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Shaun Sadlier's blog: Mobility solutions likely to work alongside company cars

Date: 06 August 2018

Currently, there is much conversation in business media about mobility solutions and the role that they are likely to play in the future of corporate travel.

Implicit in many of these conversations is an assumption that these mobility solutions will displace company cars. However, we've just completed some research that shows that almost certainly isn't true. Just 1 in 50 of UK businesses would consider giving up their company cars in favour of emerging corporate travel products like ride sharing and car sharing.

This is an important point that is perhaps not being given the attention that it deserves - these new ideas are likely to be adopted alongside company cars.

The fact is that the company car has been the number one corporate travel solution in the UK for approaching 50 years now for a long list of very good reasons. It remains the most efficient, cost effective and popular way for most employees to undertake the journeys they need to make. This is especially true when you look at the real-world routes that company car drivers take, which often include multiple stops in areas with poor public transport provision.

No mobility solution of which I am aware matches this degree of flexibility. Instead, they offer other important advantages, such as more efficient use of existing transport assets. Their position in the corporate travel portfolio is likely to increase, perhaps significantly, but they will never offer the flexibility and effectiveness of a company car.

At Arval, we have just introduced our own range of mobility solutions and initial interest has been encouraging. In fact, our research shows that 43% of businesses would consider trying car sharing and 61% ride sharing in the next three years. What we need to now learn, alongside the entire fleet sector, is the best ways of integrating them into existing travel arrangements.

We see a situation emerging over the next few years where these new options become more widely used and important - but we very much agree with the businesses in our survey that the company car will remain at the heart of corporate travel.

Shaun Sadlier is head of consulting at Arval