Fleet News

No evidence of drivers clocking up extra miles to cut tax bills

NEW research using official Government statistics reveals that 'significant levels of unnecessary journeys' are not made by company car drivers in pursuit of lower tax bills. In the run-up to the March 17 Budget, Arriva Automotive Solutions claimed that company car drivers could be clocking up as many as 8.2 billion unnecessary miles a year in order to reduce their tax bills.

A report from The Ashden Trust, London First and the University of Westminster suggested that the number of wasted miles was around one billion. Now Fleet Audits, the Petersfield-based specialist consultancy for vehicle fleet operators, has completed research using Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions traffic flow figures which chart the mileage patterns for cars, vans and trucks.

Using the actual traffic flow in each three-month period from January 1993 and expressing it as a percentage of the total annual mileage for the each year, for cars, vans and trucks the results have been plotted. Predictably the chart shows that traffic volumes for each of the three sectors is lowest in the winter quarter and highest in the summer quarter.

Fleet Audits managing director Stewart Whyte said it was in the winter months - towards the end of the tax year - when any abuse of the 2,500- and 18,000 business-mile tax breaks would be expected to take place. He concluded: 'Where is the evidence to suggest that there are significant levels of unnecessary journeys?'

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