Fleet News

Operators warned over savings claims

CONTRACT hire company Autolease has cautioned fleet operators not to be taken in by massive headline savings promoted by a number of innovatory fleet acquisition schemes. Managing director Martin Tucker has reacted angrily to claims that fleets can save up to £1,000 per company car per year by switching their vehicle acquisition method from outright purchase to employee-based personal contract purchase schemes.

He branded savings on this scale as unachievable even in extreme cases, and challenged the view that a PCP scheme left an employee's position essentially unchanged from running an orthodox company car. A number of accountancy practices have developed PCP schemes which use the Fixed Profit Car Scheme (a tax-free mechanism for reimbursing drivers for business mileage covered in their own cars), and savings in employees' benefit in kind tax liability to achieve significant savings.

Tucker acknowledged that companies could make substantial economies by moving away from outright purchase as a fleet acquisition method, but said the logical step was to move to a form of leasing which offered major VAT advantages while maintaining the status quo in the area of human resources. He argued that the introduction of complicated, highly technical fleet acquisition schemes would not produce the promised savings, but would create a personnel minefield.

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