Fleet News

Budget 2008: Shift in company car driver culture needed

Chancellor Alastair Darling’s first budget has sent a clear message to company car drivers - if you want to drive a gas guzzler, you are going to have to pay for it – says ING Car Lease.

The planned changes to Vehicle Excise Duty will see high emitting cars pay higher taxes in the first year, with the least polluting cars paying no tax during this period.

“Introducing this honeymoon tax break for low emission cars is a real headline grabber and is likely to grab the attention of drivers, pushing them to move away from cars above the magic 130g mark,” said Greg Taylor, commercial director ING Car Lease.

“While these measures give both manufacturers and drivers time to plan ahead, this is a pretty radical move that is sure to change the culture of company car drivers.

“In principle, we welcome this approach that the polluter pays, so those who really want a high performance car or a 4x4 will have to pay extra for the privilege.

"However, fleets will now need to think carefully about how they introduce these changes as currently, there is not a great amount of cars that meet this environmental standard.

“Looking at the ING fleet of over 46,000 vehicles, we estimate that a very small percentage of these company cars fall within the sub-130g category, so a huge shift in car culture will need to take place.

"Manufacturers will also need to move quickly to take advantage of this new market.”

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