Fleet News

Drivers in the dark about tax

Three out of five drivers have no knowledge or only a basic grasp of the Government’s CO2-based company car tax.

Leasedrive conducted the research on behalf of a customer which was considering reviewing its manufacturer policy.

But when it asked about company car tax, 64% of the 200-plus drivers said they struggled to understand it.

In a separate survey, Leasedrive asked 450 drivers to rank nine vehicle characteristics in order of importance.

Twice as many drivers (29%) ranked safety as their number one priority when selecting a car than the vehicle’s tax band (14%) or economy (16%).

Meanwhile 41% ranked environmental performance as their least important consideration; 16% said it was a car’s benefit-in-kind tax band.

The failure of drivers to recognise the importance of the CO2-based tax regime when selecting a car, mirrors the ignorance displayed in the smaller survey.

However, the findings contradict anecdotal evidence from fleets, some of which also employ incentives schemes.

At a recent Fleet News roundtable, Geoff Wright, fleet services manager at AAH, said: “Our drivers are more focused on CO2 than they are the litre of the engine.”

And Tony Leigh, head of car fleet services at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: “Our limit is 200g/km, but our order bank is just 121g/km. It’s self policing because company car drivers understand the BIK savings.”

Paul Tayor, fleet manager at Morgan Sindall, added: “Our drivers know more about BIK than we do.”


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  • Paul Green - 10/12/2012 14:54

    Probably not a true reflection of poor understanding of company car tax as the headline may suggest. Ask the same group of people if they understand their income tax code, and their tax credits position and I bet you will get similar, if not even worse results. But if drivers are so indifferent about co2 or fuel economy then maybe that is because their employers are taking that choice out of their hands by only selecting low co2 cars with the best fuel economy potential onto their policy choice lists.

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