Official figures from the SMMT show that each year, sales to companies operating a fleet of 25 vehicles or more account for half the new car market, or more than one million cars. Plus there are more than 100,000 business sales to firms running fewer than 25 vehicles.
Experts suggest these figures could be an underestimate and that business finance actually pays for at least 70% of new car sales.
The combined official market is worth an estimated £15bn in new car sales per year, plus at least that again in servicing and repair work.
Freedom of choice
It is a lucrative segment that can bring significant rewards to dealerships that have the confidence to invest in their business customers.
It is also a steady market, which is less prone to fluctuation compared to retail sales, with the past seven years returning a steady turnover of about one million vehicles per year.
The fleet market is changing, too, as the growing amount of free choice offered to drivers means smaller brands are able to compete alongside giants Vauxhall and Ford.
Carmakers including Citroën, Kia, Honda, Seat, Hyundai and Honda have outlined plans to grow their fleet sales. This has brought significant new investment. For example, Kia has invested more than £5m in a new programme to provide its 155 dealers with a demonstration fleet....(continues in June 2 edition of AM)