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More than half of UK fleets prepared for future Covid disruption

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More than half (60%) of UK fleet operators are prepared for any future Covid-19 disruptions, according to a Driving for Better Business study.

The research found that businesses are more resilient to potential Covid-19 disruption that they were a year ago.

This has increased in comparison to last year, when less than half (39%) of businesses had plans to deal with local lockdowns and two-thirds of companies had no plans in place for a resurgence of Covid-19.

The report, entitled ‘Driving Better Business Resilience After Covid-19’, was commissioned by Driving for Better Business (DfBB), a government-backed Highways England programme, and surveyed 150 SME business owners and over 150 decision-makers at board level in large enterprises. The report follows DfBB’s Better Business Resilience report in 2020, which surveyed the same organisations at the height of the pandemic.

Half (50%) of UK businesses said that coping with additional demand as a result of lockdown was their main concern currently, as businesses across the UK seek to return to pre-COVID-19 levels of productivity. 

This has doubled in comparison to last year, when less than a quarter (22%) of UK businesses shared this view. In 2020, companies were most concerned with surviving the economic disruption of COVID-19.

Fleets reporting operational activities and costs to the board

Reporting at board level has increased significantly in 2021 as businesses are reporting fleet operational activities and costs to their boards.

Reporting has increased over the past year for the following key areas: Servicing and maintenance costs for company vehicles, driver behaviour, fuel spend for company vehicles, annual fleet insurance, vehicle incidents and damage repair costs, and mileage levels/costs for those using their own car for work journeys.

Half (50%) of businesses are reporting servicing and maintenance costs for company vehicles at board level. This has increased significantly since 2020, when less than a third (31%) of UK fleets were reporting servicing and maintenance costs to their boards.

The number of businesses measuring and monitoring driver behaviour to better control operational costs has more than doubled from 18% in 2020 to 41% in 2021. This demonstrates that awareness about the importance of measuring and monitoring business operations has increased over the course of the pandemic, as UK-based fleets have embraced and implemented better drive engagement strategies to improve business outcomes in the context of COVID-19.

Simon Turner, campaign manager at Driving for Better Business, said: “Today, businesses face diverse and competing challenges as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the challenge of remaining agile and maximising financial strength has remained a business priority for all businesses, just as it was in March 2020, and will continue to be post-Covid-19.

“To create change, Driving for Better Business has heavily promoted this as an established route to improved business resilience, supported by industry-leading resources such as benchmarking, gap analysis and Covid-19 Driving for Work guides.

“By tracking industry progress over the past year, the results of our second business resilience report demonstrate the importance of measuring and monitoring activity to improve business outcomes, and the extent to which businesses have embraced the ways of working suggested by Driving for Better Business in order to meet the challenges posed by Covid-19. As a result, UK fleets are emerging from the pandemic with renewed confidence and optimism about their post-pandemic future.”

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