Company car drivers decide on vehicles early, survey finds
19 January 2018
Author: Sean Keywood
A survey of company car drivers has found they start considering their next vehicle almost as soon as they pick up the keys to their current one.
The Fleet: Driver survey by Sewells Research & Insight, which aims to help manufacturers market to company car drivers, also found that the longer the process of choosing a car goes on, the less drivers enjoy it.
When it comes to choosing a company car, 35% of drivers said they had previously made up their minds before visiting a dealer, and 40% said they had done so before a test drive.
The survey found it is difficult for manufacturers to influence drivers' decisions. Instead, online sources, social media, work colleagues and family considerations are major factors.
Fleet managers are particularly influential in the early stage of decision-making for drivers of mainstream, volume manufacturer brands, but at the business end of proceedings it is line managers and senior management who are most heavily involved, eclipsing the fleet department.
By the time drivers consult manufacturers' websites, the survey found they have already settled on their future car and are simply fine-tuning.
In terms of enjoyment, the survey found 42% of drivers enjoy researching their options, but only 34% enjoy visiting a dealer or booking a test drive.
In addition, drivers of 'job need' cars derived significantly less pleasure from the selection process than older, more senior 'perk' car drivers.
According to the survey, more than 50% of drivers are willing to contribute toward the cost of their car in return for an upgrade, and this percentage is even higher for corporate drivers working for businesses with more than 250 staff than for drivers working for SMEs.