HMRC has set AMAP rates for electric vehicles at the same level as diesel cars – 45p per mile up to 10,000 miles.
According to figures from KeeResources, the cost of running a Nissan Leaf is similar to a Volkswagen Golf over four years/40,000 miles – taking into account fuel, SMR and depreciation – suggesting that HMRC has got its sums right, despite the ‘fuel’ element costing just 2.5p per mile for the Leaf.
However, John Lewis, chief executive of the BVRLA, said HMRC had justified the decision on the basis of depreciation, but claimed the £5,000 plug-in grant covered this.
The depreciation calculation wouldn’t have taken the grant into consideration.
The decision was revealed to BVRLA and ACFO officials at a recent meeting.
Part of the reason for having an AMAP rate identical to diesel is believed to be simplicity.
However, critics of the AMAP system, which reimburses employees for using their own car for business, claim that even the diesel figure is too high.
Chairman of ACFO, Julie Jenner, proposed an alternative, staggered AMAP system, whereby the 45p per mile figure could be claimed for the first 2,500 miles, for example, before dropping to a lower figure.
That way, those who really need the payment, such as local community nurses where a company car is not an option, still get adequate recompense, but others are encouraged to look at alternatives to using their own car rather than supplementing their income.
However, any changes would have to come from Government, and with the backlash over public sector pay and pensions, it is unlikely to want to create further problems.
Lewis confirmed: “AMAPs are not on the agenda – it’s too politically sensitive.”
Meanwhile, if company car drivers opt for an EV, they should not expect to be reimbursed for the electricity used to fuel their vehicle.
An HMRC spokesman said: “There is no AFR equivalent for electric cars because electricity is not considered to be a fuel for the purposes of the car and fuel benefits legislation.”