Fleet management in Greece


Fleet managers in Greece have endured several years of unprecedented challenges, alongside their European counterparts – from the post-pandemic fallout, fuel hikes and chip shortages to the Ukraine crisis and the far-reaching impact of environmental obligations.

As a result, fleet operators on both mainland Greece and its 227 inhabited islands continue to operate with stretched budgets in a landscape dominated by politics, emerging technology and sustainability.

From tax and telematics to the greening of fleets through emissions control and EV adoption, we examine the prevailing challenges facing Greek fleet managers in 2024 and beyond.


Greener government interventions

The world has recognised that e-mobility is key to achieving climate neutrality and a zero-emission transport sector.

This accelerating EV transition, on a global scale, has led the Greek government to support business and personal efforts to embrace electric mobility through various incentives and infrastructure developments. Initiatives include purchase subsidies, tax incentives and the expansion of the nationwide charging infrastructure.

Greece’s EV purchase subsidy programme, ‘I move electrically’, provided financial incentives for individuals and businesses to purchase or lease new electric cars and motorcycles ranging from 20% to 40% of the retail price. Under this scheme, the purchase or leasing of electric taxis was also incentivised with a maximum subsidy of €15,000.

The Greek parliament also introduced the Climate Law which bans the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2030, as part of its efforts to combat climate change and promote sustainable transport.

This has had a huge impact on businesses offering company car schemes. From the beginning of January this year, at least a quarter of new company cars, which are also used for private use, must be an EV, BEV or PHEV.

Employees who have a company car as a benefit are also entitled to tax relief for EVs with a retail price of up to €40,000. This means that electric, battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will start to dominate Greek business fleets within the financial year.

In cases of non-compliance with the Climate Law, businesses still operating an ICE fleet will receive a fine of €10,000. The only exception is if a company has placed a ‘green fleet’ order before January 1, and the vehicles have not been delivered due to supply chain issues beyond their control.  

The government is also supporting the EV transition with a rollout of low-emission zones in city centres.


The EV appeal

As the global electrification race continues, EV uptake in Greece is starting to gain momentum, albeit slower than elsewhere in Europe.

A growing concern about air pollution and the environmental damage of fossil fuels has contributed to the growing interest in EVs among consumers.

The growth in tourism and e-commerce has made cost and environmentally conscious fleet managers keen to electrify these two core sectors. Electric vans, microcars, e-scooters and cargo bikes are well-suited for last-mile deliveries and sustainable tourist travel given their ability to navigate congested urban areas while emitting lower, or zero, emissions.


Caution ahead

However, electrification still faces some resistance. EV adoption in Greece is thwarted by the same concerns shared by fleet managers worldwide.

Range anxiety and the limited availability of a reliable charging infrastructure remain notable barriers to take-up.

Fleet managers may be hesitant to switch to fully green fleets when there aren’t enough charging stations in their business territory, especially in rural mainland or less developed islands. Additionally, recharge times, in comparison to traditional refuelling, is also hindering the green transition.

Although the long-term operating costs of EVs can be lower due to savings on fuel and maintenance, the upfront cost of purchasing an EV, in most cases, remain higher. Even with government incentives and subsidies, fleet managers may find the initial investment budget prohibitive.

Some fleet operators are also concerned about the resale value of EVs and the risks of EV technology fast becoming obsolete.


Charging ahead

With forecasts suggesting a large uptick in EV sales, the disparity between the number of EVs and charge points will be amplified if efforts to increase access to charge points across Greece do not accelerate.

The Greek government is, however, taking significant steps to bolster EV adoption by improving charging infrastructure. All municipalities must now provide at least one public charging point within a free parking zone, per thousand inhabitants.

Even more impressive is the rapid expansion of the charging network over recent years. Back in 2018, there were only 22 charging points in Greece. This figure jumped to an impressive 10,000 at the end of 2023. By 2025, the goal is to have 13,000 charging points and by 2030 more than 100,000.


The leasing landscape

The growth of vehicle leasing – driven in no small part by the appeal of lower upfront costs, flexibility and the ability to access newer models without committing to ownership – is also evident across Greece, among both private consumers and fleet managers.

Market consolidation is shaping the leasing market. Mergers and takeovers are gaining traction as key players seek to expand their market share and achieve economies of scale.

All the while, multi-bid leasing is becoming common practice, particularly among multi-national companies looking to negotiate financially favourable deals and flexible global contract terms.

The vehicle leasing market in Greece is consequently witnessing increased customer-centric initiatives and pricing structures among the larger players vying for increased market share.

This is positive news for budget-stretched fleet managers as there are now more competitive deals, along with innovative service propositions. From incentives on deposits and balloon payments to added value extras, it’s a win-win for fleet managers looking to transition to electric – or grow their fleet more cost effectively.

Industry stalwarts are now offering flexible, open-ended leasing options with smaller upfront payments. These flexible contracts allow customers to return their vehicles at a time that suits their business.


Tech traction

Although the need for intelligent data analytics is fuelling demand for integrated fleet technologies in most European countries, uptake is slow across Greece.

Where telematics solutions are in situ, their full potential is rarely being realised. GPS systems are mainly used to track driver location and monitor working hours or for the added security of expensive vehicles.

Connected car services and user-friendly mobile applications that can enhance two-way communication between lessors and lessees are, however, starting to gain traction. From route planning, scheduling deliveries and arranging vehicle maintenance to keeping drivers safe and costs under control, the time and monetary efficiencies are evident.


Transportation trends

Like many other countries, Greece has been witnessing a growing emphasis on alternative sustainable transport options, beyond the electric vehicle. Investments in public transport and pure green alternatives, such as cycling and walking, are becoming more popular.

Some major cities have been exploring smart mobility solutions which involve integrating technology into transport systems to improve efficiency, reduce congestion and enhance the overall travel experience. Examples include smart traffic management systems and the development of mobility apps for route planning and real-time updates.

Corporate mobility management is also a key growth area for fleet managers. Companies are increasingly recognising the importance of managing employee journeys effectively, not only for operational efficiency, but also for employee safety and satisfaction, environmental sustainability and cost savings.

Organisation are starting to incentivise flexible commuting options, the use of public transport and carpooling, while providing resources, where feasible, for remote working or telecommuting.

In addition, there’s a growing demand for MaaS solutions. The seamless integration of green initiatives that link fleet platforms with ride-sharing services, bike-sharing programmes and alternative rental services or public transport are expected to become more popular in Greece over the next few years.


A spotlight on fleet challenges

Fuel price fluctuations, combined with environmental demands, are encouraging fleet operators to adopt cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles or alternative fuel sources. This transition often requires significant investment in innovative technology and infrastructure.

Greece’s road network also presents significant challenges for fleets. Traffic congestion, especially in urban areas, has a notable impact on operational efficiency and bottom-line costs. Furthermore, poor road conditions in some areas can lead to an increase in vehicle wear and tear, maintenance costs and safety concerns.

Elsewhere, fleet managers must navigate a complex and ever-evolving regulatory environment, governing transport, safety, emissions and labour policies, with compliance proving costly and time-consuming.

Fleet operators in Greece are still experiencing long delays in receiving their vehicles, due to the lingering impact of the global chip shortage. In many cases, dealerships and manufacturers are still unable to fulfill orders within expected timeframes.

As we look to the future, Greek fleet managers will be tasked with a broader scope of responsibilities beyond their traditional fleet management roles. Embracing the wider transport needs of their workforce and adopting a more holistic and sustainable approach towards e-mobility management will increasingly become the norm.



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