Fleet News

Driver choice takes priority over BIK tax in company car choice lists

HUMAN resource directors have the upper-hand over finance directors in establishing company car choice lists, new research has shown. A survey of 62 national, regional and public sector fleets has revealed that employers favour more choice for drivers, despite pending tax changes that could penalise staff who choose cars with high carbon dioxide emissions.

The survey conducted by First National Vehicle Holdings also revealed a general lack of understanding and preparation for the tax changes. A third of fleet decision makers wrongly believed that all drivers, irrespective of mileage or vehicle, would be affected in the same way by the taxation changes. In fact, the majority of company car drivers could see their tax bills fall, while a few will see their tax liability rise.

FNVH also found that two-thirds of the fleets surveyed have not made adequate provision either to allow drivers to select a cheaper company car and pocket the cash saving, or to make a contribution towards a car above their grade. Over half of the surveyed fleets also revealed they do not have a designated fleet manager.

James Sturt-Scobie, Chief Executive of First National Vehicle Holdings said: 'It has become increasingly apparent that there is a huge gap of knowledge in the industry, with fleets still unsure of the actual taxation changes or indeed, how they will impact upon the individual driver.

'During the next year we can expect to see a huge overhaul of the company car market in the UK and in this time fleets need educating of the changes and help to offer value-added benefit packages to employees.'

The FNVH survey found that organisations running fewer than 100 vehicles were most receptive to the idea of offering drivers personal contract motoring plans in place of a traditional company car, and were also eager to offer PCPs to staff not entitled to a company car.

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