Fleet News

Saab offers petrol to diesel swap

SAAB'S contract hire customers will be able to swap their petrol cars for diesel models next March under a new scheme to beat company car tax changes. Customers can lease a petrol 9-5 car now through Saab Finance and change it for a diesel when company car drivers have to start paying benefit-in-kind tax based on carbon dioxide emissions instead of mileage.

Saab will be introducing a 3.0-litre V6 diesel and 2.2-litre diesel in the 9-5 later this year. The new scheme is aimed at company car drivers who change their cars now, but would like a diesel to take advantage of the emissions-based rules from next year. Prices and specifications for the TiD variants of the 9-5 are yet to be confirmed, but Saab's strategy with the 9-3 range is to price the diesels lower than the petrol-powered equivalents.

Therefore, a 3.0 V6 TiD is expected to cost less than a 9-5 Griffin 3.0t V6, which comes only with automatic transmission and currently costs £30,295 on-the-road, while a 2.2 TiD would be cheaper than a 9-5 2.0t. Customers would take a three-year Saab Contract Hire agreement with Saab Finance and initially a petrol-engined car will be supplied to be replaced with a 9-5 TiD in March 2002. The initial 9-5 must be registered and delivered by June 30 and the customer will sign a short-term contract hire agreement to terminate in March 2002.

Customers will also receive a letter confirming the second contract will be written in March 2002 at the same rental for a similarly specified 9-5 TiD for up to a further 28 months. The 3.0-litre diesel will be launched in August to compete against the BMW 530d and Audi A6 2.5 TDI. Developed by Saab from an Isuzu unit, the all-new engine will produce 258lb-ft of torque.

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