Fleets predict that the number of vehicles they operate will increase over the next few years, according to a new survey.

The 2022 Arval Mobility Observatory Barometer is an annual survey of key trends in the fleet sector, and this year it reveals a range of issues.

As well as 27% of respondents forecasting expansion of their fleet operations, 21% of businesses participating in the research say they plan to offer more vehicles to employees without company cars. 81% of decision makers also said that their business is expanding, but 73% expect the size of their fleet to stay the same or fall.

In 2021 the same survey found that 29% of businesses predicted fleets to grow, but these were typically large organisations. This year there were more smaller businesses feeling confident, with 36% of companies with less than 10 employees predicting growth.

“A net 27% of organisations predicting expansion of their fleet operations is a strong indication of confidence in the sector,” said Shaun Sadlier, head of Arval Mobility Observatory in the UK.

“One of the most surprising findings in last year’s research was the high degree of optimism surrounding future fleet growth, despite the potential impact of Covid-19 and lockdowns at that time,” said Sadlier.

“Even though we are now emerging from the pandemic, this year brings a different set of risks – ranging from conflict to a rapidly rising cost of living – but fleets still remain notably positive about the future.”

“One central fact is clear”, concludes Sadlier. “As we emerge from the pandemic, company cars and vans remain core to business growth strategies moving forward.”