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HMRC benefit-in-kind statistics reveal size of company car fleet

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The number of company cars on UK roads has remained at the same level for the past two years, according to latest statistics compiled by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The newly-published provisional figures for the 2013/14 tax year reveal that benefit-in-kind tax was paid on a total of 940,000 company cars.

While that total represents a 10,000 car decline on 2011/12, it suggests numbers have stabilised after a steady decline since the company car peak recorded in 1999/2000 when 1.16m people paid BIK tax on their vehicles, according to HMRC.

The data also reveals that the number of people paying BIK tax on fuel used privately has also declined further.

In 2013/14, there were 200,000 employees paying BIK on fuel, compared to 220,000 in 2012/13 and 240,000 in 2011/12.

Tax experts have said for many years that the vast majority of employees would be financially better off paying for fuel used privately out of their own pocket.

Meanwhile, there was again a sharp decline in the number of employees paying tax on mileage allowances in excess of the tax-free Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) rate.

HMRC apportioned the reduction to 290,000 employees in 2013/14 from 320,000 in 2012/13 and 380,000 in 2011/12 to rising fuel prices during the period.

The number of employees paying BIK tax on vans increased from 60,000 to 70,000 from 2012/13 to 2013/14, and company fuel used privately in vans remained unchanged, according to the figures.

For further analysis and insight, see next week’s Fleet News.

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  • Nick Adams - 28/08/2015 14:13

    I'm still amazed at the number of companies who offer the free fuel benefit. One in five drivers getting 'free fuel' shows that the number of stubborn drivers who can't use plain and simple maths to work out that a change would actually be in their favour is as large as ever. That, or they are too lazy to reclaim their mileage and would much rather it just happen automatically. Either way, i bet HMRC are rubbing their hands together in joy that this number isn't dramatically shrinking. That said, the reduction in 'over enthusastic' mileage payments shows that some finance departments are actually taking notice.

  • David Watts - 28/08/2015 14:25

    I find it interesting that there is such a gap between the number of drivers who receive the van benefit but not the private fuel benefit. Irrespective of how the vans are fueled (fuel card, bunkered fuel or the driver paying and re-claiming fuel receipts) this difference would imply that these 30,000 drivers are all being recharged their private mileage through some form of mileage capture system. The alternative is that these drivers are paying for all their fuel costs are being reimbursed for business mileage on a pence per mile basis. Given the lack of an AFR for vans I think both these scenarios are unlikely which would surely imply that there are a large number of drivers who are either paying for the van benefit unnecessarily or who should be paying for the fuel benefit as well.

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