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Company cars remain favourite despite rise in mobility options, Arval research finds

New research published by Arval indicates that business drivers still prefer their company car to alternative mobility options.

Shaun Sadlier, head of the Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK

Shaun Sadlier, head of the Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK

The research, conducted by Arval Mobility Observatory research, found that fewer than one in five (18%) of UK businesses believed their drivers would give up their company car for a range of other options, including a mobility budget, car sharing, ride sharing or a mid-term rental arrangement. Additionally, just one in 20 said their drivers would give up their company car for a non-car solution.

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “At a time when the company car is undoubtedly changing, perhaps more than at any other time in living memory thanks to the arrival of new forms of power, these results show how resilient it remains within UK corporate culture.

“The reasons for this are simple – the company car is an extremely time-efficient and cost-effective means of transport, as well as being a strong employee benefit. Mobility solutions will need to match or exceed these advantages if they are to compete in the market.”

Of the 18% who did believe their drivers would give up their company cars, most of the alternative options were found to be car-provision based, which has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis with people turning away from car sharing and public transport use.

“If you look deeper into our research, the attachment to the car is even more marked. Among drivers who would give up their vehicle, the vast majority of the alternatives they would consider are arguably different methods of accessing a car using company money, from finance schemes such as private leasing or salary sacrifice, to medium-term rental.

“In fact, looking at the figures in that light, just one in 20 fleet managers report that their drivers would give up their company car for a non-car solution – a mobility budget – and even that may ultimately be spent on a car.

“What this shows, we believe, is the degree to which business thinking when it comes to mobility is about reframing their relationship to the car and using other options alongside it, rather than a wholesale adoption of alternatives.

Shaun added that the reasons why employees favoured company cars were easy to understand and is also shown in the Arval Mobility Observatory research.

“As well as being an efficient and effective means of business transport, a company car is a very easy means of ownership, with everything effectively taken care of for the employee, who can also benefit from more regular access to new technology. This is why it remains such a popular benefit, whether it’s an essential component of a job or as an employment perk.”

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Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.