Fleet News

Vehicle funding: Charlatans damage salary sacrifice reputation

Roddy Graham, commercial director, Leasedrive

For me the most memorable scene from the fantastic Olympics opening ceremony was when the modern family home was raised to reveal Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the internet, working at a computer.

He tweeted “This is for everyone”, a message which appeared instantly in LCD lights around the stadium.

As a nation we have pioneered so many great things from the industrial revolution to the internet.

The latter has allowed us to make the most of the information age, with information accessible to all.

This transformation of the information age is one of the greatest things to have happened for the progress of mankind.

However, like all good things, it does have its bad side.

We also live in the misinformation age.

Within our own fleet industry, I fear a few charlatans and rogue providers are doing us at best a disservice and at worst irreparable damage to our reputation.

As an example, we are coming across more and more misinformation about car salary sacrifice schemes.

And I fear that unless the truth prevails, we may see such schemes falling by the wayside, in much the same way that car employee ownership schemes did a few years ago.

With our long and successful track record of promoting and implementing car salary sacrifice schemes, we know that these schemes are not for all.

Nor should these schemes be simply sold as a ready-made package.

Unquestionably, as with all highly successful total reward packages, one size does not fit all.

In the right context, a car salary sacrifice scheme does make good financial sense from both an employer and employee perspective.

But pedlars of misinformation are doing the fleet industry a disservice in declaring point blank that you will always save ‘X’ in National Insurance contributions and ‘Y’ in benefit-in-kind tax.

It’s a bit more complicated than that. The last thing the fleet industry needs is to be accused of misselling.

We live in a golden age, the Information Age.

With that comes responsibility.

Let’s try to ensure that we all understand the detail of the products we are promoting.

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  • Brian Rudkin, Optimum PAYE www.optimumpaye.co.uk - 17/09/2012 19:00

    I completely agree that misinformation is a big problem with salary sacrifice schemes, not just for company cars but for other benefits as well. There is too much incorrect information on the internet around salary sacrifice that can be dangerous in the wrong context or in the wrong hands. This is coupled with too many employers looking to implement schemes "on the cheap" by Googling the answer instead of taking proper advice as well as car/benefit providers unwilling or unable to tell employers the warts-and-all implications of salary sacrifice that could prevent an employer from going ahead in the first place. Too often, this misinformation doesn't come to light until there is a problem either with an employee situation or with HMRC by which time it is often too late.

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