Fleet News

Agencies act to clear up CO2 up confusion

GROUPS involved in a bid to end uncertainty over carbon dioxide-based company car tax have issued a joint statement to calm fleets' nerves - but have warned some drivers will have to effectively buy blind if they opt for a newly-launched car. The statement comes following a meeting between the organisations that provoked a row with the Association of Car Fleet Operators, which accused industry and Government of not doing enough to provide clear CO2 information to fleets.

Bodies represented at the meeting included the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, Department of Trade and Industry, Vehicle Certification Agency, Inland Revenue, CAP Network, Henley Systems, Interleasing and the Association of Car Fleet Operators. The statement aims to give clear guidance to fleets on where the official sources of CO2 information lie. For cars first registered between January 1, 1998 and February 28, 2001, the SMMT is providing a CO2 emissions enquiry service on its internet site.

An Inland Revenue spokeswoman said: 'The SMMT has been checking and proofing data to resolve any discrepancies. The data will shortly be audited with the Vehicle Certification Agency. Following completion of the audit - and any corrective actions - it will be considered as definitive by the Inland Revenue.' For cars registered on or after March 1, 2001, the definitive CO2 emissions value for Graduated Vehicle Excise Duty or benefit-in-kind taxation will be that shown on a car's V5 registration document. The spokeswoman added: 'This figure is taken from official test results supplied to DVLA by the vehicle manufacturer/importer. The value is that shown on a vehicle's Certificate of Conformity.'

The Inland Revenue insisted the VCA and SMMT were working responsibly to ensure accurate data was available to fleets in a 'timely manner' to support consumer choice. All parties involved in the debate will meet again in June to consider how the approach of CO2-based company car tax is progressing. In June, the Inland Revenue will also mail employers offering them the chance to submit vehicle CO2 figures early to ensure drivers can be warned of what their future tax liability will be.

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