Fleet managers take the plunge with pool cars

Alphabet’s year-on-year fleet manager survey sees companies embracing the pool car while shifting policy towards Whole Life Costs

Leading fleet and mobility specialist Alphabet is today releasing further findings from the AFMR (Alphabet Fleet Management Report) 2012. The survey of 250 UK fleet managers highlights how key areas of fleet funding and management are changing. For example, Whole Life Cost (WLC) policies were a relatively novel idea until fairly recently; now nearly 90 per cent of fleets use them or would like to evaluate them.

The survey uncovered a division between approaches in the private and public sectors however. 83 per cent of operators in the highly cost-conscious public sector used WLCs in 2012, an increase of 13 per cent from the 2011 survey. Private sector use remained static in 2012, at 56 per cent.

Paul Hollick, sales and marketing director, Alphabet comments, “Businesses have woken up to the fact that Whole Life Costs can save them significant sums of money per contract compared with fleet policies based on lease rentals or list prices.”

Pool cars make a splash

Although pool cars have yet to attain the same level of popularity as private fleets, a significant portion of the survey base expressed a preference for employees to drive a pool car when needed; 24 per cent overall. This was in comparison to 43 per cent that prefer their staff to drive company cars and 28 per cent that encourage drivers to use their own car and claim the mileage back. Only 4 per cent put rental cars as their first preference.

In the public sector, pool cars’ popularity exceeds that of both company cars and grey fleet. 52 per cent of public fleet managers said that they strongly preferred to provide their drivers with pool cars, compared with 26 per cent who said they favoured lease cars and 21 per cent that relied on grey fleet. In contrast, private operators overwhelmingly preferred company cars, with only 17 per cent citing pool cars their first choice for employee mobility.

“Pool cars are yet to replace private fleets as the company car option of choice. However, as increasingly innovative outsourced telematics-driven management systems for providing access to shared vehicles reach the UK market, the humble pool car has become a far more viable option for delivering versatile and cost-effective mobility,” comments Hollick.

In the dark on grey fleet

Nearly 30 per cent of all respondents were unable to estimate how much of their total business mileage was covered by grey fleet drivers. The finding points to a large amount of additional risk and cost currently flying under the fleet radar. For example, based on the total annual mileages reported by respondents to this year’s survey, employees of these 250 organisations alone would be clocking up nearly 450 million business miles a year in their own vehicles.

Research Methodology

The research was conducted by independent marketing and research company Loudhouse www.loudhouse.co.uk

250 UK fleet managers were interviewed over the phone in October 2012.

Those fleet managers came from a variety of different-sized companies:

100 – 199 headcount: 29 per cent

200 – 499: 32 per cent

500 – 999: 21 per cent

1000+: 18 per cent

23 per cent of the survey base comprised of public sector companies; the remainder were private businesses.

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