A quarter of organisations reduced fleet budgets during recession

Just 18% of organisations have reduced their fleet size in response to the recession and difficult economic climate, while 26% reduced their overall fleet budget, according to research from the Corporate Vehicle Observatory and Arval.

The annual fleet barometer report also revealed the most important step fleets have taken is to control fleet costs, with 60% taking measures to control fuel consumption.†

Meanwhile, 71% said negotiating better deals from manufacturers was their main concern in terms of measures taken in response to the financial crisis.

There is also a wide discrepancy between the attitudes of large and small organisations towards operating an environmentally-friendly fleet. Just 8% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) had at least one green vehicle compared to 74% of larger organisations.

However, by 2013, 52% of SMEs plan to have green vehicles compared to 88% of bigger organisations.

Mike Waters, director of market insight at Arval, said: “Decision makers have recognised the important role company vehicles play in their business mix and have focused on better management of their fleet policy instead.

“Over half of the respondents from the UK said total cost of usage was more important than monthly bills or purchase price. Therefore taking a holistic view of the vehicle life cycle and strategies to cut fuel consumption were the main drivers to control costs employed by company directors which reinforces the key role effective management of fuel spend now plays in the overall fleet cost mix.”

“Bigger businesses are more geared up for a lower-carbon future, but despite the fact only 3% of smaller companies have fuel-efficient labels at the moment, 43% plan to introduce them in the future. This reveals a genuine green appetite but SMEs need greater support and advice on how to make the necessary environmental changes.”

The research, which looked at the state of the market across 14 countries including Belgium, Brazil, France, India, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK, surveyed 3,500 fleet decision makers from international organisations.

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