Investment and finance trends explored in new CM reader research

Hayley Tayler
February 17, 2021

Splashing out on new fleet vehicles will be the key investment for nearly two-thirds of operators during 2021, according to brand-new research published in the ‘Hot Topic Industry Insight 2021’ report.

The new research surveyed readers of Commercial Motor and sister title Motor Transport to ask what they perceived as major industry challenges for the year ahead, and to explore trends around buying patterns, compliance and technology use.

Of those businesses planning to spend on fleet vehicles, around 60% are looking to procure new vehicles, 22% looking for second-hand, with the remainder planning a mix of the two.

Training came up in second place for company spending plans, showing the value and necessity that operators place on ensuring their employees are up to speed with the latest knowledge and techniques to work safely and efficiently.

While more than one-third (37%) planned to invest in their in-house workshops and maintenance equipment.

However the volatility of the past year, with both the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit uncertainties creating a challenging trading environment, appears to reflect in a cautious approach from hauliers when it comes to extending their borrowing. Nearly half (47%) had no plans to take on extra funds, while one-quarter did expect to seek out finance and 29% had not yet decided.

Outright purchase was the method used for purchasing fleet vehicles by 42% of respondents, with one-third opting for hire purchase and one-quarter leasing.

When it comes to sticking with the status quo for financing vehicles, our survey provides some good news for funders in that a healthy 43% of operators would consider changing their primary method of acquiring vehicles.

MAN Financial Services head of sales & marketing, Gareth Carr, said of the results on funding options: “It appears that just under half of all customers would consider changing their usual route or method of funding when acquiring new vehicles into their fleet.

“The biggest factors considered when choosing a funding partner are a simple process, good relationship and service levels combined with manufacturer alignment; at MAN Financial Services we can tick all of those boxes.

“We have a team of specialist relationship managers based throughout the UK and this team is able to meet with customers and discuss their funding requirements on new and used MAN vehicles.”

CM readers can download the full Hot Topics: Industry Insight 2021 report free of charge.

About the Author

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Hayley Tayler

Hayley Tayler has worked across Road Transport Media’s portfolio of publications, including Commercial Motor and Motor Transport, since 2008 in a number of editorial roles from news reporter to urban editor. She now specialises in events and projects content for the business, including the Road Transport Expo and a series of industry research reports.

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