Those that own a motor fleet-based business are facing a number of challenges this year, but industry leaders are of the opinion that there is ample opportunity for fleet managers to make more of the situation and actually improve their business operations. Taking a look at some of what is being suggested sheds some light on the matter.
Flexible fleet management strategies will be crucial
Businesses in the UK are increasingly interested in flexible options when it comes to their commercial fleets, which could see hourly, daily, monthly and yearly leases become more popular, while car sharing options could also become an increasingly important way to add a greater degree of flexibility for some businesses.
Staying updated with the emission zone developments will be necessary
The initial CAZ or Clean Air Zone regulations will likely not affect motor fleets that are already Euro-6 compliant, but the ones that are not must get themselves in line with the new regulations before it comes into full effect on 8th April 2019.
The CO2 tax situation is going to clear up soon
The Chancellor is expected to provide more clarification this spring on the current confusion around the benefit-in-kind tax after the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP). Manufacturers are already making and releasing new WLTP-compliant models for fleet businesses to be prepared in advance, so it is advisable to make future purchases with the upcoming report in mind because, in all likelihood, the taxes will favour the low-emission cars when the report does come out.
In addition, new technologies mean that diesel is no longer the only option for fleet cars, with fully electric, plug-in hybrid, and hybrid models all available. Which is best will depend on the specific business, with some businesses currently choosing to employ a mixture of these. Those who are unsure as to the cheapest, and most convenient, option for their business will need to employ data analysis on fuel usage, mileage and driver patterns.
Insurance comparison will prove an easy way to improve the bottom line
Insuring a commercial fleet is never likely to be cheap, but the rapid pace of digital transformation in the UK means fleet managers can now use an online insurance comparison service to find cheaper quotes in a matter of minutes.
For example, fleet managers can compare quotes at Quotezone in order to get a side-by-side fleet insurance comparison, enabling them to find the right kind of cover for the business’s full fleet of vehicles at a cheaper price than they might find elsewhere.
Staying updated with the latest developments will be crucial this year
The fleet industry is massive in prospects and management, so the technological and legislative impacts on it are both constant and multiple every year. However, this year is going to be particularly complex in all aspects because new motor technology, brand new environmental regulations and, of course, the impact of Brexit is going to be quite profound on the industry, making it necessary for every business to keep themselves well updated and educated, so that they can remain on top of things, as and when they change.
It is time to take grey fleet compliance more seriously
Grey fleet compliance has proven itself to be a difficult problem for fleet managers to take care of, but in 2019, the need to do so will be even more vital, especially due to the prospect of paying heavily under the new regulations of the benefit-in-kind taxes. A few proposed methods of managing the grey fleet by experts are as follows.
- Recruitment of help from the HR team to figure out how many drivers are using personal cars for company work
- Working out a policy and a detailed programme to make the personal cars compliant
- Implementation of a scheme to let drivers rent out new vehicles personally for six months or more
Improvement in data analysis perhaps holds the key to making the best of most opportunities which this year has in store for the fleet business. A heavy source of data is essential, of course, but how well it is interpreted will largely determine the success of the ensuing strategies for expansion and improvement. For example, a clear set of data regarding how many drivers are using personal cars to complete company tasks and the subsequent analysis of how that can be used to benefit both the drivers and the company is crucial to grey fleet management.