Fleet News

What are the biggest challenges facing fleets?

Shaun Sadlier

Fleets decision-makers have said that congestion and increased vehicle taxation are the two biggest issues facing the industry over the next five years.

When asked what they expected to be the main challenges facing them in the next five years, almost half (49%) replied lack of road infrastructure causing increased congestion, while nearly a third (30%) said increased vehicle taxation was their main concern.

A further one in five (19%) said their main issue was an unclear Government policy towards transport, with the same amount of respondents (19%) saying it was the implementation of alternative fuel policies.

One in six (16%), meanwhile, highlighted increased driver personal taxation and the same number of respondents said the introduction of more Clean Air Zones in urban areas.

The findings come from the 2019 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory, which covers 3,930 fleets and asks a wide ranging set of questions about fleet and mobility trends.

Shaun Sadlier (pictured), head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “The breadth of issues mentioned in response to this question shows that fleet and mobility managers are facing some very difficult challenges over the next few years.

“Probably the most interesting aspect is that the majority of these issues are linked to external regulatory and policy factors that have an impact on fleets, rather than being practical issues. 

“Some of these, such as Clean Air Zones, are generally supported by fleets who are well aware of the need to make their transport activities as environmentally responsible as possible.

“However, the fact that 19% of fleets believe Government policy is unclear and that large numbers mention both vehicle and personal taxation is certainly frustrating.”

Sadlier was unsurprised that the issue of road infrastructure causing congestion had topped the list of challenges.

“When we talk to fleet and mobility managers, there is a general level of concern, not really over the building of new roads, although these are needed in some places, but at the condition of existing ones and the impression that they are not being used to their maximum efficiency,” he said.

He also said that fleet recognition of the challenges arising from the switch to wider fuel diversity, especially widespread use of electric vehicles (EV), was understandable.

“Cars and vans have been almost exclusively powered by combustion engines for more than a century and a fundamental shift to having a relatively high EV penetration into fleets definitely represents a change,” he continued.

“However, our experience to date is that many of the factors that are perceived as obstacles can be overcome relatively easily with the right approach, and we are supporting many businesses through this transition both in an advisory and practical manner. 

“Generally, fleets that have made the switch to EVs are very positive about the experience.”

Main challenges expected in terms of fleet management in the next five years?

Lack of road infrastructure causing increased congestion                  49%
Increased vehicle taxation                                                                         30%
Unclear Government policy towards transport                                      19%
Implementation of alternative fuel policies                                             19%
Increased driver personal taxation                                                          16%
Introduction of more Clean Air Zones in urban areas                          16%


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