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Fleet sales unlikely to spike ahead of WLTP

September’s introduction of new Worldwide harmonised Light-vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) regulations is unlikely to prompt a major spike in new car sales over the next few months despite possible BiK benefits for fleets, according to Cap HPI.

Millbrook WLTP

Neither fleets nor retail buyers are likely to bring forward car registrations due to WLTP, says Cap

Although the April 2017 introduction of a radical overhaul of VED led to many car buyers bringing forward purchases to avoid increased costs, the experts at Cap HPI say this is unlikely to happen for WLTP on either the retail or fleet side.

Reasons include the fact that new figures are already being introduced on a phased basis ahead of the 31 August 2018 deadline, as carmakers introduce new models, but also due to a lack of full consumer knowledge on the retail side of the impact of WLTP.

And on the fleet side, even though the new WLTP figures, in the form of NEDC Correlated data, are quite often higher than the proper NEDC figures they supersede, bringing increased BiK for drivers and Class 1A NIC figures for fleets, Andrew Mee, senior forecasting editor (UK) at Cap HPI, said it would be hard for fleets to bring vehicle acquisitions forwards.

Mee explained: “For company cars, the renewal cycle is generally fixed and although there could be a potential pull forward of renewals for BiK advantage, the manufacturer lead times may make this difficult in practice.”

Cap announced last month that it was taking action on integrating the additional data for the new WLTP test cycle and will be identifying test cycle data and MPGs as they become available from manufacturers.

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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.