Fleet operators are frustrated at the levels of uncertainty surrounding Brexit and many just want to know the outcome of the Britain’s divorce from the European Union, whatever the circumstances.
Day-to-day fleet operations are being affected by Brexit uncertainty in a number of ways, as highlighted by delegates at the most recent Fleet200 roundtable discussion.
Firstly, fleets are struggling to get quotes on vehicles with many manufacturers unable to give prices or with quotes changing significantly day-to-day.
With many drivers looking to get electric cars to benefit from the lower benefit-in-kind rates, and fleets under pressure to reduce emissions, many operators felt that electric vehicles were even more difficult to obtain.
The HGV driver shortage was also raised in respect to Brexit. Many operators already struggle to fill driver vacancies, with most businesses relying on agency drivers. As many of these come from other EU countries, fleet operators are concerned about how many drivers will be available in the event of a no-deal Brexit if EU nationals decide not to stay in the UK.
EU drivers that do stay will also need to obtain a UK driving licence, which will create additional paperwork and administration for operators.
One participant pointed out the sheer cost to businesses that Brexit uncertainty has caused. With many companies choosing to prepare for any eventuality, the cost of taking precautionary measures has been extortionate.
Along with monetary impacts, there is also an impact on time and productivity as a result of the additional planning and work that is required to ensure fleets can still operate in every eventuality.
Businesses that operate internationally have an additional layer of administration to prepare for if the UK leaves the EU with no deal. There is also concern about the amount of extra time it will take lorries to pass through customs.
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