By Daniel Hunter

Rising business confidence is set to propel investment in new company vehicles, according to research from leasing provider Lex Autolease.

The views of 1,500 businesses were surveyed as part of the twice yearly Business in Britain report and found that half of all management teams plan to raise money before the end of the year to support their growth ambitions.

Ten percent of those intending to bring in new capital identified company vehicles as a priority, meaning that an estimated 5% of all businesses are set to invest in transport assets.

Andrew Hogsden, Senior Manager, Strategic Fleet Consultancy at Lex Autolease, said: “Improved trading conditions are helping management teams to look ‘above-the-parapet’ and raise capital to invest in their businesses. It is encouraging that new company vehicles, which we see as a barometer for long-term market confidence, are back on their agenda.

“Businesses are becoming increasingly savvy in choosing the right vehicles, but also their role in staff attraction and retention and understanding how they can be financed. While some will still prefer to buy outright, we expect company bosses to explore their leasing options to best manage costs and cashflow, while accessing the vehicles they need to grow.”

Purchasing new plant and machinery was the highest priority for businesses, selected by two fifths (40%) of respondents, and just over a third selected marketing activities as the beneficiary of any funds raised.

Nearly a quarter of respondents are considering investing in overseas expansion and research and development activity, while over a tenth (12%) would use the funding to develop a new training programme.

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