ACROSS the UK companies are optimistic about business growth leading to an increase in the size of their fleets, but this optimism appears to be stronger among the larger companies than SMEs, according to a 2021 survey conducted by leasing company Arval.
New research in the 2021 Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer, reveals that of the companies with more than 500 employees more than half (59%) are expecting fleet growth, compared to almost a third (+32%) among small and medium sized enterprises with 10-99 staff.
Across all respondents asked whether they expected the number of vehicles they operate to increase or decrease in the next three years, the response was eight percentage points higher than 2020’s survey.
The top three reasons for the envisaged increase in fleet size are led by company growth or development of a new activity that requires vehicles (67%), provision of a safe commute for employees due to COVID-19 (34%) and companies planning to offer vehicles to employees who are not currently eligible (32%).
Conversely, in the top three reasons cited for a decrease in fleet size, 49% of respondents believe it will be due to the impact of COVID-19, followed by 38% who say it’s because of plans to increase home office working and then 23% think it’s because drivers will choose a cash allowance.
Shaun Sadlier (pictured above), Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said that 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.”
These findings are taken from the 2021 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory’s Barometer research which covers 5,197 fleets across 20 countries and asks a wide ranging set of questions about fleet and mobility trends.
In The Next Three Years, Do You Think That The Total Number Of Vehicles In Your Company Fleet Will Increase Or Decrease? (Response For Cars And Vans Combined)
Employees Overall <10 10-99 100-499 >500
% Increase 39 21 32 53 59
% Decrease 11 11 14 9 11
Balance of increase/decrease % – numbers have been rounded
Employees Overall <10 10-99 100-499 >500
2021 +29 +11 +18 +44 +48
2020 +21 +11 +31 +25 +23
Why Do You Think That The Total Numbers Of Vehicles On Your Fleet Will Increase?
67% Because our company is growing or developing a new activity that requires vehicles.
34% To provide a safe commute for employees due to COVID-19.
32% Our company plans to offer vehicles to employees without current eligibility.
27% Our company plans to propose shared vehicles to employees.
23% Because of HR-related need such as talent, recruitment, retention, etc.
11% Because of tax decreases.
Why Do You Think That The Total Numbers Of Vehicles On Your Fleet Will Decrease?
49% The impact of COVID-19.
38% We plan to increase home office working.
23% Because drivers are choosing a cash allowance.
18% Fewer employees will have access to company cars.
17% Because of tax increases.
15% Business is declining.
7% The introduction or development of alternative mobility solutions.
3% Because of CSR policy.
Arval UK, part of the Arval Group, is a leading provider of vehicle funding, fleet management and sustainable mobility solutions. Owned by BNP Paribas, with substantial buying power, Arval funds more than 175,000 cars and vans in the UK.