Fleet News

Fleets ready to go 'green'

FLEET managers and drivers are ready to heed environmental messages in Tuesday's Budget, but will not turn their backs on company cars. A Fleet News/ Kwik-Fit Fleet survey has revealed a strong, long term commitment to the company car, despite a widespread feeling that Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is planning to increase benefit-in-kind tax.

Only 20% of the 100 fleet drivers surveyed said they would give up their company cars if benefit-in-kind tax increases. Almost half (48%) of the 100 fleet managers questioned believe the Chancellor will increase the 35% list price threshold, and 52% think he will scrap the 2,500 and 18,000 business mileage tax breaks.

Among industry experts opinion is divided with the RAC this week suggesting the Chancellor might introduce additional business mileage tax breaks, while Deloitte & Touche suggested the 2,500 business mileage threshold could be doubled to 5,000 miles and the 18,000-mile threshold abolished. If the Chancellor does abolish business mileage tax breaks 81% of drivers said this would have no impact on their annual business mileage.

Use of company cars for private mileage is equally unlikely to change post-Budget, despite the Treasury's commitment to 20% above inflation increases in fuel scale charges to remove any financial benefit of drivers receiving free fuel for private use. Drivers' choice of their next company car would, however, be influenced by benefit-in-kind tax breaks for environmentally-friendly vehicles, with 62% saying this would have an impact. In addition, 57% said they would be prepared to drive an alternatively-fuelled car.

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