list.

The index highlights how company car choice lists differ from country to country and shows up discrepancies in the width of the price band of lease categories across Europe.

Compiled by Belgian-based leasing alliance Fleet Synergy International, the lease index benchmarks five different categories of company cars on a country-by-country basis.

Each category in its latest benchmark study is based on the most typical and appropriate cars for individual countries.

  • Category one represents job-need cars for employees who drive significant distances on business
  • Category two includes cars for junior sales staff
  • Category three features cars for senior sales staff
  • Category four covers middle managers and senior account managers
  • Category five represents cars for general managers and directors.

    Among the study's findings are that in Finland a category five car includes a Ford Mondeo 2.5 or a Saab 9-5 while in Germany the same level of driver can choose from a list that includes Mercedes-Benz E270 or BMW 5-series.

    Yet the maximum lease ranges for those countries for category five cars differ by just a few Euros –798 Euros in Finland and 818 Euros in Germany.

    In Austria, a category one car could be a Volkswagen Golf 1.9 TDi or an Opel Astra 2.0 while the same category of driver in Portugal is offered a list that includes a Fiat Punto 1.2 or a Opel Corsa 1.2.

    Portuguese category five drivers, who have a maximum lease range of 879 Euros, have the choice of an Audi A4 1.8, while a category three driver in Italy, with a maximum lease range of 652 Euros, can choose the A4 1.9 TDI model.

    In Norway, the maximum lease range for a category one driver is 781 Euros. Although this represents the highest allowance by far among that category of drivers in the study, the country's high car prices still only mean the likes of an Opel Astra 1.6 or Ford Focus 1.6 are offered on the choice list. Norwegian drivers can pay up to 70% above the European average for a new car.

    In Finland, the maximum lease range for category five drivers is 798 Euros, only 17 Euros more than for a Norwegian category one driver, but their choice list selection includes an Audi A6, Saab 9-5 and Chrysler Grand Voyager.

    The Mercedes-Benz marque finds its way on all the sample country choice lists but Finland. Swiss general managers and directors would typically be offered a choice that includes Audi A6, BMW 525i, Citroen C5, Chrysler Sebring and Volvo V70.

    In Finland, as well as the Ford Mondeo mentioned earlier, a typical car for senior management would include the Audi A6, Chrysler Grand Voyager, Saab 9-5 and Volvo V70.

    Yet category three drivers in Belgium may access cars of the level of the Mercedes-Benz C200, along with a BMW 320d, Audi A4 and Renault Laguna.

    Only their peers in Norway and Switzerland are offered cars of this value.

    For ease of comparison, the lease index is based on a standard four years/120,000 kilometres, with the prices including where possible interest charges, depreciation, maintenance, tyres, insurance, roadside assistance and management fees.

    The prices featured are in Euros and should exclude VAT, which fleets can recover in many countries, although as the tables show, some prices do include VAT. The average lease rental represents the aggregate price based on the actual rentals of the five cars featured in each category.

    It shows that another obstacle in the way of a fixed pan-European price for each vehicle is the fact that in Belgium, Finland and Germany radio taxes are included.

  • For more information, contact Fleet Synergy International Co-ordination Centre, Lozenberg 5 1932 Zaventem, Belgium. Telephone +32 2 716 56 11. Email: hdamen@fleetsynergy.com.

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