Vehicle size trumps appearance for fleets when choosing a company car, according to a report from LeasePlan USA.

Size was listed as the most important selection criteria, and an estimated 76 percent of U.S. drivers do not prefer small company cars, according to the LeasePlan Monitor survey.

Only 18 percent of drivers who currently drive a small vehicle said they would continue to do so in the future, and six percent of the surveyed drivers said they would prefer a smaller vehicle as their next model.

Less than half of the drivers said engine performance influenced their vehicle selection decision.

Fleet drivers often aren’t given the option of selecting a vehicle. Forty-one percent must settle for a predefined list of brands, and in 33 percent of cases, the company makes the decision.

Despite declining gasoline prices, fleets also factor in making themselves more sustainable and reducing their carbon footprint.

"Although the on-going increase of fuel prices in the past played a role in making fleets greener, local tax incentives, as well as European and U.S. regulations that aim to bring down CO2 emissions, have been a far more important rationale," said Michael Miller, LeasePlan's vice president of operations. "In other words, seen from a cost perspective, the effect of a temporary drop in fuel price on fleet composition is there, but it is limited. Fleet managers take a long-term view; they see corporate social responsibility as a core value which includes running an environmentally friendly fleet of cars."

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet