The BVRLA has uncovered key fleet industry trends for the coming year, with growth amongst SMEs, LCV take-up and new flexible rental solutions predicted to help drive the market.
Revealed as the association enters its 50th anniversary year, the BVRLA’s predictions for the coming year include:
- SMEs to continue driving market growth
As the BVRLA reports record membership figures for 2016, it says the largest increases were seen in the SME market. The association added that the SME markets will continue to drive most of the organic growth in the leasing sector this year. The BVRLA welcomed nearly 100 new leasing brokers into membership in 2016.
- LCV market is fast-rising
Although the BVRLA has predicted a low single-digit percentage increase in the traditional fleet leasing market, it forecasts that growth for vans will be much stronger, at around 10%, year-on year. Key factors in this include the continued growth of online retailing and the trend for companies to downsize from small HGVs in a move to reduce their compliance burden – a development recently highlighted by IAM RoadSmart.
- Demand for flexible rental and car sharing on increase
As the boundaries between traditional rental and leasing services continue to blur, the BVRLA says the market for flexible rental will expand. Not only will this be seen in the commercial vehicle sector but it adds that similar car-based products could emerge in 2017. Meanwhile the car sharing market will continue to mature with the emergence of more technology-based corporate mobility schemes.
- Move to ULEVs to drive CO2 reductions
As diesel registrations come under pressure from a continued focus on clean air strategies and the Government is forced to redraft its national plan, the BVRLA says diesel’s share of the new lease car market will fall towards 65%. The association also predicts a national diesel scrappage scheme could be on the cards.
As a result, the BVRLA lease fleet will continue to become even greener and outpace the reductions seen in the wider new car market – recent figures released by the association showed that BVRLA members had an average 110g/km CO2 figure compared to an average of 120g/km across the UK company car fleet.
However, it added that the rate of decline will slow, however, as the impact of VED and Company Car Tax increases dissuade people from choosing an ultra-low emission vehicle.
- Industry to turn latest challenges into opportunities
The fleet and leasing industry will see major challenges in 2017, ranging from uncertainty over Brexit, to the forthcoming lease accounting rules and the need to ensure compliance ahead of the 2018 introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, the BVRLA said the market will respond with key solutions. The market will also see a raft of innovative connected services introduced in the next 12 months, primarily in servicing, maintenance and repair.
The BVRLA’s predictions for the market come as it publishes record membership figures showing the fleet industry remains “resilient”. As of 1 January 2017, the association’s 908 members are now responsible for 4,711,503 cars, vans and trucks – an increase of 5.2% year-on-year.