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Company vehicles remain key area of spend for UK SMEs

The bi-annual Business in Britain survey of 1,500 SMEs from across the UK found that more than three-quarters (76%) of management teams plan to raise money for business investment in the second half of the year, with over one in four (28%) expected to invest more than £100,000.

The findings show that 9% of firms plan to purchase or lease company vehicles before the end of the year – up from an 8% share of planned investment in January.

Demand is particularly for firms in the transport sector, with over a quarter (27%) planning to buy or lease before the end of the year.

Company vehicles are also high on the agenda for SMEs across the construction, retail and healthcare industries. New cars and vans are on the shopping list for over a sixth (17%), a near equal share (16%) and over a tenth (13%) of small firms respectively.

Simon Barter, head of SME at Lex Autolease, said: “It is encouraging to see that company cars and commercial vehicles remain a key part of investment plans for UK SMEs, particularly in the transport and construction sectors where the overall economic picture looks especially strong.

“As business confidence grows, companies are looking to reduce costs and streamline their operations in different ways to free up cash for growth. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of firms consider alternative ways of managing company vehicles. As firms look to move depreciating assets off their balance sheets and avoid paying lump sums, we expect to see a rise in vehicle leasing over the next six months as companies make efforts to be more agile.”

 

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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.