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Fleets defer to leasing companies on key decisions

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Leasing companies will become increasingly dominant in the key decisions made by companies operating vehicle fleets.

That’s the view of Vauxhall fleet sales director James Taylor, who said: “We are seeing this strategic change where leasing companies are becoming more influential on fleet accounts as procurement and outsourcing becomes more prevalent. As a result, we are increasing our headcount to improve our relationships and partnerships with them.”

Taylor added: “We have seen this happen already in the public sector. SMEs are still ad hoc but in mid and large businesses we are seeing the decline of the traditional fleet manager role, partly through retirements and businesses being re-evaluated.”

He points to the growing proportion of fleets that lease their cars; Vauxhall has few major customers that outright purchase. “We are also seeing more van customers move to leasing,” he said.

Vauxhall’s fleet base consists of 90% lease to 10% outright purchase by volume for cars, but a 70-30 split by customer numbers.

For vans, 75% of business is still bought outright compared to just 25% leasing, although this proportion is rising.

Taylor added: “The change from three to four-year cycles has stuck on cars – we’ve not seen many change back. For vans, few are running less than four years; five years is increasingly common but some are at seven, eight and even nine years.”

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