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Fleets still seeking flexible solutions as uncertainty drags on

Business requirements for flexible fleet solutions will continue into the second half of 2019 as economic and political uncertainty drags on.

Phil Jerome, managing director at Meridian Vehicle Solutions

That’s according to Phil Jerome, managing director at Meridian Vehicle Solutions, who added that businesses are fighting to stay as productive as possible while putting off investment decisions they don’t feel equipped to currently make, as a result of the uncertainty surrounding everything from Brexit to company car Benefit-in-Kind taxation.

“On the whole, businesses are putting off major investment decisions for these reasons and this is being reflected in their fleet management. They don’t want to commit to long-term spending until there is greater clarity,” said Jerome.

“So far in 2019, bearing all of this in mind, fleets have been performing remarkably well. The challenge for the second half of the year is to maintain that achievement, helping company car operators stay flexible in difficult times, enabling them to get the most out of existing assets and access the business transport they need without major commitments.”

Jerome said this trend could be seen in everything from fleets choosing to extend existing long-term vehicle leases for a few months through to greater use of shorter-term methods of vehicle provision.

“Most leasing companies are seeing contract extensions, if on nothing like the basis that was seen during the financial crash, as businesses seek to put off vehicle replacement until they have greater certainty.

“We are seeing parallel developments with medium-term rental. Our fleet is now more than double the size it was 12 months ago and this is very much based on our ability to provide keenly priced business transport with only a moderate commitment.”

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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.