Fleet News

Parking sensor is top accessory

PARKING sensors have been identified as the most popular accessory chosen by company car drivers.

The technology has become more popular than satellite-navigation among drivers of cars in all sectors.

The finding comes from an analysis of accessory trends carried out by the UK’s biggest leasing company, Lex, on 11 market sectors, ranging from small cars to sports cars.

Factory-fitted satellite navigation featured in the top five list of just three of the 11 sectors.

This could be because drivers favour mobile units that they can transport from one car to another or use while on foot, Lex bosses say.

The choice of parking sensors should be encouraged by fleet managers, they add, as they reduce bumper damage and scrapes.

Other popular accessory choices include in-car entertainment upgrades, such as radio and CD player, which appeared in the top five choices of the upper-medium, executive, mini-MPV and prestige sectors.

Leather seats were popular in 4x4, prestige and sport models.

Lex managing director Jon Walden said: ‘Many company motorists spend a great deal of time in their cars so they see some accessories as an investment. They have to pay extra tax as the P11D price of the car increases but in-car audio and parking sensors obviously help drivers out on the road.’

Commenting on the impact parking sensors are likely to have on residual values, Jeff Knight, forecast manager – passenger cars, at residual value forecaster CAP, said: ‘Parking sensors are a ‘nice to have’ but our research suggests they add no more than about £30 to the value of a typical three year old car.

‘Fleets may, however, find that cars fitted with parking sensors return with less minor damage.

‘Where this is the case, refurbishment costs are therefore reduced, which also has a positive impact on vehicle value when offered for sale.

‘And, of course, additional equipment is generally popular with buyers so parking sensors will have a positive impact when offered alongside an otherwise identical car with none.’

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