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Coronavirus legacy is reshaping car fleet management, says FleetCheck 

Company cars will remain a core part of business operations but with fundamental differences in operation as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Car keys should be returned to employers to deem vehicles as unavailable

FleetCheck says the company car will remain a highly flexible and attractive transport tool but car fleets will become increasingly focused on journey management

According to FleetCheck, while there have always been major differences in car and van fleet management as disciplines, the lockdown and the new methods of working adopted will accelerate the shift. As a result, van management will become increasingly focused on practicalities as all journeys will remain essential while car fleets will become focused on journey management and exploring alternatives to travel.

Managing director Peter Golding said: “There is a strong argument that these developments have potentially changed the shape of car fleets completely until a vaccine or other solution emerges. In the past, whether you needed a company car was often decided on the basis of how many miles you covered in a year. Now, that is likely to change to look at quality and necessity of usage.

“Even when the coronavirus question is resolved to the point where real-world meetings are possible, a fundamental question for car fleets is going to be whether a journey needs to take place? Can that monthly client account meeting now be done once a quarter by car and the rest of the time as a video conference, saving everyone time and money?”

Golding stressed though that he did not see company cars becoming less popular or less numerous as a result of the shift.

“Our view is that, even in the longer term once coronavirus is under control, company cars will be used for fewer journeys. However, those journeys that are undertaken will remain very important to employers. There will always be a need for human contact in a business environment, especially when it comes to building and maintaining important relationships.”

He also underscored the benefits and attractiveness of the company car as a transport tool.

“Also, something that is often underestimated but of crucial importance is the sheer flexibility of the company car. It is unmatched as a business transport tool in this respect. If you need to visit a location that isn’t based in a city centre, or to go to two or three varied locations in a day, for example, there is really no other viable option.

“Finally, there are extremely strong pull factors attached to company cars for employees. They remain not only a very popular benefit but, thanks to the low taxation attached to electric vehicles for the foreseeable future, a very cost-effective option.”

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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.