December 21, 2022
From rising car prices to supply shortages, there’s no denying that 2022 has been a challenging year for those in the fleet management sector.
As 2022 comes to a close, Simon Naylor, founding director at Wessex Fleet, has reflected on the year for the business, before predicting the big fleet management trends for 2023.
Supply Issues Had the Biggest Impact on 2022 Sales, but There is Still Positives for the Industry
Reflecting on 2022, Simon acknowledges that it’s been hard to grow as a business with issues affecting the whole industry causing the biggest challenges: “It has been a tough year overall for the industry, as supply chain challenges have dominated the market. This has led to lead time issues, discounts going the wrong way, and unfortunately prices going up. The supply constraints have led to crazy price increases and restrictions on availability. For example, at the start of the year we were getting minibuses for £35k, and at the end of the year, they were £45k. These sorts of rate rises are adding around £150 a month to some leases, which has a big impact.”
But even after many years in the business, Simon is still willing to adapt the business, taking big lessons from this year and striving towards an even better 2023 in the sector: “The biggest lesson we’ve learnt this year is to try to look at ownership of vehicles for Wessex, rather than brokering. This gives us far more profit opportunities, and puts us in front of more dealers and manufacturers, allowing more flexibility in managing the fleet. This is something we have taken away from this year, and we’ll be looking to implement it even more in 2023 for our customers.”
Wessex Fleet has nearly 20 years experience in the industry and after a difficult period that few in the industry would have predicted, the company has still made some impressive strides this year. In response, Simon said: “We as a business have had some real highlights this year. We have moved to a bigger office to accommodate business growth in the future, and launched our partnership with dealership Snows Direct, which is already making a major impact. We have also brought in our salary sacrifice scheme, so although there have been challenges, it has been a busy and very rewarding year for the business.”
EVs Will Make a Breakthrough in Fleet Management in 2023, Expert Predicts
Looking ahead to 2023, Simon predicts the EV market will continue to grow among businesses using a fleet management service, as well as maintaining its popularity in the general sales market: “EVs will continue to grow and dominate registrations. EVs and PHEVs account for more than 50% of our car enquiries, and 20% of vans, which is a definite jump from last year. This is driven by rising fuel costs, low BiK, and cheaper motoring. To add to this, the maintenance costs of EVs are massively down, and if you can charge your vehicle at home or work, or ideally at both, then they are an easy choice for most people.”
Some Challenges in the Fleet Industry May Stretch Until 2024 but “Nearly New” Leasing Could be the Next Big Thing
Simon is also predicting some other big changes for the industry in 2023: “Infrastructure will become more of a talking point as the network lags behind supply of cars. Discounts will start to creep up as demand softens. I think “nearly new” leasing will be big in our world next year. This will be driven by immediate availability at a more reasonable price.”
However, Simon is still expecting the challenges of this year to remain as we start the New Year: “The biggest challenge next year will be the supply chain in the first half of 2023, and also getting inflation under control. Corporations are more resilient, but with the cost of living crisis, retail clients are going to be cautious about investing. Because of this I think the retail space will continue to be volatile next year in comparison with the corporate market. Corporate customers are still playing catch up due to policy pauses, and then cyclical moves towards EVs. There is a lot of demand out there, but pricing of replacement vehicles will be key. It may be that we don’t see these challenges fully overcome until 2024.”
Looking for a Fleet Management Company in 2023? Shop Around for the Right Partner, Simon Suggests
If you are thinking of getting a fleet management company in 2023 to help with your business needs, Simon suggests these tips and tricks for finding the perfect partnership: “The main thing to do is to shop around, and ensure you get the right partner. It’s imperative the partnership works for you and you get exactly what you need out of it for the price you pay. Now more than ever, costs are key to managing fleets effectively. It’s not all about the rental, but making sure you get value from your partner.”
Looking for a fleet management company in 2023? Check out Wessex Fleet’s range of services.
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