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Fleet could be worth up to £20 billion to UK economy

Fleet companies are worth up to £19.5 billion to the UK economy, study shows.

A recent survey published by Sewells Research and Insight has revealed fleet companies could be worth a remarkable £19.5 billion to the UK economy every year.

The research group revealed the startling figure during a briefing with industry experts at the Fleet News Fleet200 meeting, which takes place four times each year.

Sewells estimate a typical fleet spends between £4500 and £6500 per annum on running and maintaining vehicles. This is according to information supplied by a sample of fleet operators.

Since it is thought 3 million vehicles belonging to fleets are currently on British roads, the total amount spent could easily be as high as £19.5 billion every year. This is surprising, since the net value of the automotive industry to the UK economy is actually smaller – at just £12 billion per year. According to the SMMT the manufacturing of cars is less profitable to the economy than the fleet sector.

There is also evidence to suggest that this figure could rise even further due to attitudes of company drivers. More and more company drivers are thought to be putting pressure on fleet managers and businesses to obtain more high-end, premium products in the mould of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz models. If fleets meet these demands, car fleet costs will undoubtedly increase still further.

Commercial Manager Simon Saplehurt had this to say on the relevance of research to fleet operators: ‘Any fleet manager will know how costs can quickly grow when looking after a fleet of vehicles. Looking at fleet sales as a whole, you start to see just how crucial it is to the automotive industry and the UK economy.’

He went on: ‘It’s widely accepted that the Fleet200 fleets are worth around £3bn. These results show that fleets outside of this group are equally as valuable to the economy.

He noted the conservative nature of the figures, clarifying even the lowest average spend predictions of £5000 per vehicle would result in £15 billion pumped into the UK economy, and that is before the additional costs of accident management are factored in.

Saplehurt concluded: ‘It has long been accepted that fleet sales are a key piece of the UK economy, but the true scale has never been fully explored – until now. This demonstrates the significance of fleet managers across the UK.’

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