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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fleet Purchase Behavior: Decision Processes and Implications for New Vehicle Technologies and Fuels


Vehicle fleets are a poorly understood part of the economy. They are important, though, in that they purchase a large share of light-duty vehicles and are often targeted by governments as agents of change. We investigate fleet purchase behavior, using focus groups, interviews, and mail and telephone surveys. We categorize fleets into four different decision-making structures (autocratic, bureaucratic, hierarchic, and democratic), determine what share of the market sector each represents, describe salient features of each behavioral model, and explore implications of that behavior for industry investment and public policy.

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