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Reliability and wholelife costs top fleet operators' list of essential vehicle qualities, research shows

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Reliability and wholelife costs head the list of factors considered essential by company car operators when setting fleet policies, according to the latest quarterly Company Car Trends research from GE Capital Fleet Services. 

Topping the list for more than half (53%) of the respondents questioned was reliability, although almost as many (48%) opted for wholelife costs.

In third place (32%), thanks to its impact on taxation and overall fleet performance, was CO2 output.

Vehicle purchasing price, along with the discount received, is also seen as relatively important (30%). 

Residual values were named by more than one in five respondents (22%) while fuel consumption was cited by a similar percentage (19%).

However, on many fleets, this factor is already effectively managed through choosing low CO2 vehicles.

Just 10% of those taking part in Company Car Trends said that corporate brand and image are essential when drawing up policies.  

The overall results were:                                                                       

  1. Reliability                                                           53%
  2. Wholelife costs                                               48%
  3. CO2 emissions                                                32%
  4. Vehicle purchase price and discount     30%
  5. Residual values                                                22%
  6. Fuel consumption                                           19%
  7. Corporate brand and image                       10%

Gary Killeen, managing director at GE Capital Fleet Services, said: “This research really underlines the role of the company car as a practical working tool for UK businesses.

“Image-based considerations are placed at the bottom of the list while practical factors such as reliability, wholelife costs and CO2 emissions head the table.

"At a time when the economy is improving, this shows how fleets continue to manage with a mindset that is only just moving out of recessionary mode.”

Killeen added that the responses were underlined in a further question posed within the Company Car Trends research, asking which factors were included in vehicle selection policies for employees eligible for company cars.

He said: “The top factor named here is ‘fitness for purpose’ which is mentioned by 64% of those who took part in the survey, while 60% also cite ‘CO2 emissions limit.’

"These answers very much underline our other findings.”         

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