data Archives - Fleet Summit
Posts Tagged :


Confidence and calm urged as used car values drop

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Fleets and dealers should trust the data and maintain a cool head during a period of volatile values in the UK’s used car market, according to analysis from Cox Automotive.

Cox Automotive’s confidence in its forecast persists as we approach the final weeks of 2023. Its year-to-date baseline forecast of 5,545,530 is within 99.7% – or approximately 18,000 transactions – of the SMMT’s ‘actual’ figure of 5,563,576. While a downbeat Q4 is anticipated with weak demand and increased supply, Cox Automotive believes its 2023 used car transactions forecast of 7.15 million remains achievable. This represents a 4% year-on-year increase, but 3% below the 2010 – 2019 averages.

Philip Nothard, Cox Automotive’s Insight Director, said: “Despite current concern about used car values and the impact of this on retail sales, we remain confident in our full year forecast and believe the year will close on 7.15 million used car transactions.

“We anticipated that the second half of the year would be significantly slower than the first. Our view that a softening in consumer confidence combined with a return to the over-supply of new cars, resulting in depreciation levels not witnessed since 2015 and easing transaction volumes, has proved accurate.”

According to Nothard, the used market is now undergoing a transitional period, driving a realignment of values. He argues the importance of reflecting on historical data when evaluating the current situation. Over the past two decades, the UK’s average annual used vehicle transactions stood at 7.4 million, with peaks exceeding eight million only occurring in 2016 and 2017. The ratio of used-to-new transactions averaged 3.37:1, rising to 4:1 during the pandemic-induced pause in new car production.

He added: “Current trade values remain unrealistically high despite the recent trade drops. A remarkable four-year period with minimal depreciation has contributed to this trend, with oversupply and the return of discounts, deals and incentives in the new car market creating an unsustainable cost discrepancy. Quite simply, used cars have become comparably unaffordable; at the same time, demand has eased, and the market is adjusting accordingly. While this dramatic depreciation will bring about some short-term pain for some, we must remember that over the long-term the sector has enjoyed a period of healthy returns, and we’re now returning to where we ought to be.

“While the prospect of the UK’s used car market returning to eight million transactions is an outlier, the 2023 forecast of 7.15 million transactions is not out of kilter with historical demand. The sector has bounced back from the lows of 2020 and 2021, and now prices are aligning accordingly. Since May, we’ve observed a decline in wholesale values, reflecting the return of volume to a market still grappling with economic headwinds.

“It’s a cliché, but we urge everyone in automotive to keep calm and carry on as this realignment of values plays out,” Nothard said. “Looking ahead to Q1 of 2024, we anticipate some seasonal stabilisation but no substantial ‘bounce’.”

Turning to the EV market, Nothard believes that the recalibration of used EV residual values, gradually approaching parity with ICE vehicles, offers a positive trajectory for the electric vehicle market’s future. However, the outlook for EV values remains uncertain. The growing presence of EVs in the wholesale market, coupled with advancements in battery technology, may introduce fluctuations in electric vehicle values for some time to come.

Cox Automotive’s full new and used car forecasts for 2023 can be found here. Its forecasts for 2024 and beyond were recently published as a part of its fifth Insight Report, which also includes a deep dive into key issues currently facing dealers, OEMs and fleets.

Photo by Obi – @pixel8propix on Unsplash

SMMT data indicates 10th consecutive month of UK new car sales growth

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The UK new car market has posted its longest uninterrupted period of expansion for eight years, as registrations grew 16.7% in May to reach 145,204 units according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The performance marks 10 consecutive months of growth, although registrations remain -21.0% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

Large fleet registrations continued to drive the growth, up by 36.9% to 76,207 units, reflecting a regularisation of supply following challenging supply issues in 2022. Registrations to private buyers fell slightly by -0.5% to 65,932 cars, while smaller business fleets registered 3,065 units, a year on year rise of 22.5%.

Petrol-powered cars remain Britain’s best sellers, accounting for 57.1% of all registrations.3 Alternatively powered vehicles, however, continue to make up an ever-larger share of the market, with plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) rising 23.0% to reach a 6.2% market share and hybrids (HEVs) growing 22.2% to comprise 12.3% of all registrations. Reflecting the dramatic transformation of the market over the last three years, May saw battery electric vehicles consolidate their position as the UK’s second most popular power train. A further 24,513 joined the road during the month, up 58.7% on May last year to secure a 16.9% market share.

Of the new cars registered in May, lower mediums, superminis and dual purpose were the most popular, comprising 86.3% of the market. There are now zero emission options available in every single segment of the market, with more than 80 models – around a quarter of all new car models available – from which to choose. Furthermore, these new BEVs have an average battery range of 236 miles, well in excess of UK drivers’ average weekly mileage of around 100 miles.4

While billions of industry investment is delivering choice and growth, however, the speed of the shift needs to accelerate. From January we expect to see the Zero Emission Vehicle Mandate in force, which will set a minimum quota for new battery electric vehicle registrations for every brand. While the models and volumes will be available, ensuring the market demand is there will require action from every stakeholder. A supportive fiscal framework, simplified planning processes, faster grid connections and the provision of a nationwide network of reliable, affordable and sustainable charge points will give drivers considering the switch the confidence to purchase. Investments are coming but regulated public charger targets commensurate with those for new vehicle registrations would give drivers greater confidence and help accelerate the UK’s zero emission transition.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: After the difficult, Covid-constrained supply issues of the last few years, it’s good to see the new car market maintain its upward trend and the fact that growth is, increasingly, green growth is hugely encouraging. Transforming the market nationwide, however, and at an even greater pace means we must increase demand and help any reticent driver overcome any concerns about electric vehicles. This will require every stakeholder – industry, government, chargepoint operators and energy companies – to play their part, accelerating investment to drive decarbonisation.”

Turning fleet data insights into automatic actions

960 640 Guest Post

By Mark Thomas, EVP Marketing & Alliances, Ridecell

How Automation Technology Can Transform Your Fleet

Data has become invaluable for fleet-based businesses. Organizations are increasingly leveraging more data from telematics and dashcams, where everything from real-time engine diagnostics to crash detection is readily available. But while GPS tracking information and data dashboards provide benefits for your fleet, you may not be getting the most out of the information these tools provide.

With the help of fleet automation technology, organizations can take the mountain of alerts and insights coming from their fleet systems to review and respond—all automatically. While today’s fleet management systems are great at producing insights and recommended actions, these required actions become to-dos for the fleet manager. By turning those same fleet management insights into triggers for automated actions, managers can avoid repetitive and mundane tasks while streamlining daily fleet operations and helping keep vehicles and drivers safe.

How does fleet automation help?

Fleet managers are constantly inundated with notifications and suggested actions such as fleet locations, schedules, driver behavior, maintenance issues, cabin monitoring and more. They also may be receiving alerts and information from multiple systems and dashboards, making it difficult to sort through, prioritize and act on these insights.

By automating some of the simpler fleet processes, many of those notifications can be turned into automated actions. Managers can set and prioritize business rules moving towards a “self-managing” fleet that prioritizes and resolves alerts and tasks on its own—automating routine tasks by setting up digital workflows that act like digital employees.

A fleet automation platform reads every notification and automates tasks where there is a routine resolution. For example, if a check engine light is showing low windshield washer fluid, a simple work order to the staff employee can be created directing them to the vehicle and initiating the resolution. If it’s a cracked windshield, the glass vendor will be notified along with the vehicle type, year, make and model with a note about which glass to replace or repair. In these and many other cases, there is no need for a fleet middleman to read the alert and manually assign someone to resolve it. Every notification coming from your fleet is prioritized and acted upon if possible.

And automated fleet actions aren’t just for the mundane and routine. They’re perfect for situations where time is critical and action is required immediately. Automating dispatching an ambulance to an accident, or the police to a vehicle that’s detected as being stolen are two examples where a few minutes can save lives or prevent a theft.

Gain control and keep vehicles safe with keyless tech

Moving vehicle keys to the cloud is a crucial part of fleet automation. While physical keys can easily get stolen or lost, keyless technology serves as a digital security system that allows drivers to unlock and lock vehicle doors,fundamentally changing how you access and use fleet vehicles.

  • Assign or reassign drivers to vehicles and provide instant access from anywhere
  • Remotely control who can start a vehicle and the areas they access
  • Grant specific access based on roles
  • Set doors to lock automatically as the driver walks away from the vehicle, increasing security of the vehicle and its contents
  • Unlock doors as the driver approaches to increase efficiency

By leveraging keyless entry, you gain true control of your fleet’s accessibility. Your drivers won’t have to worry about picking up a physical key or carrying it around during deliveries, and with the help of a proximity locking solution, drivers, vehicles, and the cargo they carry are more secure, saving valuable seconds per delivery.

And, with a fully automated security management solution, you can protect your vehicles and their contents around the clock. The system will automatically detect if a vehicle is moving and whether an authorized driver is present—if not, it will prevent theft altogether by digitally immobilizing that vehicle the moment the engine is stopped and instantly notifying authorities.

Choosing the right solution for your fleet

Is it time for your fleet to embrace true change management and take the next step in your digital transformation journey?

To truly be set up for success, be sure that your automation solution checks off the following boxes:

  • Provides actionable data insights that can efficiently inform real-time decisions
  • Offers an intuitive technology experience for everyone—from fleet managers to drivers
  • Delivers a speedy implementation timeline—that can have you up and running for faster ROI
  • Uses flexible architecture that can easily integrate with your organization’s fleet management tools, ensuring a seamless automation experience.

SMMT: UK car production down a fifth in 1H22 though shortages ease

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

UK car production declined -19.2% in the first six months of the year, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), with 95,792 fewer vehicles built compared with the same period in 2021.

403,131 units were built, representing the weakest first half since the pandemic-ravaged 2020 and worse than 2009 when the global financial crisis decimated demand. The main cause remains shortages of key components, most notably semiconductors, exacerbated by additional supply issues caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as significant structural and model changes within the sector.

Despite this challenging backdrop, June was the second consecutive month of increasing car production in the UK, up 5.6% with 72,946 units built. Although this was the best June performance since the start of the pandemic, in part due to supply chain shortages beginning to ease, output remains -33.2% below 2019 levels.

The year-to-date decline was driven largely by a fall in export volumes, with -23.9% fewer cars produced for overseas markets during the first half of 2022. This represents a loss of 99,388 units compared with the same period in 2021, despite exports still accounting for 78.6% of all production output. While the EU was the largest recipient of UK built cars, accounting for more than 60% of exports, shipments to the bloc decreased by -10.6%. Deliveries to the US also declined by -56.1% with the closure of a major UK plant in 2021 having a significant impact. Output for the UK market, however, rose by 4.3%.

Production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) has again proven to be a bright spot for the sector, with 32,282 produced in the first half of the year, an increase of 6.5%. This was bolstered by a 44.2% rise during June resulting in a record output of zero emission vehicles for the month. Output of hybrid, petrol and diesel cars, meanwhile, declined, by -19.9%, -8.0% and -60.2% respectively in the first half of the year.

The ongoing disruption to global supply chains has led to a downgrading of the industry’s production outlook, with 866,000 cars now anticipated to be built this year. While this represents 1% growth on 2021 volumes, it is 113,285 units below the March outlook, a reflection of the impact of the Ukraine crisis, lockdowns in China and the severity of parts shortages. Output is targeted to improve further in 2023 to 956,575 units, before surpassing one million units by 2025 as supply chain issues recede.3

Despite car production decreasing overall this year, significant investment into the UK industry is being made, with more than £3.4 billion announced so far in 2022, primarily for EV production and supply chains.4 This investment will provide a significant boost to the UK and local economies, creating and safeguarding jobs in a sector that is pivotal to the UK’s net zero goal.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Car manufacturers have been suffering from a ‘long Covid’ for much of 2022, as global component shortages undermine production and put supply chains under extreme pressure. Key model changeovers and the closure of a major plant last year have also impacted output, but there are grounds for optimism with rising output over the last two months. As these issues recede over the next year or two, investment in new technologies and processes will be essential but this will depend on our underlying competitiveness. Sky-high energy costs, non-competitive business rates and skills shortages must all be addressed if we are to build on our inherent strengths and seize the opportunities presented by the dash for decarbonised mobility.”

Supply chain issues see new car sales slump in May

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

New UK car registrations fell -20.6% to 124,394 units in the second weakest May since 1992, after the 2020 pandemic-hit market, as supply shortages continued to hamper new purchases and the fulfilment of existing orders, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

The decline, compared with the first full month of reopened showrooms in May last year, demonstrates the impact of continued global supply chain disruptions, with the market -32.3% below the 2019 pre-pandemic level despite strong order books.

While private consumer purchases fell -10.3%, their market share increased year-on-year by 6.1 percentage points to 53.2%, in part due to manufacturers striving to fulfil deliveries – particularly of electric vehicles – to private buyers, with the commensurate effect on the business and large fleet sectors, which now comprise 46.8% of the market.

Despite the myriad challenges affecting the industry and a high level of market distortion due to restricted supply of all vehicle types and technologies, manufacturers have worked hard to sustain progress towards the decarbonisation of road transport and the delivery of UK’s ambitious net zero targets. May saw registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rise by 17.7%, representing one in eight new cars joining the road last month. Plug-in hybrids declined -25.5%, while hybrids were up 12.0%, meaning deliveries of electrified vehicles accounted for three in 10 new cars.

Superminis continued to be the most sought-after segment by British motorists, making up 32.7% of registrations in the month, despite their registrations falling -16.4% to 40,667 units, followed by dual purpose, which accounted for 28.9% of the market even after a -14.1% fall in volumes. The small volume luxury car segment was the only area of growth, up 16.8%, to 369 units.

The supply chain challenge has contributed to an overall market decline in the year to date of -8.7%, equivalent to 62,724 fewer units. This is -40.6% below the five-year average recorded from January to May, as the new car market continues to struggle to emerge from the impact of the pandemic.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “In yet another challenging month for the new car market, the industry continues to battle ongoing global parts shortages, with growing battery electric vehicle uptake one of the few bright spots. To continue this momentum and drive a robust mass market for these vehicles, we need to ensure every buyer has the confidence to go electric. This requires an acceleration in the rollout of accessible charging infrastructure to match the increasing number of plug-in vehicles, as well as incentives for the purchase of new, cleaner and greener cars.

“Delivering on Net Zero means renewing the vehicles on our roads at pace but, with rising inflation and a squeeze on household incomes, this will be increasingly difficult unless businesses and private buyers have the confidence and encouragement to do so.”

Grey is the colour… again!

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

British drivers doubled down on their preference for monochrome cars in 2021, with grey increasing its dominance as the UK’s favourite new car colour for the fourth year in a row, according to figures published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). During a year of pandemic-related disruptions impacting total new car registrations, 408,155 grey cars were sold, up 2.8% and accounting for a quarter (24.8%) of the market.

Black, the most popular car paint in Britain from 2009 to 2012, wrapped 20.5% of passenger cars, while white was in third place (17.2%), meaning UK drivers were most likely to choose a monochrome car for the 11th year running. More than six in 10 (62.4%) of all new cars joining British roads in 2021 were painted in one of these shades, although blue edged closer to the top three, increasing its sales (1.4%) for the first time in five years and trailing just 2,638 units behind white.

The rest of the top 10 remained largely unchanged from 2020, although green overtook orange to gain seventh place, cladding 17,927 cars. Sales of green cars rose for the first time since 2015, with 24.0% more buyers opting for the colour than in the previous year.

A record number of drivers also opted for ‘green’ under the bonnet, with battery electric and plug-in cars accounting for more than one in six registrations – up from around one in 10 in 2020 and one in 30 in 2019. However, whether battery electric, plug-in hybrid, hybrid, petrol or diesel, grey was the colour of choice across all fuel types.

White was the most popular shade for mini-sized and sports cars, while larger dual purpose, luxury saloons and executive cars were, as usual, most likely to be black.

At the niche end of the colour palette, gold, yellow and turquoise were the fastest growing colours, with gold more than tripling its appeal (up 231.8%), yellow up by a third (31.3%) and turquoise up by a fifth (19.2%), although together they accounted for less than one percent of the market (0.9%).

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes, said: “2021 was anything but normal, but British drivers stuck to their familiar favourites of grey, black and white cars. But while last year’s new cars might share the same shades as previous years, under the bonnet there has been a real shift, with one in six buyers choosing to go green.

“With car registrations still low compared to pre- pandemic, helping even more drivers move to greener cars – whatever the actual colour – has never been more important. Incentives are helping move the market and should continue, but the speed of this shift to electric must be matched by an acceleration in the pace of charging infrastructure investment. Drivers should expect to be able to recharge irrespective of wherever they live, work or visit.”

A non-monochrome colour has not been among the UK’s overall top three since blue in 2010, although it was second most popular colour amongst Welsh and Northern Irish new car buyers. Grey was the top colour in every British nation last year, but more so in England (25.3%), closely followed by Scotland (22.9%), Wales (22.8%), and Northern Ireland (21.7%).

Counties sporting bright-coloured cars included Bedfordshire, the most likely place to see a new pink car, with 66 registrations, while Greater London and Buckinghamshire had the highest numbers of green and turquoise motors, with 1,263 and 238 registrations respectively. Orange was the new black in the West Midlands, where tangerine-tinted cars accounted for 1,156 registrations, the highest in any UK region.

Scotland was, however, the least likely place to spot a new maroon car, as none were sold in the country. In fact, just 12 buyers across the whole of the UK specified their new car in the colour – the lowest number since 1997.

Consumer preference for grey, which comes in many varying shades, can be attributed to a wide range of reasons; it can be a sleek and deeper tone than other shades, is well-suited to black trims and darker wheels and offers an attractive compromise between the also-popular black and white, with wider resale appeal than brightly coloured cars, so a potentially ‘safer’ choice, especially as it reduces the visibility of dirt more than the other shades.

The WhichEV View: JATO market data confirms massive increase in EV registrations in Europe

960 640 Guest Post

By James Morris, Editor, WhichEV

For more than 30 years, Jato Dynamics has provided precision data on changes within the car market and their reports always make for interesting reading. Its latest update includes a summary of new vehicle registrations from across Europe for June 2021.

With the pandemic seemingly well behind us now, the patterns are becoming clear – with a strong emphasis on electric vehicles. WhichEV powers up the spreadsheet and checks the graphs.

Overall sales of 1.27 million vehicles is slightly down on the 1.47 new vehicles million registered in 2019, but it does mean that sales for the first half of the year finished up 27% compared to the start of 2020.

Pure battery electric vehicles totalled 126,000 units – around 25% ahead of the PHEV collective with 104,000 registrations.

It will come as little surprise that the companies with the strongest EV offerings did best in the sales charts – especially Tesla, the VW group and Ford. While the overall best seller in Europe is the evergreen VW Golf at 27,247 units, Tesla was right behind them with 25,697 sales of the Model 3…

To read the full article, hop over to WhichEV.

Addressing privacy concerns in driver risk management

960 640 Guest Post

By Ed Dubens (pictured), CEO/Founder of eDriving

Today, data security and privacy compliance are among the most important considerations for practically every business. For that reason, when reviewing digital driver risk management solutions, data security and privacy compliance are critical components of the assessment and planning phase, and can even be the deciding factor in whether a programme is adopted or not.

In many countries across Europe, in Canada and parts of Australasia and Latin America, organisations must seek input and/or approval from employee representatives such as Workers’ Councils or Unions for the introduction and application of new operational processes, technical equipment and software. The purpose of Workers’ Councils and Unions is to protect employees’ rights. German Workers’ Councils, in particular, are well-known for their rigorous standards in relation to employee data.

How does this affect organisations looking to protect the safety of those driving for work purposes? It means that any company obliged to seek such approval for a new driver safety programme, will need to justify the implementation of the programme, and prove it complies with relevant data protection and privacy laws.

Considerations may include compliance with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR); the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA); Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA); the Brazil General Data Protection Law (LGPD); or the New Zealand Privacy Act. Privacy notices, HR agreements, data storage, how location data is used, and so on, will be important discussion points.

As many eDriving clients have rolled out our digital driver risk management programme, Mentor, in multiple geographical locations since Q1 2018, we’ve identified the most prevalent concerns in many different countries, and how to best help organisations address such concerns, not only with leadership and Workers’ Councils, but also with drivers. We’ve also discovered that the word “telematics” in particular, can sometimes trigger privacy alarm bells, and we’ve learned that addressing concerns about such programmes from the outset is usually the most effective way to allay any fears. Common privacy concerns include “is this a surveillance or tracking tool?”, “is location/GPS data visible to anyone other than the driver?”, and “how is driver information shared and with who, both inside and outside the organisation?”

Any organisation looking to introduce a driver risk management and safety programme should not let privacy and data protection concerns stop them in their tracks; after all, an effective driver safety programme is there for the benefit of employees, their families and the communities in which they live and work, and is a means of managing road safety proactively. Similarly, no programme should ever be intended as a surveillance tool, or as a means of introducing negative consequences for being part of the programme.

Questions for organisations seeking approval for a driver safety programme may include:

How will the programme reduce incidents, collisions, licence endorsements and injuries to employees driving for work purposes?

  • Is it GDPR/CCPA/PIPEDA/LGDP/Privacy Best Practice compliant?
  • How and where is driver PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data stored and processed?
  • What information is shared with line manager/HR/safety/peers?
  • What information is sent to leadership and/or corporate teams?
  • What information, if any, is shared with other 3rd parties?
  • Who is the data controller and owner of the programme data?
  • What are the privacy rights of the driver?
  • Is location/GPS information shared?
  • Is the programme tailored to meet the needs and privacy laws of different regions/countries?
  • How does the programme support High Risk Vs Medium Risk Vs Low Risk Drivers and is the approach sensitive to privacy strategies?

Of course, it is also important to remember the reason for looking to implementing such a programme. Every day around the world, almost 3,700 people are killed globally in crashes involving cars, pick-up, motorcycles, bicycles, trucks, buses or pedestrians, according to the World Health Organization. As anyone involved in at-work road safety and risk management knows, driving for work purposes is the most dangerous work activity that many people do. Around the world, governments, councils and other organisations are striving towards a long-term vision of zero fatalities and serious injuries on the roads. The implementation of a comprehensive digital driver risk management programme can help organisations align with this vision, helping them to provide and support a safe and healthy workplace, educate employees on potential hazards in the workplace, implement and enforce appropriate workplace health and safety policies, and do everything reasonable to protect work-related injuries and illness, and correct unsafe actions and conditions.

Discussing privacy concerns at the outset helps allay fears sooner and enables organisations to focus on their business objectives, safe in the knowledge that they are proactively managing a successful safe driving programme that supports a much wider mission of safer roads for all.

About eDriving
eDriving, a Solera company, revolutionised driver risk management with the introduction of the world’s first defensive driving CD-ROM in the 1990s. Today, eDriving helps organisations around the world to reduce incidents, collisions, injuries, licence endorsements, carbon emissions, and total cost of fleet ownership.

At its heart is the Mentor by eDrivingSM smartphone app that identifies risky driving behaviours for intervention and safe driving habits for recognition. In-app features include micro-training and coaching, gamification, collision reporting, vehicle inspections, and a FICO® Safe Driving Score validated to predict the likelihood of future collision involvement. Through our five-stage, patented Crash-Free Culture® risk reduction methodology, eDriving helps organisations embrace safety and reduce risk for Sales, Service, Delivery and Warehouse drivers, all within a privacy-first, data-secure environment.

eDriving is the digital driver risk management partner of choice for many of the world’s largest organisations, supporting over 1.2 million drivers in 125 countries. 


Motorparc: Total vehicles on UK roads falls to 40.35m

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Vehicle numbers on UK roads fell to 40,350,714 in 2020, according to Motorparc data released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the first time the total number has fallen since the global financial crisis of 2009.

As the pandemic stifled new vehicle uptake, the average age of cars on UK roads is now the highest on record at 8.4 years. Van uptake, however, has grown to the highest level in history, accounting for 11.4% of all vehicles on the road.

The latest parc data illustrates that, for the second consecutive year, there were more than 35 million cars registered on UK roads (35,082,800), although that figure represents a modest -0.2% dip as Covid impacted new volumes entering the market.

Light commercial vehicles (LCVs) – the only vehicle type to see an increase – saw 1.7% growth over the past year, up to a new record high of 4,604,861 vehicles. Many of these have been instrumental in supporting the nation during the pandemic, providing support to the NHS, and delivering food and goods across Britain.

Meanwhile, the number of heavy goods vehicles on our roads declined by -3.1% to 589,445 units. Bus and coach numbers saw the most significant fall at -10.7% to 73,608, as the pandemic dramatically reduced already-declining passenger numbers causing fleet operators to pause new fleet purchases and take unused vehicles off the road.

With showrooms closed for large periods of 2020 due to lockdowns, fewer new cars were registered, resulting in the oldest average car fleet since records began. The average car on UK roads was built in 2011, while almost 10 million cars have been in service since 2008 or earlier. While this is testament to the durability and quality of modern vehicles, an ageing fleet risks stalling the UK’s attempts to reduce emissions.

A new car from 2020 emits, on average, 112.8g/km of CO2, which is 18.3% better than a model registered in 2011. Fleet renewal is essential if the UK is to reach its net zero target, with both conventional and alternatively fuelled vehicles having a significant role to play in the transition.

As part of the journey towards zero emission motoring, the number of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on UK roads increased by 114.3% to a record high of 199,085, while plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) also saw their numbers increase by 35.2% to 239,510.

However, combined, they represented just 1.3% of all cars on our roads – emphasising the importance of replacing older vehicles with newer, cleaner ones. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) saw their numbers grow by a fifth to 621,622 cars. Petrol car volumes remained stable, down -0.2%, with diesel falling -2.3%. Combined, internal combustion engine (ICE) models accounted for 97.1% of the total parc – or 34,018,599 units.

Britain’s favourite car types are still the supermini and lower medium segments which account for six in 10 cars in service, at 11,620,733 and 9,256,839 units respectively. Dual purpose vehicles remain a distant third, with 4,619,061 in use but now account for 13.2% of cars on the road, as consumer tastes and demand shift.

Plug-in hybrid range figures causing P11D issues

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Fleets are facing issues with obtaining the zero-emissions range (ZER) figures they need for plug-in hybrids due to complications in how vehicle data is processed and stored.

That’s according to the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP), which says that PHEVs registered on or after April 6h 2020 that emit 50g/km or less of CO2 need to have the ZEER entered on the P11D.

However, it seems that’s not available anywhere other than on the Certificate of Conformity (COC) that was issued with the car when it was delivered.

The AFP asserts that while filling in the P11D for other fuel types was often challenging, but possible with a little digging, PHEVs were more difficult.

Association Director director James Pestell said: “When it comes to the ZER for post-April 2020 PHEVs, the correct figures do not appear to be obtainable anywhere. They are not on the V5 nor the DVLA website.

“They are included on the COC slip attached to the inside of the windscreen when the car is delivered but there are no fixed processes – or often any processes at all – for how this is handled. It might be sent to the leasing company or just left on the vehicle and detached by the driver when it is delivered, and who knows what happens to it then? Certainly, many and perhaps the majority go missing.

“The supplying dealer or the company leasing the vehicle to you might be able to obtain the figure for you but ultimately, the car operator is responsible for its accuracy and there is no apparent, independent means of checking it.

“If the car has upgraded alloys, for example, it will have a lower ZER and could fall into a higher benefit in kind tax bracket than the standard model, so it’s next to impossible for the fleet operator to work out the figure for themselves even if they obtain the details for a generic model.

“It does appear to be something of an oversight that this data is not easily available because it drives each car’s whole benefit in kind and National Insurance Contribution liability.

“There is a possibility that some leasing companies can access the information through their data providers, so that is one avenue that fleet managers could investigate, but we’re also having ongoing conversations with HMRC about the V5 and this approach would ultimately make the most sense, we believe.”

  • 1
  • 2