With many employees finding themselves working from home and many companies planning to continue with remote work after the pandemic, it will be interesting to see what this means for company cars and if they will still be an important part of business.
The New Car Market
Fleet and company cars make up just over half of the annual new car market (53% in 2019), so if businesses decide to go without company cars then this will be a heavy blow to an industry that is already struggling. It is unclear what the short and long-term impact of the pandemic will be, but it seems that it will not be a return to normality for most and business travel will be changed for good.
The Rise of Video Calls
With employees working from home and conducting internal meetings and meetings with clients over video calls, it has eliminated the need for people to travel and many businesses are actually reporting an increase in productivity with remote work. When staff do not need to drive to meet with clients, it can save time, money and stress, so it is understandable if businesses are rethinking their need for fleet vehicles, pool cars, company cars and perk cars.
Why Company Cars Could Still be Important
While employees may not need to travel as often, it is likely that there will be many that will still want to utilise company cars. This is because as good as video calling can be, it is not the same as face-to-face interactions which are so important when it comes to both client acquisition and retention. Additionally, many businesses plan to have staff back in the office a few days a week and a company car can be a good perk and a way for businesses to attract potential employees. For these businesses, it is likely that they will opt for used cars for their business as opposed to splashing out on brand new cars which will not be used as much.
Business Travel Changed for Good
It seems that business travel will be changed drastically by the pandemic. In the short term, it will take some time for people to feel confident in travel again particularly when there is so much uncertainty over the near future and next winter. In the long-term, the rise of remote work and the benefits that this can bring to both businesses and employees could see people travelling for work much less and this could have an enormous impact on the demand for company cars.
It will be interesting to see how all of this unfolds over the coming months and years, but it seems that it will not be a case of business as usual once restrictions have been lifted and business travel will have been changed for good as a result of the pandemic.