Fleet News

Case highlights continuing confusion over CO2 figures

A LEADING fleet manager has taken delivery of four new cars, each of which had a different carbon dioxide figure on its V5 registration document to the figures published by the manufacturer, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and the Vehicle Certification Agency.

Clynt May, fleet controller for Fuji Photo Film UK, highlighted the continuing confusion over CO2 emissions figures. He was surprised to see the official CO2 figure on the V5 documents for two Volkswagen Passats and two Golfs were actually lower than had been quoted in the VW brochure, but in some cases higher than on the SMMT website and VCA book.

'Who exactly is supplying whom with what information?' he asked. While the discrepancies in the cars ordered by Fuji may mean little in terms of tax next year, as all the cars are diesels with emissions below the lowest threshold and therefore taxed at 18% of their P11D value (including the 3% diesel penalty), differences of this size will start to have an impact by the 2004/05 tax year.

Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, believes the issue goes further than just one or two percentage points' difference.

According to Whyte, getting figures wrong, whether it worked out better or worse for drivers in the long run, does little to allay fears of fleet managers that their credibility could be torn to shreds: 'Fleet management is supposed to be a precise business. This is not the only case I've heard this week, and we will be going to the SMMT and the Inland Revenue to discuss these issues.'

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