Fleet managers turn backs on Europe

The real-life practicalities of running company car fleets have deterred UK businesses from taking advantage of savings on offer in buying cars in continental Europe, according to a survey by Fleet News.

Issues such as short warranty periods, lack of dealer support and the difficulty of ensuring full UK specification on cars sourced from abroad are deterring fleet managers from looking across the English Channel.

Members of the magazine’s fleet panel also suggested that up-front acquisition savings would be consumed by poorer residual values of imported vehicles. They argued that lower up-front costs could be wiped out over a car’s life.

But over half the members of the panel said they would consider buying cars abroad if they could ‘access equivalent warranties, ensure full dealer support, order genuine UK specified cars, and feel confident about the residual values of the imports’.

So far foreign buying exercises have been largely limited to executive cars where the savings are most substantial and where the driver is more of an ‘individual’ than the driver of mainstream fleet cars and therefore prepared to wait for delivery, the magazine found.

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