Fleet News

Fleet manager lashes out at mixed message

A FLEET manager has attacked the 'confused' message the Government is sending to fleets after discovering that diesel-engined cars have lower carbon dioxide emissions than liquefied petroleum gas vehicles, and will therefore be liable for lower company car tax bills under the proposed new benefit-in-kind system. Under the proposed system, as from April 2002, company car tax will be based on a combination of list price and CO2 emissions. LPG-fuelled cars, however, have a higher CO2 figure than diesel so, for drivers, the more efficient diesel will remain a favourite, the only exception being the Vauxhall Astra which emits 145g/km of CO2 in the 1.6-litre petrol and 153g/km for the larger engined 2.0-litre diesel.

Karl Myers, fleet manager for Smarts the laundry and hygiene arm of the OCS Group, runs a 100-strong car fleet, all Vauxhall diesels. He says: 'LPG is being praised by the Government as a clean fuel with duty being cut while it rockets on diesel; yet, if I put a driver in a dual-fuel 2.0-litre Vectra, the emission figure is 173g/km of CO2 and therefore it will carry a 23% tax. If the driver stays in a Vectra 2.0-litre Di, the emissions are just 153g/km, payable at 19% tax.

'It will be a human resources nightmare. If the Government loads duty on diesel and cuts it on LPG, the company will have to go that way to save money. This will mean we are penalising the drivers who will want the diesels for the low tax benefits.'

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