Fleet News

VED ignorance still rife among fleet managers

A THIRD of fleet managers are still unaware of changes in vehicle excise duty with just six months to go before the new rules are introduced, according to a survey of UK fleet managers. The survey, carried out for Paragon Car Finance, revealed 380 fleet bosses out of 1,000 questioned did not know of VED changes, which come into play in March.

Fleets will have to pay between £90 and £160 a year depending on carbon dioxide emissions of all new vehicles. If the vehicle is registered before March 2001, the VED will be calculated by its engine size.

However the changes do appear to have got some managers thinking about their future fleets, with 26% saying the carbon dioxide emissions would affect their choice of cars. Despite the apparent lack of awareness by some of the changes in vehicle excise duty, 87% did know their drivers were concerned about the amount of company car tax they were paying and 78% said they were prepared to consider offering a cash alternative.

ACFO director Stewart Whyte said the results were 'depressing': 'The details of the changes have been in the public domain for the last 18 months and it really is very poor if a third of the industry claim they do not know anything about what is a far-reaching change.

Whyte also believed fleet managers were just as unaware of the changes in benefit-in-kind taxation.

Managing director of Paragon said: 'In the scheme of things, they appear to be more aware of the company car tax changes which are being introduced in 2002 than they are about the VED but that could simply be because they are concerned for their individuals. We don't expect fleet managers to be on top of everything but as long as they are making an effort to prioritise things then they are doing their job properly.'

Other results revealed that fleet managers were most concerned about pricing, with 50% of respondents believing that standard industry rates unfairly penalised the overall cost of their fleets, with nearly nine out of 10 (88%) preferring to see a price calculated on individual fleet characteristics or fleet behaviour.

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