Fleet News

Warning on 'extras'

FLEET managers who fail to keep tabs on the specifications of new cars could lose thousands of pounds even before the firm begins to use them, according to AA Business Services. With the introduction of graduated Vehicle Excise Duty from March 1 next year and reforms to company car tax to take place from April 6, 2002 - both based on vehicle carbon dioxide emissions - the AA says 'fuel-hungry' extra equipment could push a car into higher rate bands.

The AA says 'extras' which will impact on car fuel economy and emissions performance include automatic gears - a potential 10% rise in fuel consumption - power steering 2-4% and tyre size 2-4%.Under UK type approval procedures, which do not include air conditioning, the emissions and fuel consumption tests carried out include some extras.

John Stubbs, head of AA technical policy, said: 'Fleet managers need to do their homework to see if extra equipment will tip their cars into a higher tax band.' The AA calculates that a Ford Fiesta 1.3 with manual steering has a CO2 figure of 161g/km, but with power steering it emits 166g/km, thereby pushing it into both a higher VED band and company car tax band. Similar results occur with a Rover 416 SLi manual (178g/km) while an automatic emits 212 g/km of CO2.

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