Fleet News

ECO scheme creditworthiness checks introduced after changes to Consumer Credit Act

Employees will have to undergo a creditworthiness check in future if taking a car through an employee car ownership (ECO) scheme.

Strict new guidelines have been introduced to the Consumer Credit Act, which include an obligation on the lender to check an individual’s credit rating.

“We completed all relevant modifications to our existing scheme structures before Christmas, ensuring our current customer schemes and any prospective customer schemes are compliant with the revised legislation,” said Ian Hughes, commercial director at Zenith Provecta.

It’s estimated that more than 100,000 employees are provided with a car through an ECO scheme, although numbers have been in decline since a 2004/05 peak.

More recently, doubts have been raised over the future of ECO schemes amidst claims that the downward trend in business mileage was wiping out tax savings originally achieved by employers.

But providers are confident that this latest issue will not have a detrimental affect on their ability to continue to provide an ECO option.

“Where an employee fails a credit assessment, Zenith Provecta will work with the corporate client to ensure that a suitable solution is delivered,” said Huughes.

How that could be resolved would depend on the employee and the employer, and on the individual circumstances, but one possible option is the employer would act as guarantor, says Zenith Provecta.

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