Fleet News

Leasing firms see surge in personal schemes

A BRACE of new personal contract hire schemes has hit the market as Lease Plan and Motorent enter the cash-for-cars sector of the fleet market. Both companies are targeting ex-company car drivers who have opted for the cash alternative to their cars but still want the convenience of having their vehicles managed for them.

Although cash-for-car schemes have become more widespread since company car tax changes were introduced in 1994, take-up has been minimal. Lease Plan's scheme - Freedom Drive - is available to company car drivers who have 'opted out' of car schemes and other employees seeking an easier way to run a new car. Commercial director Steve Dunn said Freedom Drive was the result of extensive research throughout its pan-European fleet management operation and offered all the peace of mind of a company car scheme without the penalty of benefit in kind taxation.

Dunn said Lease Plan's research indicated many drivers were still confused about and suspicious of options available but Freedom Drive was a much simpler product. Following an initial payment of 15% of the cost of the vehicle, regular monthly payments are made by direct debit and at the end of the lease period, the customer can walk away from the vehicle.

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