Nearly half of all decision-makers, buoyed by an optimistic economic outlook, believe they will be ordering more cars in the future. Only a quarter expect their fleet size to drop, mainly due to financial pressures or employees opting out.
Research by fleet management firm VELO reveals that 41% of managers expect to be running a larger fleet next year, with a further 33% reckoning on no change and only 26% planning a reduction.
The optimism among fleet managers is backed up by figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, which have shown that despite weakening retail sales, fleet has taken an even larger share of the market in the year-to-date, and now accounts for nearly 49% of the business for new cars, only marginally down on 2005, and catching up fast.
Philip Peace, VELO’s director of sales and marketing said: ‘Given reports over the last couple of years suggesting that the company car is in decline, we are greatly encouraged by this new level of optimism.
‘Our research contradicts reported views that tax, administration and duty of care issues are affecting the popularity of the company car. Instead it suggests that vehicles remain an important employee benefit and business tool.’