Where were fleets in the Summer Statement, Rishi?

Where were fleets in the Summer Statement, Rishi?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak made his Summer Statement last week. It’s got half the nation excited about eating out for cheap throughout August, and the other half logging onto Rightmove to find their new home, free of stamp duty.

But it’s not such great news for fleets. We’re as gutted as you are.

We were hoping for news about help for fleets and fleet service support companies, both of which are facing many problems in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

What are the problems?

The huge reduction in the collective volume of driven miles meant that fleet demand plummeted during the lockdown. EU new car registrations were down by 55% in March alone, and UK fleet registrations were down by 47% in April, to just 117,557 units.

Thankfully, fleet numbers look like they might be slowly creeping back up. 133,310 new cars were registered to fleet and business in June, though that’s still a 5% fall on last year’s numbers for the same month.

What’s more, there have already been thousands of job losses in the automotive industry at large, and many more are at risk. But without forthcoming support for the sector, we’ll only deter future investment.

So what would we like to see?

Hopefully, before too long, the Government will expand its measures for cash flow support to include plans specifically for our industry. We hope to see things like:

  • Business rate holidays
  • Tax cuts
  • Commitments on areas like energy efficiency, clean transport and decarbonisation

At the same time, a new scrappage scheme for money off new car purchases would benefit the wider automotive industry too, boosting electric vehicle sales.

Of course, it is great news that the government is taking steps to safeguard jobs and encourage consumer spending. But we’d now like to know more about low-carbon transport initiatives and plans to drive private sector investment too.

Let’s just hope this isn’t the last announcement we’ll see from Rishi for a while.

Are there other measures that you’d hope the Government might take to help the fleet and automotive industries safely make their way out of the pandemic? Drop a comment below to tell us what they are.

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Image attributions: Rishi Sunak MP by Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Govt, licensed under CC 2.0.