Pool cars are set to make a recovery in the fleet sector, according to the latest results from the quarterly Company Car Trends research from GE Capital Fleet Services.
Fleet decision makers responding to the survey also believe they will be putting greater emphasis on alternative travel such as rail and air and shared company car schemes, although the continued use of company cars topped their ranking in terms of future vision.
Some 250 fleet decision makers who took part in the survey were asked: Please rank the following in order of importance for your fleet vision over the next five years (where 1 is highest)? The responses were:
1. The continued use of company cars: 1.94
2. Increased pool car usage: 3.83
3. Alternative travel such as rail and air: 3.95
4. Shared company car scheme: 4.15
5. Car-free policies such as home working: 4.24
6. Outsourced fleet management: 4.45
7. Public transport only travel policy: 6.18
Gary Killeen, fleet services commercial leader for GE Capital UK, said: “This is an absorbing insight into the long term thinking of fleet decision makers. It decisively underlines that businesses believe the company car will still be the key travel tool available to them in the next five years.
“However, it is fascinating to note that they envisage some of the ways that cars are provided by companies changing, with interest in shared company cars and more use of pool cars. The typical one vehicle-one user allocation could change. The impetus for this development is likely to come from on-going efforts to make each company car as productive as possible.”
The survey also suggests fleets will be increasingly outsourcing elements of their operations. Non-core activities such as driver administration are likely to top the list.
However, with a number of respondents pointing to alternative travel and growing use of public transport, Killen highlighted a potential problem in creating a robust process: travel frequently falls outside the sphere of influence of fleet managers.
He said: “In many organisations, it is not clear in terms of the managerial structure who would be able to raise these issues at the kind of level needed to make decisions, create the necessary investment, and generate cross functional engagement.
“Most fleet managers do not have a board level business travel remit. It raises the question of whether we need to see more business travel managers in place in 2017 as an alternative to the traditional fleet manager.”