What do commercial fleets think about rising operational costs in the UK?

05 May 2023

As the cost of living in the UK continues to rise, businesses, including commercial fleets, are feeling the squeeze. The same macroeconomic trends that are affecting households, such as high inflation and interest rates, are also putting pressure on fleet operators. This is compounded by supply chain disruption, which is making it difficult for businesses to operate efficiently.


Despite these challenges, fleet operators have a track record of resilience and ingenuity. The following study sets out to understand their thoughts and strategies in the wake of current cost of business crisis:


1. Fleet Operations Outlook


Despite the high inflation and borrowing costs, 55% of fleet businesses predict growth for their operations in the year ahead. 

Despite LCV registrations falling in 2022, less than one in five (17%) van fleets believe their operations will contract in 2023. This contrasts with 36% for HGV operators.


2. What areas of fleets are seeing the biggest cost increases?


69% of fleet managers cited Fuel – typically one of the biggest fleet operating costs – topped the list of the biggest cost increases. This was followed by drivers wages and overtime (49%) and SMR (41%). Rising energy costs saw 24% of van fleets cite EV charging.


Fuel is regularly cited as the most critical rolling and whole-life expense for fleets, this is also the biggest target for cost savings, closely followed by vehicle procurement –marked by 33% and 29% of fleets respectively.


Reflecting higher relative costs per vehicle, procurement costs are a bigger focus of attention for HGV fleets.


3. What key strategies are being implemented to reduce fleet costs?


Fuel management has fallen under the microscope of commercial fleets in response to prevailing economic challenges – 68% of fleet managers are focusing on taking new strategic measures to control costs in this area.


Find out how Bridgestone fuel-efficient tyres can help you save money here.


72% are looking to extend their vehicle replacement cycles. Supply chain disruption may be forcing the hands of fleet managers but for some, it may signal an eagerness for quick-fix solutions to the cost of business squeeze.

and 71% of fleet managers are planning to deploy new technologies such as telematics to help reduce fleet costs and operational pressures. 


Find out how Webfleet can help fleet to reduce operational costs here.


 Read the full research report on the impact of the current cost of business crisis on commercial fleets by clicking on the link below or get the one page Report with the facts here.