The UK is seeing strong fleet growth compared to the rest of Europe, according to Arval's Corporate Vehicle Observatory report.
Fleet confidence is currently mirroring wider economic performance. The UK is the fastest-growing economy in Europe and the survey shows that more UK businesses expect to see fleet growth than their European counterparts.
Seventeen per cent of UK businesses with fewer than 100 employees expect to see an increase in their fleet size over the next three years, compared with 6% in other European countries. This contrasts positively with 9% in the UK last year, although 2013 marked a sharp decline on the previous two years.
Smaller businesses are marginally more optimistic than larger companies (100-plus employees), where 23% expect to see growth in the coming months compared to 12% across other European countries. This is down from 18% in 2013.
The largest UK companies (1,000-plus employees) are the most bullish about their fleet size, with 31% expecting growth, compared to 9% last year.
They are also most positive in absolute terms, with 40% expecting their fleet to grow as the economy recovers. Just over one-third (35%) expect no impact on fleet size.
The Barometer figures for UK fleets support figures compiled by the Fleet200. Here, the majority of the 200 large fleets expect their fleet size to rise, although there are variations across industry segments with construction companies, business services and insurance/banking most optimistic; police fleets, local authorities and IT/software companies are least confident.
For a number of years the Barometer has shown that fleet growth is directly linked to economic performance and confidence. Expectations of fleet growth don’t always reflect the reality, but do provide reasons to be optimistic in the UK.
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To find out more about Arval's CVO report findings, click here.