2014 PREDICTIONS: What 2014 has in store...
13 January 2014
The start of a new year is the time for a little foretelling as to what we can expect over the coming 12 months. Here BusinessCar takes a look at what some of the industry's leading experts are predicting for 2014
We have pulled together the opinions of four industry leaders, to see what business car operators can expect during 2014.
What follows are the thoughts of BVRLA chief executive Gerry Kearney, Lex Autolease's senior manager, strategic fleet consultancy Andrew Hogsden, Leaseplan chief executive David Brennan, and ICFM chairman and Leasedrive commercial director Roddy Graham on the hot topics that they predict will be the key issues in the coming year.
Hogsden: Although the economy has shown encouraging signs of recovery in the past year, the upturn is likely to be steady rather than spectacular during the next 12 months.
Keaney: As with 2013, new leasing business will come from SMEs looking for alternative sources of vehicle finance, the continued popularity of salary sacrifice schemes, and the growing popularity of competitively priced manufacturer-funded personal contract hire.
Graham: Following a strong performance in 2013, the general consensus is that RVs will retreat a little next year. The average resale price achieved across the top 50 leasing companies was 8% above the expected RV performance. However, how well they have predicted future RVs when writing business this year, only time will tell.
Keaney: Average prices for used fleet vehicles hit record levels in 2013, and this trend looks set to continue this year. Rising consumer confidence will boost demand, and the continued dearth of quality three to five-year old stock will keep values high in the short to medium term.
With healthy demand from retail and fleet customers, the BVRLA hopes the continuing growth in new car sales will be well balanced, and that manufacturers will take a disciplined approach to self-registrations.
Hogsden: Contract hire is likely to remain the preferred choice for large organisations. As a total vehicle management package customised to the needs of the business, it is a highly desirable, manageable and affordable option for the majority of companies.
But while some things will stay the same in 2014, we may see continued growth and interest in employee car ownership (ECO) programmes and contract purchase in the coming year.
Keaney: BVRLA members are likely to see opportunities for refinancing as new funders wish to be part of this attractive sector, and we anticipate more investors will enter the sector in 2014.
Keaney: The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency's move to providing centralised services from a new online fleet portal should result in major cost savings for fleets, but they will have to adapt to a new way of working. The introduction of the electronic V5C vehicle registration document and the withdrawal of the driver licence counterpart are two examples of existing processes that will have to change.
The driver licence changes are a particular concern, and the BVRLA is working with the DVLA to ensure the vehicle rental and leasing sector is provided with an alternative system for checking driver endorsement and disqualification information on a cost-effective, real-time, 24/7 basis.