Despite uncertain conditions, a net 20% of businesses believe the number of vehicles they operate will grow in the next three years, according to new research by Arval.
The figure – which shows those companies predicting an increase minus those who foresee a decrease - is virtually identical to last year when a net 21% of fleets said that they were optimistic about growth prospects.
The findings come from the 2018 edition of Arval’s Corporate Vehicle Observatory Barometer, research which covers 3,718 fleet decision makers.
However, the research shows smaller and larger fleets appear to have switched position in the last 12 months when it comes to which believes that growth is more likely.
In 2017, a net 38% of fleets with more than 50 vehicles predicted growth versus a net 13% of those with fewer than 10. Today, those numbers have evened out to 20% and 23% respectively.
Medium sized fleets – those with 10-49 vehicles – are less optimistic, with a net 11% foreseeing greater numbers on their fleet in 2018 compared to 24% a year ago.
Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval’s Corporate Vehicle Observatory in the UK, said: “The headline figure shows that fleets as a whole remain quite positive in their outlook. However, beneath that number, there is quite a lot going on.
“Certainly, optimism among medium and large fleets is reduced, which is probably a product of the uncertainty that results from low economic growth and the ongoing Brexit negotiations, alongside vehicle-specific issues like rhetoric around diesel and WLTP, all of which continue to represent a major unknown. At the same time, smaller fleets are very upbeat.”
The figures recorded for the UK show a higher level of optimism than the dozen other European countries included in the Corporate Vehicle Observatory research.
Sadlier said: “Overall, 13% of companies in the other European countries that take part in our research are predicting fleet growth, compared to the UK’s 20%, although their medium and larger sized fleets outstrip the UK for optimism.”
Do you think the total number of vehicles in your fleet will decrease or increase in the next three years?
Net Increase *
Net Increase *
|Fewer than 10 vehicles||+23||+13|
|More than 50 vehicles||+20||+38|