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Company fleets to shift up a gearc

Companies are likely to moderately expand their car fleets this year, with the operative leasing still being the most popular financing form, KBC Autolease said in a press release today.

While the number of cars purchased by individuals has yet a long way to go to regain pre-crisis level, companies continued to buy new cars during 2010 and the trend is expected to be similar in 2011. Last year, 65% of car sales were company transactions, data by KBC Autolease show.

“The majority of companies in Hungary have postponed the renewal of their car fleet in the last few years, but later they realized that it resulted in increasing maintenance cost and higher fuel consumption,” István Zs. Nagy, division head of KBC Autolease said. “Now many companies simply cannot wait any longer due to the risks caused by their ageing car fleet.”

On the other hand, the first signs of recovery in certain segments also urged companies to invest into their fleet: according to Zs. Nagy, mostly pharmaceutical and energy companies have announced tenders for the renewal of their car fleet in the last few months.

Also, not only sales figures are expected to go up this year but it is likely that most companies will use complex fleet management services. Earlier, demand for such services mainly came from companies with more than 100 cars in their fleet.

“Today, small- and medium sized companies increasingly look for fleet management services. The maintenance or insurance fee, for example, can significantly be reduced by fleet management companies, thus saving cost for smaller firms,” Zs. Nagy said.

According to Zs. Nagy, operative leasing remains a popular form of financing, mainly because its costs are rather predictable. (BBJ)