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Drivers target tax advantages of 4x4 lifestyle vehicles

Drivers target tax advantages of 4x4 lifestyle vehicles

Lifestyle 4x4 vehicles are an increasingly popular tax efficient choice for company car drivers, says Cap HPI.

In the LCV sector, registrations of new 4x4 lifestyle vehicles have increased year on year for the past 10 years, more than doubling from 7.24% in 2010 to 15.02% so far in 2019. Last year 13.67% of all LCVs sold were 4x4 lifestyle.

The volume of new 4x4 lifestyle registrations means it is now the third largest sector across the entire LCV range for registrations in 2019 so far, behind medium vans (40.5%) and large vans (20.2%).

Lifestyle 4x4 vehicles typically have a specification as high as passenger vehicles, says Cap HPI. As well as boasting practicality and versatility benefits that come with having a massive loadbay, they also have great family appeal.

However, it is the range of tax benefits that can be gained by choosing a lifestyle 4x4 as a company car that makes them a disproportionately cheap alternative to a conventional SUV or other choice of company car, says Cap HPI.

Speed limits with 4x4 lifestyle vehicles differ from model to model and on some models vary according to trim level.

The increased mass of some newer pickups means they are too heavy to be classed as ‘dual purpose’ vehicles, and are therefore subject to standard light commercial vehicle speed limits – which are 10mph slower on single and dual-carriageways.

Models from Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan are the best sellers in the sector accounting for 33.11%, 24.24% and 17.78% respectively of total sector sales so far in 2019.

Steve Botfield, senior editor, commercial vehicles and motor cycles at Cap HPI, said: “Drivers often choose lifestyle pick-up vehicles to reduce company car tax, because the HMRC classify any vehicle as a van if the payload is greater than 1,000kg.

“This has big tax benefits and can mean that motorists can drive a vehicle with a good spec and big on road presence at a fraction of the cost of running a large luxury 4x4.

“The increasingly enhanced specifications and features such as a Truckman top and other secure load covers, which are not included with standard 4x4 lifestyles, means they also hold their values well in the used market, making them an even more solid purchase.”

The Top 3 lifestyle 4x4s registered in 2018 were the Ford Wildtrak 3.2 200 Auto; the Nissan Tekna 2.3 190 4WD Auto/Nissan Tekna 2.3 190 4WD; and the Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian 4WD Auto.

Botfield concluded: “It’s easy to see why registrations have doubled in this sector in the past nine years as drivers recognise 4x4 lifestyle vehicles’ flexible use as a multi-purpose vehicle with top class specifications and very appealing tax benefits.”

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