As alterations to the business landscape continue and fluctuations in demand remain the norm, research1 of fleet managers has highlighted the benefits of staying flexible. The research commissioned by Europcar Mobility Group UK in August 2020 found that 75% of fleet managers had to review their fleet acquisition policy as a result of the pandemic. The financial impact of COVID-19 is particularly highlighted by the over half (52%) who admitted that they have had to pay increased termination fees on leased vehicles.
With economic uncertainty continuing well into 2021, an optimised vehicle fleet that can be changed as requirements vary will be key to ongoing success for many businesses. And flexible long-term rental addresses this need particularly well, providing access to a range of up-to-date vehicles but without the need for a long-term financial commitment.
Another challenge for fleet managers is vehicle supply, with the ‘perfect storm’ of COVID-19 and Brexit having a severe impact on access to new vehicles. Indeed, the Europcar research found that 62% of fleet managers had to extend existing contracts in 2020 due to issues with supply of new or replacement vehicles. And this situation is likely to be exacerbated in the early part of 2021.
At times when supply lines cannot be guaranteed, vehicle hire is a cost-effective way of plugging the gap and allowing companies to utilise safe, well maintained vehicles with the minimum of disruption to their day-to-day business as Stuart Russell, Specialist Vehicle Director, Europcar Mobility Group UK explained:
“The Greek philosopher Heraclitus said ‘The only constant in life is change’ and as we enter a new year and another period of uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic, businesses will need to remain as agile and adaptable as ever. At Europcar Mobility Group UK our long-term solutions provide options for businesses to expand and contract their vehicle fleets as and when demand requires, offering a cost-effective alternative to leasing or outright purchase so that they can concentrate on running an efficient business and meeting customer expectations.”