Drivers covering more than 18,000 business miles - essential car users - came off worst in the Budget, with tax increases while drivers with lower mileages had tax cuts. But Leigh said: 'That is no surprise as the whole intention is to reduce vehicle mileage and encourage company car drivers into smaller vehicles. Now the system has been announced, fleet managers and company car drivers must look to see whether journeys are necessary and whether they need the type of vehicles they have got.'
'Fleet managers should consider diesel because they have lower emissions than petrol vehicles and even with the 3% levy, selecting the right vehicle can see drivers better off with diesel. The cars also benefit from improved mpg over petrol vehicles. I would expect common rail diesels to be available from most manufacturers by 2002. Fleets should persuade their drivers to move into these vehicles in anticipation of an easing of the outline penalty.