ACFO chairman Julie Jenner comments on the June 2010 Emergency Budget Statement from the coalition Government
“The increase in the rate of VAT from 17.5% to 20% from January 4, 2011 will clearly increase the cost of new cars, fuel and servicing, maintenance and repairs.
“As a result, I would anticipate a ‘pull forward’ of orders to 2010 so that the higher VAT bills associated with the purchase of new cars are avoided.
“While the VAT rise will clearly impact on the cost of motoring for fleets, the Chancellor’s decision not to raise fuel duties over and above the increases announced in the March Budget is to be welcomed.
“However, the VAT increase taken together with associated changes in VAT disallowance rates, the reduction in capital allowance rates, the reduction in corporate tax rates, the increases in National Insurance rates and the changes in personal allowances is likely to trigger vehicle funding reviews across the board.
“Currently ACFO does not anticipate the collective changes to trigger any widespread favouring of company car purchasing, company car leasing, or any of the myriad of cash alternative options available including employee car ownership schemes or salary sacrifice.
“However, it seems likely that there will be some marginal realignment of optimum funding/provision solutions depending on the individual circumstances of both employers and employees.
“Working out the fine details is likely to take some time, as there are so many little effects that could apply in individual personal and employer circumstances.
“As a result, ACFO anticipates that many fleets will conduct strategic reviews of their current fleet operating methods. Only then will a clear picture emerge as to whether the Emergency Budget has had anything other than a superficial impact on the make-up of the UK company car market.
“So far as we can see there are no immediate or direct impacts on the van market.”