The drive to cut costs in all areas of business operations is
leading to a reduction in the choice available to company car
drivers, according to a recent survey.
GE Fleet’s quarterly Company Car Trends report found that the
typical company car policy has shifted from favouring human
resources concerns to seeking the most cost-effective fleet
Commercial leader at GE Fleet, Gary Killeen commented: “During
the last decade or even longer, companies in growth industries
habitually placed the driver at the heart of their company car
policies. The fleet was a practical means of business transport but
also a key recruitment and retention tool.
“Now the picture is changing. The company car driver is no
longer king – and cost has taken the crown. The recession has
caused the fleet sector to head rapidly back to basics.”
When asked by GE Fleet which issues were foremost in their
decision making process for the next 12 months, the top five
factors named by fleet managers were all cost-related – from fule
prices to taxation.
“Choice lists are being reduced so that spending power on new
cars can be concentrated, vehicles are being kept on the fleet for
longer and renewed less frequently, often the cars being offered
are smaller and more economical, and there are greater attempts to
manage the day-to-day use of the car in order to maximise
operational efficiency and minimise fuel costs.
“In the key areas where drivers were previously being given
wider choice – over what they drove and how they used it – controls
are being put in place that are serving to reduce their options,”
However, while some fleets are downsizing in line with employee
redundancies, there is – as yet – no sign that company cars are
being taken away from staff.