Fleet News

Byers signals fleet taxation bonanza

TRADE and Industry Secretary Stephen Byers has given the fleet industry a clean bill of health and potentially signalled a company car tax bonanza for employees if new car prices fall. However, Monday's long-awaited publication of the nine-month Competition Commission's New Cars Inquiry report will mean transaction prices for fleets remain unchanged, despite calls by Byers for prices to tumble.

The 737-page report raised more questions than answers as it fell significantly short of the expected widespread attack on the UK motor industry. Byers issued a seven-point action plan which he said would 'bring more competition to the supply of new cars and so help reduce prices'. Following consultation - until May 19 - he said the plan would be in place on June 10.

But Byers did not promise that the measures would mean lower prices and the future structure of the UK franchised network has been referred to the European Commission for discussion. As a result, many motor industry experts labelled the report a 'damp squib' and questioned what all the fuss had been about as the anticipated attack on the industry did not occur, leaving manufacturers welcoming the report, retailers fearing a 'two-tier' dealer network and the Consumers' Association claiming victory.

banding for company car tax.

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