Fleet News

Leasing firms call on Labour to lay off the company car

TWO of Britain's largest contract hire and fleet management companies - Dial Contracts and British Car Contracts - have delivered a 'hands off the company car' message to the Labour Party.

Dial Contracts warned the Labour Party against viewing company car users and the fleet industry as a 'soft target' for taxation in its attempts to produce an improved transport system in Britain. Executive director Ian Goswell said Dial was also concerned at issues such as pollution and congestion, but, he said, the answer was not to produce an anti-company car blueprint. That view was backed by Andy Johnson, sales director of British Car Contracts, who added there was 'a level of concern' because any change in government was likely to affect business and that could impact on the company car.

Two months ago BCC said fleet managers feared a future Labour government and they put increases in company car tax and interest rate rises top of those concerns (Fleet News March 22). This week Johnson said: 'The effect of a government change could be a period of retrenchment with longer change cycles. The taxation issue could result in downsizing and also make people look at the position of the perk car resulting in the return of the cash versus car debate.'

Meanwhile, Dial applauded Labour's broad push to encourage the development of more energy efficient cars and to discourage unnecessary car use. In addition it backed the idea of a 'scrappage' allowance for old, polluting cars, which Labour has promised to study.

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