Fleet News

Fleet chiefs back ACFO bid to get a clear CO2 tax message

BRITAIN'S top fleet chiefs are backing a call by the Association of Car Fleet Operators for a campaign to urge the Government to give a clear message on how the proposed carbon dioxide-based company car tax system will impact on their fleets and drivers when it is introduced in 2002. ACFO has called upon all fleet managers to write to their MPs and insist answers are given as soon as possible to how the system will operate and give companies the confidence they need to write contracts now that will still be in place when the new tax regime is brought in.

ACFO director Stewart Whyte fired off the first letter in which he urged Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown to give the 'utmost priority' to resolving both the forthcoming BIK system and the proposal by the Inland Revenue to base the annual Vehicle Excise Duty on a car's carbon dioxide emissions from late 2000.

Fleet managers were quick to rally to ACFO's cause. Di Rees, ACFO director and business services manager in charge of Leo Pharmaceuticals' 175-strong fleet, said: 'As fleet managers we are all working in the dark and the Government has to make it clear what system we will be using.' Josh Ralhan, secretary of ACFO's Midlands region and fleet sales executive of Kwik-Fit Fleet, said: 'The Vehicle Certification Agency's booklet New Car Fuel Consumption and Emission Figures is certainly not user-friendly and even contains inaccuracies. This adds to an already confused message to fleet with little guidance from the Government.'

David Lee, who runs the 2,500-strong fleet for John Laing Construction, said: 'I would support anything that would raise awareness of our problems in Government. We have managers asking why we can't explain whether a car might see a hefty BIK bill in future and we have to say it is impossible because the Government won't tell us.' Nigel Trotman, Whitbread's central services manager, said: 'I've got drivers who want to know how the tax system is going to hit their pockets and I can't tell them anything. It's all too vague.'

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