New report uncovers the thought process of the average company car driver

Written by Ellie

Company car drivers start thinking about their next company car as soon as they collect the keys for their current vehicle, according to a new study.

A report published by Sewells Research & Insight has revealed some intriguing observations on the mental workings of the average user-chooser, which should make for a concerning read for HR departments.

One of the study’s claims is that company car drivers derive less enjoyment from the experience of choosing a new company car, the longer the process goes on.

The report uncovered a four-stage process in company car selection, charting the typical driver’s progress from pre-consideration to active consideration, then action, before settling on their final choice.

Some 42 per cent of drivers looked forward to the active consideration stage when they research their options, but by the time they need to visit a dealer or book a test drive (i.e. the action stage), only 34 per cent of drivers enjoy the process.

The report highlighted the difficulty for manufacturers and dealers to influence drivers while they are in the pre-new car prompt and research phases. Yet by the time drivers reach the action stage, many have already made up their minds on their next company car.

More than one in three (35 per cent) company car drivers say they have made up their minds before visiting a franchised dealer, and 40 per cent say they had already decided before a test drive.

Similarly, by the time drivers consult manufacturer websites – their most common source of information – they have already settled on their future car and are simply verifying their choice.

Simon Staplehurst, commercial research director for Sewells Research & Insight, says the report is vital to supporting better marketing, campaign planning and customer servicing priorities around any new product launches.

Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, added: “With almost 90 new models arriving in showrooms this year, the report should highlight where HR departments can help user-choosers with the decision process.”

Posted on 22nd January 2018

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