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Sam Sterry's blog: Keeping staff on the road

Date: 21 June 2019

Europcar Mobility Group UK's head of SME assesses the challenge of finding the right mobility solution for staff and the business.

The combination of BIK tax changes, economic uncertainty, global pressure to reduce emissions and rapidly evolving technology creates a mobility puzzle that leaves many businesses scratching their heads. According to recent research of fleet decision makers commissioned by Europcar Mobility Group UK, nearly 1 in 5 firms do not monitor employee travel at all. This could see firms wasting resources and leave staff unsatisfied with their mobility options. Businesses need to consider a broader mix of mobility solutions to support staff and their business goals, including meeting emission targets.

When it comes to making adjustments for the new BIK tax rules, Europcar Mobility Group UK research shows that 29% of businesses say staff opted for cash-for-car, leading to a greater use of grey fleet. Increased grey fleet vehicle usage means firms lose control of the costs, safety and productivity of their fleet. Crucially, firms have a legal duty to ensure that the vehicles staff are using are safe, which is difficult with a grey fleet.

Of those Europcar surveyed and who do monitor employee travel, 45% rely on fuel expenses to track employee travel behaviour. A further 34% use GPS tracking and 31% rely on driver self-reporting. In addition, only 33% limit the hours travelled and 34% dictate the time of travel. Crucially, only 25% use any form of journey optimisation to identify the best mobility for each journey. 

There is a lot of room for improvement, when it comes to ensuring company travel meets the needs and expectations of employees, but it doesn't need to be a burden for businesses. The fallout of using the wrong mobility option ultimately reduces the productivity of staff and the business. If transport isn't properly co-ordinated, staff lose time, whether it's waiting for connecting transport or dealing with the frustration of being provided with the wrong-sized van. This impacts on deliveries, arrival at meetings and also leaves managers rectifying any issues. It's worth remembering that individual employees have different demands, with some preferring a company car, whilst others wanting a more agile solution.

Employers need to change their service offering to meet the changing mobility requirements of their business and their staff. Europcar Mobility Group UK assists businesses by offering access to everything from short-term rental cars and vans to longer term options that pose little financial risk or outlay. With no need to sign up to long-term leases or take on the financial burden of acquisition, businesses also benefit from our taxi, chauffeur drive, car share and car club services, when appropriate. By providing a diverse range of mobility options, we help businesses stay on top of their changing needs and deliver a range of solutions tailored to their goals and the demands of their workforce.