Company car drivers wanting to switch to a cash allowance is a temporary response to the Covid-19 situation and not a long-term trend.
That was the consensus among Fleet200 members taking part in a roundtable discussion at the virtual Fleet200 Executive Club meeting last month.
Several fleet managers acknowledged that they had had drivers reacting to paying company car tax on a car which they had not been able to use for six months due to home working.
One fleet manager had also faced pressure from senior directors to simply give everyone cash so the “problems go away”.
However, that attitude fails to “understand the nuances of the industry”, they said.
At another company, there was movement both ways with some company car drivers demanding they wanted to “get rid” of their car and some grey fleet drivers interested in taking a company for the first time in years, due to the current zero benefit-in-kind tax rate for pure electric vehicles.
Another fleet operator spoke about the challenges that social distancing had created for vehicle sharing. They had had to resort to having more vehicles on short-term hire and allowing people to use personal vehicles for business journeys with the company covering their insurance costs.
They said that their increased fleet size was “not sustainable” but they were uncertain about the future.
“There are so many unknowns,” they said. “It’s really hard to see the way forward.”
The third Fleet News Covid-19 survey found that 51% of fleet decision-makers believe more company car drivers will take the cash option ahead of the vehicle.
> The above was shared with Fleet News at the virtual September meeting of the Fleet200 Executive Club.
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