We have now come a lot closer to digitisation and yet the decision in favour of the new company car is finally made at the local dealer and that after a test drive. Interpersonal communication and the emotion of driving are decisive parameters when choosing the new vehicle that the company pays for.
User choosers dominate
More than half of all vehicles that are registered on companies are selected by the drivers independently or within the scope of certain options. This is one of the findings from the new study by Dataforce: “360-degree view of company car drivers – User Chooser Study 2020”, in which 683 company car drivers who have options to choose their company car (user chooser) answered questions in an online panel.
An exciting aspect: The proportion of user choosers increases with the size of the fleet, in large fleets with more than 100 cars, even beyond the 80% mark. In the finance and insurance industry, it averages at 93%, while the health and social services close the scale with just 6% of decision-free company car drivers.
Company car and it’s new values
The company car itself changes in its properties. Back in 2016 – at the time of our last user chooser study – it was more important that the vehicle is representative. In addition, the user chooser places less value on low fuel consumption today than it was four years ago.
A purchase decision needs interpersonal skills
The sources of information that ultimately lead to the decision to buy a vehicle are not very innovative. Live chat functions, hotlines and digital robot assistants have long been established on the website, but personal advice on site at the dealer, coupled with a test drive, is the most important factor for user choosers. The manufacturers’ websites for researching information are nevertheless rated as particularly important. Middle management and the salesmen are increasingly using available information via the internet to make a purchase decision, while top management prefers to be personally convinced by at the point of sales.
However, those entitled to company cars are not that old fashioned. Almost 60% are considering switching from conventionally operated cars to electric vehicles. The odds are that once the company’s charging infrastructure is in place more fleet managers can be convinced of the everyday suitability of the alternative drives in the future. This is because drivers and fleet managers have different opinions here. The latter, together with employers, most frequently restrict the fuel type (44%) options in the car policy – which gives the user chooser the framework for selecting his vehicle.
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