More than a quarter of fleets expect growth, Arval finds
12 May 2022
Author: Sean Keywood
27% of UK fleets expect the number of vehicles they operate to increase during the next three years, according to leasing company Arval's 2022 Mobility Observatory Barometer research.
The survey of fleet decision makers found that by far the most commonly-given reason for the expected growth was that the company in question was expanding, cited by 81%.
HR-related needs were named by 21%, with the same percentage also planning to offer vehicles to employees without company cars.
Head of the Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK Shaun Sadlier said: "A net 27% of organisations predicting expansion of their fleet operations is a strong indication of confidence in the sector. This is comparable to the 29% figure seen in 2021 and stronger than the 21% recorded in 2020. Clearly, businesses expect a strong rebound in 2022.
"One of the most surprising findings in last year's research was the high degree of optimism surrounding future fleet growth, despite the potential impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns at that time.
"Even though we are now emerging from the pandemic, this year brings a different set of risks - ranging from conflict to a rapidly rising cost of living - but fleets still remain notably positive about the future."
According to Arval's research, confidence about fleet growth is higher among smaller companies, with 36% of those with fewer than 10 employees predicting growth, compared with 15% of those with more than 1,000.
Sadlier said: "In 2021, it was larger organisations which tended to foresee significant expansion. This year's change may be because smaller companies have been able to adapt rapidly to changing conditions, while larger organisations are still defining their policies post-Covid, such as the impact of hybrid working and adding sustainable mobility solutions.
"However, the actual reasons for optimism across all company sizes are relatively straightforward - organisations are increasing in size, they need to attract and retain staff, and want or need to offer cars to a wider range of employees. Factors that are Covid-related, such as providing a safe commute to work, are conversely falling away as the threat is perceived to be receding.
"One central fact is clear - as we emerge from the pandemic, company cars and vans remain core to business growth strategies moving forward."