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BMW 3 Series Touring Business Edition
Fuel and savings in NI and company car tax have led to 79 percent of businesses setting green targets for their company cars

CONFIDENCE is up among small businesses – and that looks set to boost the UK’s company car sales this year.

Alphabet, the BMW owned leasing company, is reporting a dramatic increase in the number of company car managers expecting growth,

Alphabet’s Fleet Management Report says those surveyed expressed an optimistic outlook for the year ahead with 81 per cent expecting the size of their company car fleet to grow or at least remain unchanged – up from 70 per cent last year.

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Some 31 per cent are expecting an increase in their company car budget compared to just 27 per cent in 2011.

And the number of organisations that have set green targets for the company cars they run – because of fuel and tax savings – has dramatically increased over the past year, from 45 per cent in 2011 to 79 per cent in 2012.

With the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders reporting that the company car sector now accounts for more than half of all new car registrations the road ahead looks much brighter.

Paul Hollick, sales and marketing director, Alphabet said: “A thriving fleet is fundamental to the good health of the wider automotive industry. The optimism identified by the survey therefore makes for an edifying read.

“Fleet has outperformed the private car market through the recession and the government should carefully consider making sweeping changes to vehicle excise duty, company car tax and capital allowances; especially where it affects the market for ultra-low carbon vehicles as company car managers have clearly stated that the cost of going green is a concern.

“We wait with interest to see if the government increases the subsidies for Electric Vehicles to help push the market.

“Meanwhile, an education job is required to address the misapprehension that switching to greener vehicles is a cost to be written off, when in principle pursuing green fleet policies will deliver cost savings in a number of different areas, especially fuel.”

The report also looked at where company car managers are prioritising investment and concluded that pool cars were increasingly seen as a cost-effective and more financially manageable alternative to hire cars and taxis.

See our business car news story: Alphabet launches AlphaCity car sharing club.

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