According to a study by ALD Automotive, brand loyalty is softening among business drivers as the automotive market continues to diversify.
Almost 9 in 10 drivers (86%) say they do not consider brand to be a main priority when choosing a vehicle.
The new study of 2,000 UK drivers (513 of whom drive for work) by ALD Automotive | LeasePlan UK, found that price or value for money was the priority characteristic for fleet drivers (36%). This was closely followed by reliability (33%) and fuel efficiency (31%).
The findings also show that fleet drivers tend to be more particular about their car than regular drivers. The majority (70%) said they wanted specific features, compared to less than half (48%) of other respondents.
Almost half of business car drivers (47%) are considering SUVs, while 31% said they would like to drive a hatchback and 22% are wanted a saloon.
Almost two-thirds (62%) said they wanted to drive an electric car, compared to 38% of the wider population.
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Of these, a third (32%) said they’d be happy to buy or lease from an automotive brand they hadn’t heard of if it allowed them to make the switch.
Commenting on the findings, Alfonso Martinez, UK Managing Director of ALD Automotive | LeasePlan UK, said: “In the past, fleet decision-makers often tended to favour a particular manufacturer over others. However, this has shifted in recent years with the increased diversification of the automotive market. Drivers are now more open-minded when it comes to their vehicle, particularly if it offers them the things that are most important to them, namely good value for money and the latest in-car technology. “
Among business drivers who want to drive an electric car, reducing air pollution was the most common selling point, cited by almost half (45%) of respondents.
Forty two percent said that electric vehicles are the future of driving, while 40% said quiet driving was a reason to switch.
Martinez continues: “This is good news for fleet managers. With a growing public charging network and large incentives in place, it’s never been easier – or more desirable – to bring zero-emission vehicles into your fleet.”
In a statement, ALD Automotive said that their new LeasePlan aims to support fleet managers with the switch to EVs with a range of online tools available to use free of charge.
These include an EV readiness tool to determine how ready organisations are to go electric at this point of time and a Driver EV assessment tool, which provides a bespoke summary of how compatible individual drivers are to EVs based on their driver profile.
In addition, they provide an EV charge cost calculator which allows drivers and fleet managers to work out how much their EV will cost to run based on the model and range.