Fleet News

Downsizing has failed to materialise

HISTORIC predictions that company car drivers would downsize their car to save on benefit in kind taxation have failed to materialise, according to the Tolley Swan National Survey of Company Car Schemes 1997/98. Drivers are choosing larger, more expensive cars, and will only consider a smaller vehicle if they can pocket the difference in cost.

'With new technologies and enhanced performance, perhaps even with the return of the 'feelgood factor', we might say the puritanism of 'small engine is good' is an issue on the wane,' says the Tolley survey. This would seem to be evident with the popularity of prestige marques such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Saab and Volvo, which now enjoy substantial representation on company car fleets.

Above all, drivers want more information on company car taxation, particularly when it comes to planning a cash-for-car situation. 'There is a demand for the opportunity to downsize the car, reported by 22% of respondents in total, but employees, naturally, need a financial inducement to downsize their cars,' says the survey. At present, only 13% of organisations reported pressures from employees for an increased salary in lieu of a company car.

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