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December 6, 2016updated 15 Aug 2022 12:56pm

Sutherland: Finance Bill leaves fleet questions unanswered

Matt Sutherland, chief operating officer at Alphabet, discusses the implications of salary sacrifice and company car taxation

By Verdict Staff

Matt Sutherland, chief operating officer at Alphabet, discusses the implications of salary sacrifice and company car taxation

“Even after providing more detail to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement with yesterday’s Finance Bill, there are still more questions than answers surrounding the future of vehicle fleets for UK business and public sector organisations.

The concerns that Alphabet and our customers have are around the clarity and apparent lack of joined-up thinking towards company car taxation and ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs); which ultimately means significant concerns exist around the unintended consequences which will result from these decisions.

The government have clearly expressed a pro-business agenda and an ambition to be at the global forefront of ULEVs, but the consequences of these announcements is likely to put a brake on the growth of ULEVs as company cars until 2020. Effectively they are removing the incentives to take a ULEV for the next 3 years – especially those for low paid, “JAM” workers. Significant practical questions around EVs as company cars remain, for instance we are still awaiting a decision from HMRC on Advisory Fuel Rates (AFR’s) rates for electricity as a fuel type.

The company car market has delivered real impetus and growth to ULEV’s over the past few years – far outstripping private registrations of ULEV’s. Our fear is that the consequences of this Autumn Statement will be a significant flight from new, efficient company cars into cash alternatives and grey fleet. We know from the recent BVRLA and Energy Saving Trust research the result of this will be older, more polluting and less safe vehicles on UK roads – surely a retrograde move for business, consumers and society?

Hence our feeling is one of disappointment – big questions still remain unanswered and there are significant concerns around the unintended consequences for ULEVs from the Autumn Statement.”



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