Among 29 of Britain’s biggest fleets, it is estimated that the average fleet size is down from 1,500 vehicles in 1999 to just over 1,000 today, a drop of 30%.
The report suggests that about 10% of drivers took up a cash alternative when the schemes were first launched a decade ago. This rose to 30% in 2003 and about 39% in 2005, it says.
The report says: ‘The decline in fleet size is primarily the result of more employees opting for cash.’
The findings are published in a Company Car Policies 2005/06 report produced by information and research company Incomes Data Services.
Other findings include the fact that the median value of cash allowances ranges from £4,500 a year for junior staff entitled to a company vehicle to £8,600 for the most senior management levels.
Among the companies surveyed for the report, it was found that employees generally become eligible for cars based on their job status at a salary of about £34,000, while those who need a vehicle to perform their job have to cover about 10,000 miles a year on business.
Worryingly, companies also showed no evidence that they were treating forthcoming corporate manslaughter laws seriously by investing in driver safety.
Steve Tatton, editor of IDS Executive and Compensation Review, said: ‘Having responded to recent tax reform by cutting fleet numbers, company car policy makers need to turn their attention to the next big issue – driver safety.
‘With corporate manslaughter legislation on the horizon, companies could find themselves liable for legal claims involving their drivers, but our research shows that so far companies have done little to address the potential pitfalls.’