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Improved fleet utilisation is top priority post-Covid

Improving fleet utilisation is one of the top three priorities in the next 12 months for fleets, according to new Europcar research.

While efficient and cost-effective use of fleet vehicles has always been a major requirement for businesses, the Europcar Mobility Group UK white paper outlines that the past 18 months have shown the challenges and inflexibilities many fleets face.

The ‘Fit for Purpose: Fleet management in a post-Covid world’ publication reveals that 75% of operators surveyed had to review their fleet acquisition policy in the light of the pandemic.

One in three said did not have the flexibility to change fleet size at short notice and 62% had to extend existing lease contracts due to supply issues.

The research also shows that fleets remain essential to company operations – 52% planned to increase their fleet size in the next 12 months.

But the wider business sustainability agenda is bringing additional issues. For 69.8% of fleet managers, such an agenda influences the way in which they acquire and operate their fleet. And 67.8% need at least some of their fleet to enter ultra-low emission or clean air zones.

The research also showed that while diesel still powers 30% of business fleets, this will change quickly over the next 12 months. Petrol and diesel will account for less than half (48%) of the fleet, with hybrid and electric vehicles expected to make up 36% of the fleet, compared with just 28% today.

Cash allowance take-up could rise further as homeworking and meetings via video conference remain commonplace in the future. Fleet managers expect to see almost a third (28.7%) of company car drivers opting for allowances in the future – but this in turn brings the issue of grey fleet use.

“The consequences and subsequent adaptations that fleets had to make to their operations are here to stay and for organisations that rely on their vehicles for their business to grow, they will need to ensure that they have an added layer of flexibility,” said Ron Santiago, managing director, Europcar Mobility Group UK.

He added: “Businesses that are agile, and able to take advantage of new opportunities as they come along, will be the ones that thrive in this new reality. Long-term rental can be a valuable addition to a fleet’s toolkit – offering low-emission, technologically up-to-date vehicles that contribute to the green agenda, as well as being a cost-effective way of managing any potential ‘grey fleet’ issues.”

To download Europcar’s ‘Fit for Purpose’ whitepaper, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.

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