Although awareness of the impending changes is now almost universal among drivers, the majority said they still didn't have enough information about the new regime – in stark contrast to the responses from fleet managers – almost 90 per cent of whom said they had briefed their drivers fully. The dramatically differing perceptions were revealed at the Fleet News UK Congress on Wednesday following one of the largest surveys yet carried out into drivers' and fleet managers' attitudes towards the new tax system.
Fleet News questioned more than 150 fleet managers via this website, while Ford surveyed 11,583 company car drivers for the survey.
The results reveal that awareness of the new tax system has reached record levels, with more than 90 per cent of fleet managers and drivers saying they know changes to company car tax will come into effect on April 6 next year.
However, the surveys also expose the upheaval the changes are causing, with drivers accusing fleet decision-makers of leaving them in the dark, while fleet managers claim they are being starved of vital information on vehicles' CO2 emissions.
Ford's survey of drivers found that 76 per cent said they had not received any advice or information from their fleet manager.
Despite the tax changes being so close, two-thirds of drivers admitted they had no idea how much tax they would pay from next year, double the number who admit they do not know their tax bill under the current system.
More than half of drivers admitted they had no idea what the CO2 emissions of their vehicle were.
By contrast, 89 per cent of fleet managers say they have taken action to inform drivers, but claim they are being hampered by a lack of quality information on CO2 emissions. However, 35.5 per cent said they had not taken specific action to help high-mileage drivers, who potentially face large tax hikes under the new system unless they choose the right 'green' car.
Just 47.9 per cent of fleet managers said the official Vehicle Certification Agency and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders websites provided quality information, while 16 per cent said car manufacturers provided quality information.
Mike Wear, Ford's fleet director said that after two years of upheaval, the industry needed time to settle down: 'I think we need to see this one through and have some time to come to a considered view before making any decisions. This option is the best route going forward.'
- Results of the Congress Survey are published in full in this week's Fleet News. Click here for subscription information.