WorldatWork research: Most employers offer a car benefit to staff

The majority of organisations (89%) offer some type of car benefit to employees, according to research by WorldatWork among its primarily US-based as well as global members.

The Vehicle-Related Benefits Survey 2011 found that, of these organisations, 49% offer a minimum of three fleet benefit programmes to their workforce.

The most common programmes offered are fuel or mileage reimbursement, car allowance and company-owned cars.

The research also found that the impact of fuel costs on an organisation’s fleet benefits programme is considerably less in 2011 compared to 2008.

In 2008, 68% of organisations reported implementing changes that made fleet programmes less generous to employees in response to fuel costs, compared to only 6% in 2011.

Furthermore, 79% of organisations reported they were not considering changes to these programmes in response to fuel cost, compared to only 3% who said the same in 2008.

Additional key findings of the survey are:

  • Almost nine out of 10 (89%) respondents offer a car allowance, company car or other fleet benefit to at least some employees.
  • Fleet programmes were most prevalent in the United States (75%), followed by Canada (19%), the United Kingdom (16%), Western Europe (16%), and Asia Pacific (10%).
  • For those organisations with no current fleet programmes, 18% said they had eliminated their programme in the past three years, up from 11% that had eliminated programmes in the 2008 survey.
  • Of those that eliminated their fleet programmes, the major reason was cost in both 2008 and 2011, with a few organisations citing negative perception when offered only to executives and affect on culture.
  • The most common fleet benefits in 2011 were fuel/mileage reimbursement programmes (72%) and car allowances (65%), while in 2008 the order for the top two was reversed.
  • For organisations that provide fleet benefits, the most prevalent number of programmes was two (29%) followed by three (28%) and one (22%).
  • As in 2008, the eligibility for a car allowance or use of a company car is concentrated among executives and sales employees, but 29% of organisations also provide a vehicle to any employee with a bona-fide business need. In addition, three-quarters of organisations (76%) offer mileage or fuel reimbursement to any employee with a bona-fide business reason.
  • Although the majority of the organisations (65%) still do not allow eligible employees to choose between fleet programmes, the number has decreased from 72% in 2008 when fewer organisations allowed choices.
  • Record-high fuel prices have had little or no effect on fleet programmes in 2011, with only 13% of employers considering or implementing changes to make the programmes less generous compared to 2008 when 78% either considered or implemented such changes.
  • With the exception of employee satisfaction (51% positive), fleet programmes appear to have little positive affect on the workforce in terms of attraction, motivation or engagement.

Read more articles on fleet programmes and car allowances