What does Brexit mean for your fleet?

Published on 29/07/2016

car wheelSince the UK voted to leave the EU in June’s controversial referendum, there has been much uncertainty among businesses and consumers alike about what the result could mean and what effect it may have on businesses and the economy.

Arguably one of the more concerning points for business leaders and decision makers is the suggestion that budgets will become tighter as the UK adjusts to trading outside the EU and uncertainty over the future will cause businesses to rethink plans for investments and their outgoings.

The automotive industry has watched in anticipation over recent weeks following the result to see what impact Brexit could have on trade and fleet management. For fleet managers, maintaining a fleet at a cost effective price has always been important, but arguably never more so than in the current economic climate.

It’s widely believed that the large volume of importing done by the UK will have an impact on inflation, thus causing the price of many items to rise, including essential car parts and the cost of purchasing new vehicles, the latter of which is already a source of great expenditure for fleet managers.

So what does this mean for the future of vehicles for businesses? While businesses will undoubtedly need to make financial savings on fleets and company vehicles, they will also need to consider time savings, as fleets will need to run more efficiently and more cost effectively than ever before.

While many are anxious about the uncertainty surrounding the Brexit result, it’s imperative that British industries continue to innovate and thrive in order to grow our economy and make working with Britain an attractive prospect to overseas markets.

It makes sense then that, while there will be cuts, businesses will still need to provide quality services and products at competitive prices in order to prosper. How businesses limit the impact the uncertainty may have may seem an impossible question to answer, but thinking long term and preparing for potential cost rises is a good place to start.

Many businesses will also have to rethink their budgets and strategies now changes will be made to the way we import, export and trade with the EU and beyond.  If you’re a fleet manager, there’s no better time to start considering vehicle management options and what expenditures can be minimised. Many of the costs that are unpredictable to businesses managing vehicles at the moment are for parts and essential maintenance. 

Leasing a fleet is fast becoming a favourable option for fleet managers conscious of the long term implications of maintaining vehicles and providing an essential duty of care to employees. While purchasing vehicles may once have been the preferred option, businesses are becoming increasingly more conscious of the costs involved in repairs and buying parts to maintain the performance and safety of vehicles. Opting to fix maintenance costs is a sensible option to future proof a fleet and many large and small businesses are now opting for full maintenance (finance company maintained) leases.

Of course, it isn’t just looking at expenditure that should be a priority – ensuring a fleet is running as efficiently as possible is crucial to keeping Britain’s industries running effectively and at a competitive cost. Knowing where your fleet of vehicles are at any given time can help to limit time wasted, and being able to efficiently resolve a break down issue can save many valuable working hours. Having an app, such as C-Fleet, to manage operational issues will ensure fleets are operating at optimum performance.

It’s also important that there’s a support network in place for businesses within the automotive industry, particularly during this uncertainty. The UK currently operates a competitive transport sector and, to ensure this does not go in to decline, it’s imperative to have readily accessible information on fleet management and finance options, as well as on compliance and duty of care.

Getting unbiased advice is crucial to making the best business decisions, which is more important now in the wake of Brexit than ever before. While some car salespeople may generally have a bias over makes and models, business leasing plans offer a variety of brands and options. Leasing a fleet and taking out a plan for fixed maintenance costs also provides ongoing support from experienced account managers, so it has long term benefits as well as providing an unrivalled initial service.

While the UK may be unsure and watching very closely to see what the next step is, one thing is for sure – Britain’s businesses and most prominent industries must make changes in order to continue to run effectively without EU membership. Whether Britain’s economy and industries remain largely unaffected or are facing a difficult few years ahead remains to be seen, so being prepared is a key factor in ensuring British businesses continue to thrive.

One thing that British industries can be grateful for is that Brexit should force many outside of their comfort zones and encourage them to continually seek to improve their offering and performance. After all, savings to budgets and time, as well as the creation of better products and services, can only be a positive step for the transport industry, regardless of the UK’s future.

If you’d like to discuss how to future proof your fleet, contact a Neva expert today!