Employers increasingly recognise value of company cars

More employers are recognising the importance of company cars and giving drivers more choice.

The latest Company Car Trends Survey by GE Capital Fleet Services revealed nearly half (42%) of fleet managers recognise the importance of company cars as a key recruitment and retention tool, compared to just one in three (33%) in the first quarter of 2010.

The report also showed a bigger increase in the number of employers offering drivers more flexibility over choosing a company car. Some 40% of fleet managers now offer drivers a choice of manufacturer, compared to under a third (31%) in the first quarter of 2010.

More employers also now consider the employee’s position when deciding who is eligible for a company car, with 59% now using this as a basis for their decision, compared to 56% three months ago.

The cost of running a fleet remains the most important issue for fleet managers, with 82% citing costs a key consideration in running their business.

Gary Killeen, UK commercial leader at GE Capital Fleet Services, said: “Fleet managers are increasingly considering the views of their drivers and giving them more flexibility over the choice of their company car.

“This is a positive move as it is important company car driver opinion is not put to one side even as companies seek to refocus their long-term business goals.

“What is most important is a healthy balance between factors such as keeping costs under control and maintaining driver satisfaction, and offering drivers a wide range of cars is not particularly effective from a cost angle.

“While it is vital to recognise the company car is a useful tool in attracting and retaining staff, the cost savings of restricted policies need not be given up.

“Properly constructed policies, which take into account different driver requirements across two or three manufacturers, can still deliver a very attractive employee benefit.”

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