Fleet News

Running costs, safety and fuel will continue to dominate fleet agenda

Running costs, safety and fuel will continue to dominate decision making during the next 12 months in the fleet sector, new research shows.

The findings come from the latest quarterly Company Car Trends research from GE Capital’s Fleet Services division, which questioned fleet decision makers about key aspects of their operations.

When asked which criteria would influence fleet decisions in the next 12 months and rank in order of importance where 10 was most important, the responses based on the overall average were:

  Now Jul 2012  % Change
Fleet running costs 8.5 8.3 +2%
Fleet safety and risk management 7.8 7.8 None
Fuel costs and fuel cards 7.7 7.8 -1%
Driver and corporate taxation 7.2 6.5 +11%
Environmental concerns 6.9 6.6 +5%
Human resources issues 5.9 5.2 +13%
Grey fleets 5.8 4.5 +29%
Homeworking and mobile working 5.0 4.7 +6%
Traffic and congestion 4.5 4.1 +10%

Gary Killeen, Fleet Services commercial leader for GE Capital UK, said: "The key results here are very much as expected. Fleets are concentrating on keeping the costs of company cars contained while fulfilling their safety responsibilities, so the dominance of the top three factors is unsurprising.

"However, this lack of variance should not be mistaken for anything like complacency. The fleets with which we work are very serious about continuing to make progress in minimising fuel and general fleet running costs while improving safety. Real advances are being made to provide and to continue to provide tangible benefits for fleets and their drivers.”

Elsewhere in the Company Car Trends results, Killeen picked out the increase in interest in driver and corporate taxation as noteworthy.

He said: "This is another area where employers are keen to continue to make gains. In many sectors, wages are rising quite slowly, certainly below inflation, so minimising benefit in kind taxation in order to prevent further erosion of take home pay is a real issue. Car choice lists are being redrawn regularly in order to give company car drivers the best possible low CO2 choices."

Also of interest, Killeen said, was the marked increase in grey fleets, where employees use their own vehicles for business purposes and are reimbursed.

He said: "Grey fleets are a very interesting area at the moment. The ongoing, difficult economic conditions mean that it is tempting for employers to ask their staff to use their own cars but there is also a growing awareness of the difficulties surrounding doing so, especially when it comes to duty of care. We expect to see fleets give more thought to this subject during the next year."

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