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Research finds fleets optimistic about prospects for growth

Date: 07 August 2018   |   Author: Sean Keywood

A net 20% of businesses believe the number of vehicles they operate will grow in the next three years, research by leasing company Arval has found. 

The figure - obtained by subtracting the number predicting a decrease from those predicting an increase - is similar to the 21% recorded when Arval asked the same question last year.

However, the firm says the relative outlooks of smaller and larger fleets have changed.

In 2017, a net 38% of fleets with more than 50 vehicles predicted growth versus a net 13% of those with fewer than 10. Today, those numbers have evened out to 20% and 23% respectively.

Among fleets of between 10 and 49 vehicles, there are a net 11% predicting growth, down from 24% in 2017. 

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval's Corporate Vehicle Observatory in the UK, said: "The headline figure shows that fleets as a whole remain quite positive in their outlook. However, beneath that number, there is quite a lot going on. 

"Certainly, optimism among medium and large fleets is reduced, which is probably a product of the uncertainty that results from low economic growth and the ongoing Brexit negotiations, alongside vehicle-specific issues like rhetoric around diesel and WLTP, all of which continue to represent a major unknown. At the same time, smaller fleets are very upbeat." 

Sadlier added that the figures recorded for the UK show a higher level of optimism than the dozen other European countries included in its research. 

He said: "Overall, 13% of companies in the other European countries that take part in our research are predicting fleet growth, compared to the UK's 20%, although their medium and larger sized fleets outstrip the UK for optimism."