Fleets more optimistic about growth now than before pandemic, Arval finds
27 April 2021
Author: Sean Keywood
UK vehicle fleets are more optimistic about growth prospects now than they were before the Covid-19 pandemic, according to leasing company Arval.
Research for the firm's 2021 Mobility Observatory Barometer found that, when asked if they thought the number of vehicles they operated would increase or decrease over the next three years, 8% more predicted growth than had done in 2020.
However, it is mainly larger organisations who feel this way, with 59% of those with more than 500 employees expecting growth, compare with 32% of those with 10-99 staff.
The most commonly given reasons for predicted fleet size increases were company growth or development of a new activity that required vehicles (67%), provision of a safe commute for employees due to Covid-19 (34%), and companies planning to offer vehicles to employees not currently eligibile (32%).
Conversely, those predicting fleet size reductions cited the impact of the pandemic (49%), followed by plans to increase home working (38%), and drivers expected to switch to a cash allowance (23%).
Shaun Sadlier, head of the Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: "Despite the pandemic, this year's Arval Mobility Observatory research indicates that fleets are more optimistic about growth now than before the pandemic hit. After the events of the last year, this is welcome and points to a high degree of resilience in the marketplace in which fleets operate.
"This positivity is much more noticeable among larger fleets than smaller ones. A potential explanation for this disparity is that bigger organisations have strategically identified the likelihood of fleet growth in a world where low taxation on EVs is set to increase company car uptake, as well as converting cash allowance takers to salary sacrifice schemes.
"SMEs have perhaps not yet had the time to devote to these areas and may well be focussed on overcoming the effects of the pandemic.
"Overall however, these figures are very good news for the company car sector, which undeniably looks set to be given new life by the increasing adoption of EVs and their associated environmental benefits."