Three in five fleets expect to see an increase in business mileage during the next year, while one if five are predicting a reduction.
The findings, from a Fleet News poll, make interesting reading in the wake of figures from the Department for Transport (DfT), which revealed business mileage had fallen by more than 1,500 miles a year over the past two years.
BCA’s half year analysis mirrored this downward trend for fleet mileage over the past 30 months – ex-fleet cars sold by BCA are covering around 1,000 miles less in 2010 than they were in 2008.
Meanwhile, the average age of fleet cars when they were sold reduced throughout the back end of 2008 and throughout 2009.
In fact, age only began to rise in 2010 – reaching its highest point in the past 30 months at 39.75 months.
“It is too early to say if the age and mileage profiles are a short term phenomenon reflecting a mixture of fleet extensions and reduced travelling as a result of the economic climate or a more long term structural shift,” explained BCA’s communications director Tony Gannon.
“It might be another year before a clear picture emerges.”
However, BCA suggest that the reduction in business mileage it has seen could be down to the increase in fuel prices.
Telematics and smarter ways of working, with fleets questioning the need to travel and instead using the phone or video conferencing, will have had an impact and will continue to have an influence.
But the predicted rise in mileage is a welcome indication that business confidence is continuing to strengthen, according to Paul Jackson, managing director of The Miles Consultancy (TMC).
“However, companies also need to ensure that the extra activity will be genuine and productive,” added Jackson.
“The results from this survey clearly show that proactive mileage management will be a vital issue for fleets next year.
“After all, mileage is the primary driver behind not only fuel and operating costs but also every fleet’s environmental impact and its exposure to road risk.”