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Company cars still ‘ingrained’ in UK business

Almost nine out of 10 UK businesses would be unwilling to replace company cars with another form of transport, according to new research.


29% of respondents were open to car sharing, while 42% were interested in ride sharing.

The research from the 2017 edition of Arval’s Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer found only 11% of fleets would “certainly” or “probably” be ready to withdraw cars – opting instead for alternatives including ride sharing, car sharing, or a mobility budget or card.

The research, which covered 3,847 fleets, found fleets of all sizes remain wedded to the company car. Only 13% of larger fleets (more than 50 vehicles) would even consider giving them up, alongside 13% of medium fleets (10-49 vehicles) and 10% of smaller fleets (1-9 vehicles).

The analysis comes as latest HMRC figures on Benefit-in-Kind find the number of employees taking up company cars has shown increases in recent years – up from around 940,000 in 2012-13 and 2013-14 to 950,000 in 2014-15 and a provisional figure of 960,000 for 2015-16.

However, the Arval research found businesses do remain open to trying other transport options as a part of the fleet mix, with 52% willing to consider alternatives in the next three years or already had one in place. These included car sharing (29% of fleets), ride sharing (42%) and a mobility budget or card (19%).

Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval’s Corporate Vehicle Observatory in the UK, said: “These figures show just how much the company car is ingrained into UK business activity, with the vast majority of businesses either unable to identify, or not looking to implement, a viable alternative right now.

“It is worth underlining the contribution that the company car continues to make, providing a cost-effective, flexible and efficient transport solution – as well as serving as a highly successful employee incentive.”

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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.