Three-quarters (74 per cent) of UK fleets have adopted more digital solutions since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, new research has revealed.

A pan-European study conducted by Webfleet Solutions among 1,050 fleet decision-makers found that in the UK, smaller fleets of up to 50 vehicles led the charge, accounting for 80 per cent of the tech adopters.

Electronic signature tech (60 per cent) topped the list of the new digital solutions, followed by mobile apps (50 per cent) and digital document systems, such as paperless invoicing (44 per cent). In every case, the uptick in digitisation was found to have helped their businesses deal with the pandemic.

“COVID-19 continues to have a dramatic impact on the way we live and work, making operational flexibility, smart customer interactions, risk management and cost control more important than ever,” said Beverley Wise, Sales Director UK and Ireland, Webfleet Solutions.

“SME businesses, in particular, have had the agility to respond quickly to the ever-changing commercial landscape and have recognised the vital role that technology can play in overcoming the financial and logistical challenges – improving the efficient flow of information, supporting remote working and minimising person-to-person interactions.”

Indeed, the drive to increase efficiency was found to be top reason for UK fleets adopting more digital solutions, cited by more than half (55 per cent) of those surveyed. This was closely followed by efforts to reduce the spread of infection (51 per cent) and a continued commitment to sustainability (49 per cent).

Of those that haven’t adopted more digital solutions, 28 per cent cited cost as a barrier, 28 per cent said they had enough in place, while 22 per cent said they lacked the time or resources to implement new systems.

The Netherlands led the digitisation trend with 85 per cent adopting new digital solutions, followed by Italy and Spain (both 77 per cent).

For an overview of the findings, download the infographic here.