New figures from the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) confirm the sector’s position as the UK’s leading adopter of cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The BVRLA’s latest quarterly survey of its leasing members found that almost one in 20 (4.7%) of all new leased cars registered in the final quarter of 2015 was a plug-in, well-ahead of the market penetration achieved across all new registrations, which stood at 1.3%.
The leasing sector’s low-emission credentials are also demonstrated by the fact that more than 25% of lease cars now sit in VED band A (sub 100g/km CO2) while the overall market share for all new cars sold in 2015 stands at 20%.
However, BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney has warned the chancellor not to penalise fleets which are helping to decarbonise UK transport.
“The Government needs to recognise that the company car or van is more than just a taxable perk and a valuable source of revenue for the Treasury,” he said. “These vehicles are vital business tools that can play a huge role in reducing the UK’s road transport carbon emissions.
“Without a fair and simple tax regime for company vehicles, this won’t happen.”
Thanks to this ever-increasing adoption of pure and plug-in hybrid electric cars as well as low-emission petrol and diesel vehicles, the average lease car added to a BVRLA member fleet in 2015 emitted just 112.6g/km CO2, more than 7% less than the average new car registered in 2015.
Responding to the news on behalf of Go Ultra Low, Poppy Welch said: “We’ve been encouraged by the growing number of fleets realising the multiple advantages of electric vehicles – and BVRLA members continue to play a pivotal role through education on whole-life costs and employee benefits. More businesses need to be bold, opening their thinking to incorporate electric vehicles and the cost-savings they bring.”
According to the latest BVRLA survey, leasing companies were responsible for around 1.3 million business cars and vans at the end of 2015, which was a 5.5% increase year-on-year.
Keaney said: “More and more businesses are turning to leasing as a source of finance and BVRLA members are helping these companies to operate cleaner, more fuel-efficient vehicles.”
The Budget, which will be delivered by Chancellor George Osborne today (Wednesday) in the House of Commons from 12.30pm, is expected to include announcements around company car tax, as well as fuel duty.
Gareth Jones, managing director at Dawsonrental Vans, said: "UK motorists already foot an extortionate bill for fuel, and pay more fuel duty than any other country in the EU.
“While current fuel retail prices are low, they won’t remain so indefinitely. Combined with rising insurance costs, the reported 1.16p per litre increase will hit businesses hard – particularly SMEs, who in many cases are still only experiencing tentative growth.
“The majority of British businesses rely on transport in one way or another so the impact of an increase will be significant and far-reaching. The government should continue to postpone an increase until they can be certain that British business can withstand the impact.”