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MORE than a quarter of fleets (a net 27%) expect to see growth in the number of vehicles they operate during the next three years, according to the 2022 Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer.

The overwhelming reason cited by decision makers surveyed is that their company is expanding (mentioned by 81%), but human resource-related needs (21%) and plans to offer vehicles to employees without a company car (21%) are also major factors.

Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “A net 27% of organisations predicting expansion of their fleet operations is a strong indication of confidence in the sector. This is comparable to the 29% figure seen in 2021 and stronger than the 21% recorded in 2020. Clearly, businesses expect a strong rebound in 2022.

“One of the most surprising findings in last year’s research was the high degree of optimism surrounding future fleet growth, despite the potential impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns at that time. Even though we are now emerging from the pandemic, this year brings a different set of risks – ranging from conflict to a rapidly rising cost of living – but fleets still remain notably positive about the future.”

Sadlier pointed out that the new research showed that confidence about growth was biased towards smaller companies, with a 36% of those with fewer than 10 employees predicting growth, compared to 15% of those with more than 1,000.

“In 2021, it was larger organisations which tended to foresee significant expansion. This year’s change may be because smaller companies have been able to adapt rapidly to changing conditions, while larger organisations are still defining their policies post-Covid, such as the impact of hybrid working and adding sustainable mobility solutions.

“However, the actual reasons for optimism across all company sizes are relatively straightforward – organisations are increasing in size, they need to attract and retain staff, and want or need to offer cars to a wider range of employees. Factors that are Covid-related, such as providing a safe commute to work, are conversely falling away as the threat is perceived to be receding.

“One central fact is clear – as we emerge from the pandemic, company cars and vans remain core to business growth strategies moving forward.”

Arval Mobility Observatory carries out its authoritative research of key trends in the fleet and mobility sectors every year. The 2022 Barometer talked to fleet decision makers in 26 countries and the figures shown here cover UK responses to this section of the survey.

In the next three years, do you think that the total number of vehicles in your fleet will increase, decrease or stay the same? Results show the net change percentage.

Total    Fewer than                  10-99               100-999           More than

10 employees  employees      employees      1,000 employees

2022                +27                  +36                  +25                  +25                  +15

2021                +29                  +11                  +18                  +44                  +48

2020                +21                  +11                  +31                  +25                  +23

Why do you think the number of vehicles in your fleet will increase?

 

The company is growing                                                                                81%

Because of HR related needs                                                                        21%

We plan to offer vehicles to employees without a company car        21%

To provide a safe commute because of COVID-19                           6%

We plan to propose car sharing to employees                                              6%

Because of tax decreases                                                                              3%



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