Fleet News

More than half of fleet industry now favours Brexit, says poll

The fleet industry has come out in favour of leaving the European Union, despite warnings that used car prices could fall and rental costs could rise.

More than half (51.6%) of the 670-plus respondents to the Fleet News poll backed Brexit, with 42.8% voting to remain and a further 5.6% still undecided.

That compares to an Institute of Car Fleet Manufacturers (ICM) poll suggesting a 52:48 split in favour of leaving the EU as the referendum campaign continues to gather steam.

However, if the UK does vote to leave the EU, Debapratim De, senior analyst in Deloitte’s economics and markets research team, warned: “Businesses should be worried about the reduced availability and higher cost of finance.

“There will be a short-term credit crunch. Sterling is likely to fall between 25-30% against the dollar; probably depreciate against most major currencies and might reach parity with the euro.”

The RAC says that a 20% fall in the value of the pound would – based on current exchange rates – add £2 to the cost of filling up an average car.

De told delegates at the Vehicle Remarketing Association’s (VRA) sixth annual conference that the depreciation of sterling would inevitably mean the price of imports would rise.

“There will also be a drop in business investment and a drop in business confidence,” continued De. And in terms of fleet investment, he believes that could result in businesses running vehicles for longer.

Three out of five fleets (61%) previously told Fleet News that they did not believe leaving the EU would increase fleet costs.

But trade body the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said it is concerned about what charges could be imposed on business.

Colin Tourick, Grant Thornton professor of automotive management at the University of Buckingham business school, explained: “As members of the EU, we enjoy the tariff-free movement of goods across the EU.

“This would have to be negotiated, post-Brexit, and no one knows what deal we would end up with. If vehicles were to cost more, lease and daily hire rentals would rise, company car drivers would pay more tax and they and their employers would pay more national insurance.”

Tourick believes a decline in economic activity could also hit used car prices, which have been buoyant for years.

“If people are concerned about their jobs, rising interest rates or the rising cost of replacing their car, this will drive down used car prices and lease rentals will rise,” he said.

“A leave vote would bring with it a period of uncertainty and recrimination, none of which would be good for industry in general or the fleet industry in particular.”

The SMMT has suggested that the UK could face tariffs of up to 10% – a significant cost in an industry with notoriously tight margins – and it could take years for new trade deals to be agreed.

Several manufacturers, including Toyota, Nissan, Vauxhall, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) have warned against leaving the EU.

David Betteley, director of global financial services at JLR and a past chairman of the Finance and Leasing Association (FLA), said: “Our view is that we should remain, because Europe is a really important market for us and, secondly, we buy a significant amount of components in Europe.” 

There were similar concerns from BMW. Ian Robertson, member of the board of management at BMW, said: “The free movement of components, finished products and skilled workers within the EU is extremely beneficial to British-based business.

“We firmly believe Britain would be better off if it remained an active and influential member of the EU, shaping European regulations which will continue to impact the UK whatever the decision.”

It is clear that, in the short-term, costs would most likely rise because sterling would dip and there would be a period of economic uncertainty.

“But in the long-term,” concluded Tourick. “That’s neither known nor knowable at this stage.” 


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  • bob the engineer - 16/06/2016 08:50

    Quite happy for the EU to 'try on' a tariff war. Yes we make quite a lot of cars here but many are for other markets too so not affected. We do however import vast numbers of German vehicles so if they want to play games we can slap hefty tariffs on those in response. It would affect their sales severely and we would survive, can someone driving an X3 not get by in a home grown CRV or Qashqai? The new forthcoming Civic instead of a Golf? plenty of popular Japanese and Korean cars that will be tariff free to choose from. It may even re-educate many that there is actually life beyond a German badge. Lets face it, our overcrowded roads are of little use to 'performance' vehicles the German brands like to give us. Result is less deficit for us, massive loss of profits for Germany. JLR are squeaking about the effects on them but lets be candid, all their products sell more on other factors such as off-road ability, prestige or aspiration than price so a tariff is going to affect them less than most. If you can afford a £65,000 Range Rover Sport then a £70,000 price isn't going to stop you either if that's what you want. Other manufacturers are not stupid and if there are gaps in the market they will fill them, many brands such as Mercedes have substantial worldwide manufacturing such as in the USA, I have no doubt they would start running lines there and importing to us avoiding any EU punitive tariff war. -- it WILL be OK! take back control on Independence Day

  • Nigel B - 16/06/2016 13:35

    The trouble with this pole is the same as next Thursday. Too many of the 'want to remain' are not casting their votes. As ever the revolutionaries shout louder! There is nothing to recomend Bredit financially, it will be a significant hit for the UK economy, no one says differently. But emotions are in danger of winning the argument. If only people could appreciate the mire they are in danger of voting in. Far higher food prices will make increased tax rates seem small. In the 1950 something like 80% of disposable income went on food, now it is around 20%. It is more likely to be like the 1950's than 2016's. JLR will survive, because all UK company cars will be jags of Land Rovers, VW, BMW and Audi etc will be priced out of the market with the drop in sterling and the trade tarrifs. (We may eventually have a trade deal, but the only ones done so far include free movement of people, so migration will be no different than when we were in). I urge you all to think long and hard before putting your X in the box, Do you really want less disposable income and another recession? I know I don't!

  • Ste - 16/06/2016 15:07

    If you are mad because you didn't get a pay rise recently then get mad at your CEO or boss, if you are mad because you cant get on the housing ladder don't get mad at the 0.03% who come here from the EU (divide 180000 immigrants p.a. by 69mil), get mad at successive governments who haven't built enough houses for us (most governments made up of MP's who are landlords!), if you are mad because you think public services and NHS is stretched then get mad due to austerity and lack of proper funding, if you are mad at austerity then get mad at the bankers who had the financial system deregulated 40 years ago and have been causing cyclical crisis' ever since including the one eight years ago we all have selective memories on (the bankers must be loving the fact we are now blaming the EU for our financial troublestroubles!), if you are mad because you cant seen to generate any 'true' wealth' and are actually worse off than you were before the financial crisis then get mad at the bankers again and the corporates that are sitting on piles of cash, if you are mad at terrorists don't get mad at the 0.03% coming from the EU from places like Spain and Italy and Poland who just want to work get mad at the radical religious sects and doctrines and the states that fund them in the middle east, if you are mad because you think your town is full of other races, colours, creeds and religions making you feel like a minoritiy in your own country don't get mad at the Eu letting in that 0.03% get mad at the UK government that wont control its own border and hasn't done for 70 years from non EU countries. The EU isn't perfect but think before you vote, look at the facts the EU is more a force for good than bad.Please feel free to get mad, but get mad at the right people for the right reason and don't cut off your nose to spite your face!

    • bob the engineer - 16/06/2016 16:52

      A sensible plea sir, but your summary that the EU isn't perfect is something of an understatement, but talking facts, there is not a shred of evidence the EU has any intention of reforming one jot but plenty that its hell bent on increasing its folly. Also I am still struggling to think of a single tangible 'fact' that comes under the EU being 'a force for good' On matters of human rights and employment we should be able to sort these things out ourselves without 'help' so that just leaves trade, which was what the common market was formed for in the first place and it should have been left at that.

      • Ste - 17/06/2016 10:11

        What is its folly? if you mean expanding the super state, then the UK has a valuable and usable veto, we are not in the Euro and we are not in Shengen. If you fear we will join Shengen then I believe this will absolutely not happen given the level of opposition the public have shown to it now, it will be untenable for any UK government to further our integration to the EU. That brings me to the force for goo, you mention Human Rights and Employment rights..do you truly in your heart believe that Michael Gove, Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage have your employment rights in their personal agendas? All 3 are on record as wanting loser regulation on these items because they claim the regulations cost the EU and UK money..well of course they do, they protect you avery day in your job. I would rather stay in the Eu with the protecitons it gives me and my work mates every day (strongly defended by the French workers, who we may laugh at when they kick off, but they are standing up for their rights and liberty.) The irony is that those French workers have done more to protect you and your work mates rights than right wing elites in the UK ever have. Another force for good is the environment. The EU has very strong regulations on pollution etc that has been proven to have cleaned up our rivers, and paid farmers to keep land in a semi natural state supporting huge amounts of flora and fauna that would otherwise have disappeared.. renewables is another area the EU is leading, do you want fracking like the UK right wingers want? I do want to becoame a little America with no workers rights, minimal environmental protections, fossil fuels being drilled for across our beautiful countryside (keep windmills off too, but have them offshore.) Those in the Brexit campaign are elitist right wingers who will start a race for the bottom to loosen the regulations the EU has built and protect you 'for good' everyday.

    • Undecided - 16/06/2016 16:54

      I don't wish to nit-pick but you might want to check your calculations. Based on your figures its 0.26%. But isn't the net figure of immigrants more like 600,000 in the last few years and the current population is 65m? Which puts the percentage at 0.92%. Give this 0.92% a few years to start and extend their own families and then you can add another 900,000 to the population (on top of the 600,000), and then we've got another 1.5m or 2.3%. The thing is these people are already here and have to be accommodated. Where does it stop? Was it Mark Twain who once said "Buy land. Because they aren't making any more of it!"?

      • bob the engineer - 16/06/2016 20:21

        Of course I am making assumptions, but I suspect migration is actually even far higher in reality. Also look at what happens when there is a port strike and operation stack is activated. You see the sheer volume of lorries crossing daily is staggering, the authorities only have the means to check an insignificant minority of the vehicles daily. They have been stopped from using their x-ray scanners for fear of dosing migrants! coupled with traffickers using vehicles and boats and there is no reason not to expect at least several 100's of migrants to be entering every single day. They don't mind being caught when here as without any documentation to prove their country of origin they will never leave.The government also has nothing to offer to limit EU migration, Cameron's negotiated restriction on benefits is a contradiction as the Remain campaign claim 85% of EU migrants work, so they won't be deterred. There is absolutely no reason why the numbers won't keep rising year on year very rapidly, even to a million a year and still with no means to control it. The Remain supporters will say don't be ridiculous but can't say why it won't happen?

      • Ste - 17/06/2016 10:00

        Both figures 0.26% and 0.92% are tiny and I don't believe extrapolating 0.92% forwards a "few years" is a good reason to justify leaving the EU. Saying "These people are already here" what does that mean? It sounds like a scare tactic sound bite that UKIP would use. Also "These people.." are you referring to the Black and Asian immigrants who came from the Commonwealth after WW2 or the Germans that came here during the 17th Century or the French who came here in the 12th Century or the Vikings or...? Come on people THINK about what you are saying! You are clearly intimidated by immigration but are you really, or are your fears being stoked by UKIP and right wing propaganda and non-facts that are being mis-represented to us every day (Nigel just unveiled a poster with Syrian refugees on it), they aren't even from the EU. Please don't let an elitist ex trader and a fraud like Nigel Farage (immigrant family and wife?) and an elitist philandering aristocrat like Boris (immigrant royalty?) de-fraud us to gain power for them selves. They are right wing elites who are on the record for not supporting public services like the NHS, they are detached from our daily reality and they will not look out for the workers best interest in the long run.

  • Undecided - 16/06/2016 17:16

    For a lot of people it isn't about the money or the price tag, it’s about freedom and empowerment and actually making your vote count. Is it any wonder that at every General Election there is some apathy and a relatively low turn out to actually vote when nothing much changes regardless of who's in power in Westminster, because the EU can't be overruled. I'm starting to think that the only reason Cameron won a majority at the last election is because the majority dislike the EU more than they dislike the Conservatives, and they seized their chance to be free of the EU bureaucracy. And if they were prepared to vote in the Tories with their austerity measures then they will probably be prepared to accept some loss of "disposable income" in return for a better quality of life and empowerment. As for the comparison to food swallowing up most of the disposable income in the 1950's, that could possibly be due to the level of pay back then being nowhere near where it is today, post war loss of the main bread winners, and also perhaps family sizes were much larger back then, unlike today where the average family has only 2.5 children to feed. But I have no axe to grind because I am one of the undecided’s but the remain camp need to stop using fear tactics and stop trying to discredit the leave camp and actually focus on telling us the actual benefits of remaining - both short term and for generations to come – and tell us with authority and confidence without having to resort to notes or mudslinging or becoming condescending. I’ve never been a great fan of Nigel Farage in the past but he is going to come out of this referendum with a lot of credit and support as he speaks with confidence and authority on the subject without referring to notes. You could argue that he is one who would benefit the most from us remaining, with him being an MEP, but he is so vociferous in his desire to leave that that must tell us something. You can bet UKIP will gain a lot more seats at the next election.

    • Ste - 17/06/2016 10:25

      You should read about the global financial banking dynasties and the elite 0.001% that pull the strings and then you will know why working people are disaffected as they tread water or go backwards. Don't default to the lowest common denominator (UKIP and right wing propaganda) and blame the wrong institutions like the EU just because you have been given a vote on it. There are other reasons people are being held back and squeezed.

  • Undecided - 16/06/2016 17:31

    Can anyone imagine a UK where we can use the import tariffs charged to EU suppliers for investment to develop our own manufacturing industry again? And develop farming? Maybe even become self-sufficient? Farm land that can actually be used to grow food to feed us without having to source it and transport it from overseas. Imagine the impact on our carbon footprint. I'd like to hear the remains' views on this.

    • Ste - 17/06/2016 10:30

      I'm 'remain' and i think its a great suggestion to reduce carbon footprint, on that front the more that can be locally sourced the better, e.g. look at the Tesla Solar Home Power Pack, awesome local electricity generation in your own home! However you also cant prevent global trade on food, but i agree the EU CAP and our importing of a lot of food should be reformed, but if we come out we lose the huge market place we have with no barriers, i have experience of international trade tariffs and its dog eat dog out there, on the global stage we will get no quarter from France, Germany, US, China, Japan etc and currently the EU gives us a massive market with no barriers, awesome!

  • Iain - 16/06/2016 22:03

    I would urge the younger generation to listen very very carefully to their older, wiser peers. When they voted to join the common market there was no mention of the EU as it is today - we were all sleepwalking right in there and before we knew it we had lost control of just about everything. Who ever imagined joining an economic joint enterprise would cost us 350 million pounds a week? Be mindful also of Ireland's referendum which was quickly rerun when they didn't get the desired outcome first time! And, speaking of those on the other side of that little bit of water, you should also be mindful of Northern Ireland's referendum, the Good Friday agreement - the labour government of the day never told anyone they were actually voting to put terrorists into government whilst handing out hundreds of royal pardons and 'get out of jail free' cards to those identified as being wanted by the police. All of this was underpinned by - guess who - the EU! Get out now and take back control while we can or our siblings will pay the price in the long run.

    • Ste - 17/06/2016 10:20

      It doesn't cost 350mil a week, we get over half back. We also have a useful veto our government can use at any time, we are not in the Euro or Shengen and no UK government will ever take us into further integration as it will now be political suicide. I agree i don't want further integration and we need reform, however on balance the facts show we are better off overall still being in the EU. Plus being in we can change it, we cant if we are on our own (its dog eat dog out there, we will get no quarter from France, Germany, Japan, the US, China etc once we are sitting at the table on our own - believe me i have first hand experience of tariffs and trade barriers and it is brutal). Please can you tell me what "Take back control" to you means and if you get it how it will change your daily life in the future?

      • bob the engineer - 17/06/2016 18:34

        Do you truly trust any of our politicians not to go for greater integration? the EU will take a Remain vote as carte blanche to carry on their plans, Cameron only very recently said he wanted to fast-track Turkey into the EU before one of his frequent about turns and now says the opposite, the truth is in short supply. The current government has a terrible record of doing what it wants without a mandate, Labour we know has many eurosceptics including its leader who is bare faced lying that he supports Remain under instruction from his union masters who have a very narrow agenda of their own. In some aspects I am in favour of a form of EU but the current one is a total cancerous mess, its beyond fixing and needs a full reboot. If we leave, others will follow (Switzerland has already withdrawn its intention to join) and the EU will fall. We can then start again, perhaps dust off the original Common Market deal and start with that.

        • Ste - 20/06/2016 11:10

          Its not that I trust them, (I don't trust many human beings once they get into powerful positions), however given the public sentiment that has come out in this debate (which is a great thing in itself) I think its obvious that to continue to win elections politicians/ parties can't back any further integration (and quite right too) - but that is very different to leaving. Also on Turkey, its a very tricky balance - I don't think they should join until they have developed a much better democracy (their recent oppressive tactics on their own populations and Kurds etc is disgraceful), but we do need to be mindful of the key strategic place they hold sitting between Europe and Asia. They have always been the 'gateway' to the Middle East and they are better 'on side' in some form or other. Obviously 'free movement' of Islamic fundamentalists from Turkey into other EU countries is at the front of everyone's minds and this would need to be stringently controlled if they ever joined (all long way off), but when I think of this I also think about the number of 'home grown' terrorists (including right wing. Irish etc) so we need to be balanced and tackle it wherever it originates.

  • Voting to Leave - 20/06/2016 14:33

    As a Vehicle Rental business owner In Northern Ireland - I and most of my colleagues and families are voting leave - we find it a struggle to survive having to drop our prices to compete with European competitors and having to fall in line with EU directives and laws! Also - not related to fleet but in the past as a full time working parent who has never ever been out of work since the age of 16 I have not been able to have a free school place for my children in school because of immigrants who get a preference to full time education (these are immigrants who dont work and dont contribute to our National Insurance system and who also claim benefits and get free housing) I cant even get an appointment with my doctor because my doctors waiting room is full of pregnant immigrants and their husbands who dont work!!!!! So the way it works right now is - I work hard, I pay into our NI and Tax system, I create employment and the rest of Europe take away our local contracts, make laws which cost my business money to be compliant and we pay them 350million a week to be a member - plus locally we pay for their free housing, medical and schools to the Immigrants who have flooded in since we opened our borders. Something not quite right there! Its a no brainer - Im voting LEAVE!

    • Ste - 21/06/2016 10:50

      Genuine questions i have for you are, how do you think global competition will change should we leave the EU and why, and secondly which directives and laws are you referring to and how much do the EU directives and laws cost you? I'm also a full time working parent who has never been unemployed and I live in a high population density area in the north of England, with elderly parents in another area of England. Based on mne/ my parents own experiences I can always get an appointment at the doctors (granted its busy but not full of 'pregnant immigrants' as you so eloquently put it) and my experiences of the NHS in general, including my parents requiring it a lot recently, have all been very positive. That includes experiences with baby care, emergency A&E, walk in care, heart surgery, cancer assessment and general doctor care. So I don't think the NHS is under strain from immigrants. If it is under strain as you claim to witness do you think it is more likely to be the 0.3% of our total population coming here (EU immigration) or general under investment (due to austerity, due to the bank crisis giving right wing Tories the excuse to undermine public services) trying to serve the 69mil that already live here? Also, you allege 'the husbands don't work', why do you think that is? Do you think it is because the EU doesn't want them to work or do you think it is because there was a giant unsustainable credit and building boom created in Ireland by the banks over the last twenty years sucking in labourers from many countries, which then crashed during the financial crisis leaving huge amounts of debt which the public tax payers picked up and are still paying off? Please go back to the root cause and blame the correct source, the EU is not your enemy, the bankers and financiers who have sucked the life out of us all are to blame (he who controls the money, controls the people.)

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