A slightly random but fun thought crossed my mind recently. What if there was a company car Santa? When you sat down to write a letter to him, what items would you put on your fleet Christmas wish list for 2020? I’ve given the matter some thought and settled on three main gifts. 

First is to see the electric vehicle (EV) sector really start to move forward. There is currently considerable pent-up demand for electric cars from fleets, prompted both by the 0% taxation change recently announced and, simply, growing acceptance. This enthusiasm has, however, been frustrated by poor supply of current models and a lack of choice in some of the most important segments for many company car drivers. In 2020, I’d like to see this change. Manufacturers have promised a whole raft of new vehicles and much higher production levels. By the end of next year, it would be good to see EVs no longer separated under the ‘alternative technology’ banner but considered relatively commonplace.  

Secondly, and really an extension of the first wish, is to see more detailed government commitment to helping drivers who choose EVs. My view is that the EV market still needs considerable support and will probably do so for the foreseeable future. A long-term plan that spells out the level of ULEV grants available in the next few years would be highly desirable while funding for increased public charging point access is essential. 

Finally, the fleet industry has found itself compromised in recent times by a shortage of information about future company car taxation. This has improved recently but a further degree of certainty concerning how benefit-in-kind will change in coming years would be highly beneficial. This is not just about supporting the health of our sector – fleet cars are much more environmentally friendly than privately-owned vehicles and make a significant contribution towards meeting carbon and clean air targets.  

Well, that’s my list. All that remains is to wish you a fantastic Christmas and a warm and welcoming New Year.

Shaun Sadlier is head of Arval’s Mobility Observatory