Fleet News

Fleet200 roundtable discussion: preparing for Brexit

With ongoing uncertainty about the impact of Brexit on the UK economy, fleet decision makers discussed how they were preparing for change.

Here are the key points raised:

  • The journey towards Brexit is creating several issues for fleets, but the most immediate challenges are being caused by legislation within the UK
  • A short-term impact of the UK vote to leave the EU has been the dramatic fall in the value of the pound, which has led to a series of price rises from manufacturers
  • This price volatility has led to much more frequent price rise announcements, in some cases within a month of a car being launched
  • A decision by one manufacturer to announce a rise has led to a ‘domino effect’ as other manufacturers have also taken the opportunity to introduce increases
  • Over the past few years, pricing pressure has built up among manufacturers as they have been unable to charge more in the country’s low inflation environment, where reducing cost has been the focus of every company. Now, with a valid excuse for change, fleets are facing a ‘baptism of cost’ with price hike announcements blamed on Brexit, even if that is not the case
  • With the UK outside the EU, delegates said they may need to consider the impact of where they source their vehicles. For example, UK-manufactured models may prove cheaper than European-built variants if tariffs are introduced. However, this does not mean that companies will be able to focus on a single source of vehicles, particularly in the van fleet market, as they need to maintain flexibility of supply to cope with their unique business requirements
  • Despite these changes, fleet managers said UK legislation was presenting the biggest challenge
  • This includes company car tax changes, new legislation affecting cash for car schemes and salary sacrifice, along with the impact of future restrictions on access to cities for certain types of vehicle
  • Companies are also closely monitoring the debate over the future of diesel vehicles for both cars and vans and how this is reflected in the government’s vehicle taxation policies

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