Fleet News

Changes to company car tax top fleet managers' concerns

THE prospect of changes to the company car tax system in the spring Budget is the most pressing concern for fleet managers in 1998. According to the annual Fleet News/Lex Vehicle Leasing Survey of fleet managers, cost control and company car taxation will be joint first in their concerns this year - closely followed by the Chancellor's spring Budget.

The findings vary considerably from last year's survey, where although cost control was the number one priority, worries about increasing servicing and maintenance costs and rising fuel costs were all near the top of the list. In the latest survey, traffic congestion and the environment have shot up the charts, with insurance costs also moving up significantly. Fears about congestion leaped from 11th to third place, the environment jumped four places from 10th to sixth and insurance costs rose from sixth to fourth place.

Lex Vehicle Leasing managing director Roy Fewster said: 'Worries about company car taxation and the spring Budget go hand in hand, and until we see what happens in March, the whole fleet industry is going to remain uneasy. However, I believe that fleet managers still have concerns about keeping costs down, but until the issues with company car taxation are resolved in the spring Budget, these are going to be over-shadowed.'

Perennial concerns such as outsourcing, rising car prices and a fall in residual values remain more or less static in the chart, but the move to two registration plate changes a year from next year- at number 19 in the chart - appears to be one to watch. Continuing predictions of a boom in personal contract purchase schemes are also wide of the mark according to the 60 fleet managers interviewed by Lex, despite the issue of cash for car rising up the agenda from 13th to eighth.

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