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Arval Mobility Observatory

Contract hire expected to ‘leap’ for company vehicles

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

A leap may be about to occur in the use of operational leasing as a means of acquiring company cars and vans, according to new research from Arval Mobility Observatory.
 
When asked whether they intended to introduce or increase use of operational leasing, also known as contract hire, in the next three years, more than a quarter (26%) of fleets said yes, compared to just over one in 10 (12%) when the same question was posed in 2019*.
 
Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “These responses indicate more than a doubling of the overall tendency, year-on-year, to increase the use of operational leasing, or contract hire as it’s also known.
 
“This method of acquisition has been gradually increasing across the market for a long time but it’s been a gradual change over decades. Here, we see signs of a potential leap forwards rather than further incremental steps. The movements are large enough to suggest a genuine shift in attitude.”
 
The move was marked across organisations of all sizes except for the very smallest, he added, with the trend clear across all businesses with more than 10 employees.
 
“At the largest scale, 38% of businesses with more than 1,000 employees now say they would implement or increase the use of operational leasing compared to 17% when asked the same question in 2019.
 
“However, for those with 10-99 employees, the change is even more marked, with a rise from 8% to 31% year-on-year, which is just under a fourfold improvement. It’s pretty dramatic.”
 
Sadlier explained that operational leasing had very clear advantages – predictable costs, the avoidance of residual value risk, easy packaging with other key vehicle services and more – and one or all of these factors appeared to be gaining favour. 
 
“What is also interesting is that this research was carried out before the coronavirus crisis. In a business future where there will undoubtedly be increased and perhaps substantial pressure on company budgets in the short and medium terms at the very least, there is every chance that operational leasing will look even more appealing to fleet and mobility decision makers.” 
 
For the 2020 edition of its Fleet Barometer, the Arval Mobility Observatory this year questioned 5,600 businesses in 20 European countries, posing a wide range of questions covering current fleet and mobility trends.
 
More information on the research project can be downloaded from arval.co.uk/amo-insight

Clean Air Zones to impact 40% of businesses, research shows

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

More than four out of 10 businesses (43%) believe they will be affected by the introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) across the UK and the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London, 

The findings stem from the 2020 Arval Mobility Observatory, which gains insights into fleet and mobility trends across the UK and Europe through a wide ranging set of questions.

It also asked respondents how they will react to the introduction of CAZs and the ULEZ. In total, 76% said they will replace vehicles to meet the new standards, 27% will find other types of transportation to allow them to continue doing business within the zones, and 27% will make no changes, accepting the impact and cost.

Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “These results indicate the ways in which fleets are planning to manage the introduction of the new zones across the country although, of course, many have now been delayed by the coronavirus crisis.

“Overall, more than four out of 10 believe they will be affected and, of these, around three out of four plan to meet the challenge by operating vehicles that meet whatever new regulations are being introduced.

“To us, this is unsurprising. In most places, the introduction of CAZs are really designed to remove vehicles that use older, less clean emissions technology from cities. The truth is that because the regulations are relatively straightforward, many fleets are already compliant. Over the next couple of years, just through normal, planned replacement of vehicles, most should meet the regulations.

“It’s also thought-provoking to see that around a quarter are planning to use alternative modes of transport. It would be fascinating to know what these are, especially whether some fleets are going to be able to make a switch into public transport or other mobility options.”

Most wanted fleet ADAS devices revealed

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Collision avoidance and emergency braking head the list of advanced driver assistance (ADAS) systems desired by fleet and mobility managers on company cars.

That’s according to new research from Arval, which reveals 49% ranked collision avoidance or warning systems in top place, followed by automatic emergency or braking systems (46%), pedestrian detection systems (38%), lane departure warning systems (30%), driver fatigue warning systems (30%), automatic parking systems (20%) and adaptive cruise control (15%).

The findings come from the 2019 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory, which covers 3,930 fleets and asks a wide ranging set of questions about fleet and mobility trends.

The research also looked at the measures taken by employers to minimise road risk. The most common is a risk assessment (61%) followed by a safety communication programme (35%), on-road training (33%) and classroom training (22%).

However, there is a wide variance between the smallest and largest businesses. For example, 84% of those with more than 1,000 employees carry out risk assessments compared to 32% with fewer than 10 employees. The difference is even more marked for on-road training, with 62% against 11%.

Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “ADAS systems are becoming very common on company cars but they are something of an issue for fleets in that there is very little reliable information available about which work best in terms of actually helping drivers avoid accidents.

“What this research represents is therefore really a list of which devices fleet and mobility managers believe will be most useful in real world conditions – and what it indicates they want more than anything is to avoid collisions with other vehicles and pedestrians.

“Our view is that ADAS technology works best in promoting safety when used alongside telematics devices that allow driver behaviour to be highlighted, helping employees to make improvements both by themselves and through options such as training.”

Most useful systems to improve driver safety

Collision avoidance or warning systems                                     49%

Automatic emergency or braking system                                    46%

Pedestrian detection system                                                          38%

Lane departure warning system                                                   30%

Driver fatigue warning system                                                      30%

Automatic parking systems                                                            20%

Adaptive cruise control                                                                   15%


Measures taken to minimise road risk

                                                All       Fewer than                10-99             100-999         More than 1000
                                                            10 employees          employees    employees    employees

Risk 
assessment                          61%                32%                62%                79%                84%

Communication
programme                           35%                12%                35%                47%                57%

On-road
training                                  33%                11%                26%                43%                62%

Classroom
training                                  26%                8%                  32%                37%                38%

Third of fleets impacted by Clean Air Zones

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

More than one-third of fleets (35%) expect to be impacted by the introduction of Clean Air Zones and the London Ultra Low Emissions Zone.

In response, fleet and mobility managers questioned envisage a range of actions – 20% plan to replace their current vehicles with those that meet the standards of each zone, 13% to make no changes and accept the impact on their fleets and 12% to seek other methods of transportation within the zones.

That’s according to new research from Arval, though it says there is some difference in actions considered depending on the size of the businesses involved. For example, when looking at which fleets plan to replace their cars and vans, there is quite a wide variance – 25% of businesses with more than 1,000 employees, compared to 22% of those with 100-999 employees, 19% of 10-99 employees and 16% with fewer than 10 employees.

The findings come from the 2019 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory, which covers 3,930 fleets and asks a wide ranging set of questions about fleet and mobility trends.

The research also looked at the potential impact of any planned new toll roads being built in the UK and their likely use by fleets. In total, 51% said they would encourage their drivers to use the tolls and reclaim the cost while 26% considered it the responsibility of the driver to choose whether to use tolls at their own expense.

Again, there is quite a wide difference in attitudes among organisations of varying sizes, with almost twice as many businesses with more than 1,000 employees (35%) considering it up to drivers to pay for tolls than those with fewer than 10 employees (18%), who in turn are more likely to reimburse their drivers (59%) than their larger counterparts (45%).

Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “There has been quite a lot of debate around the likely impact of Clean Air Zones and the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, with some criticism that they don’t go far enough in enforcing low emissions standards.

“However, this research indicates that they are likely to change the behaviour of a relatively large number of businesses, whether that means operating greener vehicles or changing their transport options within the zone.”

He added that the attitudes that fleets have revealed towards toll roads were also interesting.

“This shows that more than half of businesses questioned would actively pay for tolls, presumably in the expectation that they are reasonably priced and will help to make their transport faster and more efficient.

“For us, this is further evidence of the concern that employers have about the impact of congestion on their operations, something that is seen elsewhere in our research.”

Image by Andreas Lischka from Pixabay

Infrastructure and tax top list of fleet buyer concerns

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

A lack of road infrastructure causing greater congestion and increased vehicle taxation are the two biggest issues facing fleet and mobility managers in the next five years.

The finding comes from the 2019 edition of Arval Mobility Observatory, which covers 3,930 fleets and asks a wide ranging set of questions about fleet and mobility trends.

When asked what they expected to be the main challenges facing them in the next five years, 49% replied lack of road infrastructure causing increased congestion, 30% increased vehicle taxation, 19% unclear Government policy towards transport, 19% implementation of alternative fuel policies, 16% increased driver personal taxation and 16% the introduction of more Clean Air Zones in urban areas.

Shaun Sadlier, Head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK, said: “The breadth of issues mentioned in response to this question shows that fleet and mobility managers are facing some very difficult challenges over the next few years.

“Probably the most interesting aspect is that the majority of these issues are linked to external regulatory and policy factors that have an impact on fleets, rather than being practical issues. 

“Some of these, such as Clean Air Zones, are generally supported by fleets who are well aware of the need to make their transport activities as environmentally responsible as possible. However, the fact that 19% of fleets believe Government policy is unclear and that large numbers mention both vehicle and personal taxation is certainly frustrating.

Sadlier added that he was unsurprised that the issue of road infrastructure causing congestion had topped the list of challenges.

“When we talk to fleet and mobility managers, there is a general level of concern, not really over the building of new roads, although these are needed in some places, but at the condition of existing ones and the impression that they are not being used to their maximum efficiency.”

He also said that fleet recognition of the challenges arising from the switch to wider fuel diversity, especially widespread use of electric vehicles (EV), was understandable.

“Cars and vans have been almost exclusively powered by combustion engines for more than a century and a fundamental shift to having a relatively high EV penetration into fleets definitely represents a change.

“However, our experience to date is that many of the factors that are perceived as obstacles can be overcome relatively easily with the right approach, and we are supporting many businesses through this transition both in an advisory and practical manner. 

“Generally, fleets that have made the switch to EVs are very positive about the experience.”

Main challenges expected in terms of fleet management in the next five years?

Lack of road infrastructure causing increased congestion                  49%

Increased vehicle taxation                                                                         30%

Unclear Government policy towards transport                                      19%

Implementation of alternative fuel policies                                             19%

Increased driver personal taxation                                                          16%

Introduction of more Clean Air Zones in urban areas                          16%

Image by John Howard from Pixabay