Fleet News

Petrol and diesel ban will change how SME employees think about business travel

More than one-third (37%) of SME employees who drive cars for work will consider using a different from of transport when the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol cars is banned by 2040.

The finding was revealed in Trainline for Business's newly-launched SME Business Travel Index, which collected data from more than 1,000 business travellers at SMEs across the UK.

The research found that ‘travelling by train’ and ‘driving in their own car’ were ranked as the most popular methods of business travel for SMEs, with both being used by over two-thirds (68%) of business travellers in the past 12 months. Close behind was ‘travelling by plane’ (46%) and ‘driving in a company car’ (39%).

Just over half of SME workers believe business travel budgets haven’t changed in the last year (52%), there is increasing pressure on many to drive cost efficiency on business trips.

Of the 26% who thought business travel budgets have declined, 40% felt increasing pressure to restrict the frequency of business travel while 37% were increasingly expected to choose cheaper options of travel. 21% were increasingly being asked to shorten the length of business trips.

However, business travellers are adapting to this pressure by choosing cheaper options of travel, rather than restricting travel altogether. Nearly two-thirds of business travellers choose to travel on Off-Peak trains, with 65% citing ‘cost-saving’ as the key driver.

This trend is being led from the top, with owners or proprietors of SMEs the most likely group to travel off-peak (at 74%) – higher than any other level.

Ananth Ramanathan, head of SME at Trainline, said: “Face-to-face meetings are undoubtedly the best way to build relationships and, for this reason, business travel remains as important as ever.

"Rail continues to prove a popular mode of transport for business travellers because of the convenience and increased productivity time it offers.

“Our research shows that SMEs are adapting to budgetary pressure by choosing cheaper options of travel rather than reducing the number of trips they’re having to make."

Click here for fuel and fuel cards best practice and procurement insight

Login to comment


  • Nigel Boyle - 25/10/2017 12:02

    Travelling by car is the only option for many, Since Lord Beverbrook got rid of all the rail lines this only works for those in cities who work in another city! Once affordable electric cars do 300 mile per charge they will become the defacto method of transport (but where will the electricity come from?). until then, at £60k they are the preserve of the rich.

Related content

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee