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81% of fleets expect fleet growth over next year

The AFMR, based on a survey of 250 fleet managers, now includes year-on-year comparisons and shows that a total of 81% of operators expect the size of their fleet to grow over the next year or at least remain unchanged (up from 70% in 2011), while 31% anticipated an increase in their fleet budget (27% in 2011).

Paul Hollick, sales and marketing director, Alphabet, said: ‘Fleet has outperformed the private car market through the recession and the Government should carefully consider making sweeping changes to vehicle excise duty, company car tax and capital allowances; especially where it affects the market for ultra-low carbon vehicles as fleet managers have clearly stated that the cost of going green is a concern.

‘We wait with interest to see if the Government increases the subsidies for Electric Vehicles to help push the market. Meanwhile, an education job is required to address the misapprehension that switching to greener vehicles is a cost to be written off, when in principle pursuing green fleet policies will deliver cost savings in a number of different areas, especially fuel.’

The AFMR 2012 also looked at where fleets are prioritising investment. Pool cars, increasingly seen as a cost-effective and more financially manageable alternative to hire cars and taxis, proved to be the most popular area of existing investment for fleet managers.

In addition 40% of the fleet managers surveyed have invested in hybrid vehicles (up 3% from 2011), 37% in telematics (down 7%) and 28% in electric vehicles (up 6%).

The public sector is leading the way on tech investment however. Public sector fleets were considerably more likely than their private sector counterparts to have invested in each of the technologies covered by the survey. In fact, technology investment was a far greater preoccupation for public fleets than privates ones, with 50% of public operators listing it as a concern vs. 19% of companies.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.