Second half of 2019 will be about “helping fleets stay flexible in difficult times,” says Meridian
Phil Jerome, managing director at medium term rental specialist Meridian, says 2019 will be a case of managing volatility in the fleet market.
The second half of 2019 will be about helping fleets stay flexible while facing economic and political uncertainty, says Meridian Vehicle Solutions.
Phil Jerome, managing director at Meridian, said that businesses were fighting to stay as productive as possible while putting off investment decisions they didn’t feel equipped to currently make.
“Clearly, there is a lot of frustration about the situation in which the country, business and the fleet sector finds itself, with uncertainty surrounding everything from Brexit to company car benefit in kind taxation.
“On the whole, businesses are putting off major investment decisions for these reasons and this is being reflected in their fleet management. They don’t want to commit to long term spending until there is greater clarity.
“So far in 2019, bearing all of this in mind, fleets have been performing remarkably well. The challenge for the second half of the year is to maintain that achievement, helping company car operators stay flexible in difficult times, enabling them to get the most out of existing assets and access the business transport they need without major commitments.”
Jerome said this trend could be seen in everything from fleets choosing to extend existing long term vehicle leases for a few months through to greater use of shorter-term methods of vehicle provision.
“Most leasing companies are seeing contract extensions, if on nothing like the basis that was seen during the financial crash, as businesses seek to put off vehicle replacement until they have greater certainty.
“We are seeing parallel developments with medium-term rental. Our fleet is now more than double the size it was 12 months ago and this is very much based on our ability to provide keenly priced business transport with only a moderate commitment.
“If you don’t feel comfortable making a long-term decision, our proposition allows you to access a company car with a commitment measured in months rather than years, which is very attractive to many fleets at the moment.”
Meridian provides medium-term contracts to fleets for periods of 3-12 months, with monthly lease rates comparable to long term contract hire and leasing.
Jerome said: “Really, it is difficult to see the current situation changing until the background factors are resolved - and who knows when that will happen? There is every possibility that the uncertainty will drag on for quite a long while yet.”
Phil Jerome, managing director at Meridian Vehicle Solutions