Report finds company cars remain vital to business travel
A new question added to the survey, posed to some 250 fleet decision makers, was “Please rank the following in order of importance for your fleet vision over the next five years?” The responses were:
Ranking (1 is highest)
1. The continued use of company cars 1.94
2. Increased pool car usage 3.83
3. Alternative travel such as rail and air 3.95
4. Shared company car scheme 4.15
5. Car-free policies such as home working 4.24
6. Outsourced fleet management 4.45
7. Public transport only travel policy .18
Gary Killeen, Fleet Services Commercial Leader for GE Capital UK, said: 'This is an absorbing insight into the long term thinking of fleet decision makers. It decisively underlines that businesses believe the company car will still be the key travel tool available to them in the next five years.
'However, it is fascinating to note that they envisage some of the ways that cars are provided by companies changing, with interest in shared company cars and more use of pool cars. The typical one vehicle-one user allocation could change. The impetus for this development is likely to come from ongoing efforts to make each company car as productive as possible.'
Killeen added that it was interesting that Company Car Trends indicated that some alternatives to the company car will perhaps be given more consideration going forward.
He said: 'While it appears a public transport only travel policy is not considered viable, alternative travel methods such as air and rail, as well as home working and ongoing advances in teleconferencing technology, may have a greater part to play in organisations meeting important objectives such as minimising their carbon footprint and reducing fuel costs.
'While there are many business journeys that can only really be made by company car, these alternatives could sometimes be cheaper and more effective. It appears as though some businesses may be ready to investigate their potential more seriously.'
Killeen suggested that an underlying problem was that achieving the use of travel alternatives frequently fell outside the sphere of influence of fleet managers, whether they were ostensibly responsible for all business travel within their company or for just the running of vehicles.
He said: 'In many organisations, it is not clear in terms of the managerial structure who would be able to raise these issues at the kind of level needed to make decisions, create the necessary investment, and generate cross functional engagement.
'Most fleet managers do not have a board level business travel remit. It raises the question of whether we need to see more business travel managers in place in 2017 as an alternative to the traditional fleet manager.'