Fleet News

Fleet emissions fall as tax changes bite

EMISSIONS produced by company cars are falling rapidly following the introduction of emissions-based taxation, even though many drivers disagree with Government policy towards fleets, two new surveys reveal.

Research by Godfrey Davis (Contract Hire) showed that emissions from 30,000 vehicles run by its customers had fallen from an average of 190.8g/km a year ago to 184.1g/km this year.

Figures for June show cars registered averaged just 171.2g/km, compared to 181.9g/km for June 2001.

Much of the reduction has come through a massive swing to diesel-fuelled vehicles, with 54.2% of orders specifying a heavy-oil model during June, compared with 34.3% for the same period last year.

John Lyons, GDCH managing director, said: 'New technology has provided company car drivers with the chance to change to more tax-efficient cars, an opportunity they have grasped with both hands.

'Emissions will continue to fall and company car fleets will continue to lead the trend.'

In a double boost for the environment, the new emissions-based tax for benefit-in-kind tax is encouraging drivers to select cars with lower emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, at a time when business mileage is falling.

A survey by leasing company Alphabet has found that 90% of the 500 drivers questioned believe their business mileages will decline with the disappearance of the tax will succeed in its aim of tax incentives for high mileage drivers.

However, three-quarters of the drivers said the tax system will have no effect on pollution, despite evidence of reduced CO2 emissions, and the fact that 40% said they would select a less-polluting car in future.

A further 60% simply disagree with the Government's tax policy for company cars.

Mike Baldry, chief operating officer of Alphabet, said: 'It is vital that the Government gets drivers behind its efforts to meet pollution targets. In the long-run, it means lower costs for employers and lower taxes for drivers. But our survey shows the message has not been heard.'

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