Fleet News

Big fleets cash in on innovative scheme

MORE than a dozen of Britain's biggest fleets have introduced an innovative car scheme which removes employees from car scale charge tax. The scheme - effectively employer-sponsored 'personal leasing' - is the brainchild of Whitechapel Corporate Services, a subsidiary of Sedgwick Group, the international insurance brokers.

Fleets which have so far implemented the scheme include Northern Electric, Reuters and Abbey National as well as merchant banks, insurers, top 20 FTSE plcs and other utility companies. Alan Campbell, managing director of Isle of Man-based Whitechapel, says he is talking to a number of other major UK companies.

The scheme involves companies establishing an in-house leasing company which buys the cars, thereby continuing to benefit from manufacturer volume related bonuses. The cars are then 'leased' to employees who pay a monthly repayment based on the wholelife cost of the vehicle excluding the end-of-lease residual value as the risk is carried by the company.

Employees opting for the scheme receive a cash allowance from their employer based on the wholelife cost of the car minus the scale charge tax which would be applicable if it was a company car. Title of the car passes to the driver, which is one of the reasons why Inland Revenue clearance was gained.

Drivers can upgrade and downgrade car choice, and maintenance and insurance are included. At the end of the contract period the car is returned to the in-house leasing company. Business mileage is reimbursed under the tax free, Inland Revenue Fixed Profit Car Scheme.

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