Fleet Mobility: The Future Of Fleets?

There’s been a huge amount of discussion in the past couple of years as to the future of vehicle fleets. Much of this has revolved around the (supposed) death of diesels and the (slow) rise of electric vehicles. Something that has been less widely debated, but which could turn out to have a far greater impact, is the idea that within 20 years private ownership of cars will be a thing of the past. With costs of ownership rising and with environmental concerns becoming more compelling, and with driverless cars appearing on our streets, reports are predicting a fall in vehicle ownership of 80% by as early 2030.

The idea of moving away from vehicle ownership is one that’s already starting to take hold in the fleet sector with the increasing adoption of fleet mobility.

Fleet Mobility: The Future Of Fleets?

What Is Fleet Mobility?

Fleet mobility is a relatively new way for businesses to get its people from A-B without having sole reliance on company vehicles. Companies using mobility schemes will look to use all available methods of transportation to get the job done. So, as well as traditional fleets they will use public transport, private vehicles (so-called ‘grey fleets’) and hire cars. Their rise has been brought about in an effort to reduce businesses environmental impact and also to reduce costs. The introduction of this method of operating a fleet can reduce costs in terms of owning, insuring and maintaining vehicles. It can also help by allowing for the merging of fleet, travel and compliance departments.

Fleet mobility is an increasingly popular development. As leading research company Frost and Williams put it, ‘We are witnessing a shift away from just considering the total cost of ownership of fleet towards managing the total cost of mobility for the organisation.’

Fleet Mobility: The Death Of Fleets?

With its cost savings and the reduction in environmental damage, running a business fleet in this way makes for an attractive proposition, after all what company doesn’t want to save money? So, does this mean that we’re witnessing the death of fleets as businesses follow private individuals in the abandoning the idea of vehicle ownership? Well before we get carried away there a few things we need to consider.

  • Employees LOVE Company Vehicles – a company car still ranks as one of the most attractive benefits that a business can offer. Despite the recent benefits in kind tax changes, they remain a massive draw, one that many employees will be loath to give up.
  • Technology Is Still Years Away – the vision of 80% of drivers not owning a car by 2030 is based on the assumption that they will be able to hail driverless cars. Driverless car technology is still in its infancy and with both Tesla and Waymo having had very public accidents involving them, it could well be many, many years before the public will accept them.
  • Insurance – grey fleets have long been regarded as both a false economy and if a company decides to rely on them they can be asking for trouble. Underinsured or uninsured drivers – those without specific cover for driving for work - or those with vehicles that are unfit for the road, can leave businesses open to charges under the Health And Safety At Work Act or even under corporate manslaughter. Having your own fleet under properly arranged fleet insurance, can save time, money and a great deal of heartache.
  • Accessibility – just like electric vehicles, fleet mobility has an accessibility problem. If your fleet users only have to go from large urban centre to large urban centre or on short inner routes that are well-served by public transport, then its fine. Back in the real world, however, most fleets don’t work like that. Businesses are inconveniently sited miles from the centre of towns or in rural areas where driving is the only option. There’s also a time issue. Waiting around for trains, taxis or buses is all dead time and can make diary planning difficult.
  • Vans, Trucks and HGVS – getting people about is one thing, but what if your business needs to move bulky heavy loads around, what then? Rail freight is an option, albeit a costly one unless you’re moving huge loads to one destination, and it doesn’t allow for the door-to-door service that many businesses rely on. Similarly, if you need to make daily, local deliveries then using a third-party courier can work, but you’re at the mercy of someone else and the costs will soon mount up unless your volume is large.
  • Is Fleet Mobility The Future Of Fleets?

    Most people in the industry would agree that something has to change for fleets to survive. The crackdown on diesels, spiralling taxes – both benefit in kind and vehicle excise duty – delays in electric vehicle adoption and the emergence of driverless vehicles and the pressing need for clean air and the increasing use of clean air zones, are all challenges fleets have to overcome. Fleet mobility certainly can go some way to answering these problems but, in our opinion, they are not the simple answer. Realistically it will take a combination of electric vehicles, fleet mobility, technology and a willingness of company vehicle drivers to deliver the long-term future of fleets.

    Like Some More Help?

    If you have any questions on insuring your fleet of company cars, or would like to see if we can save you some money on your insurance, get in contact today by calling us on 01923 517 439. Or if you'd like to get a cheap fleet insurance quote then please click here now.

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