Tax and fuel efficient cars are still the number one choice among fleet decision makers, according to new research just published.
GE Capital’s latest quarterly Company Car Trends shows that CO2 ratings again tops the criteria list of businesses.
Along with “fitness for purpose” and “maximum monthly rental”, whether a car is tax and fuel efficient are the criteria used by the fleets surveyed.
CO2 emissions are important because:
1) The tax breaks for companies that lease their cars. For cars with emissions below 130g/km companies can offset 100 per cent of the lease rental against corporation tax.
2) The tax breaks for companies that buy their cars. New cars with emissions of less than 95g/km are eligible for an Enhanced Capital Allowance. The ECA is intended to allow a company to set the whole cost of the asset against its taxable profits in the first year following purchase.
3) The minimising of company car tax from low emission vehicles.
In fact more than 50% of respondents named these as top factors, while all others factors polled less than 20%.
The companies taking part in the survey were asked simply: “What criteria do you use for an employee’s choice of car?”
And while the research highlights the opinions of larger corporate fleets only, they are useful indicators for SMEs.
Gary Killeen, Fleet Services Commercial Leader for GE Capital UK, said: “These results are very much consistent with those that we have seen from our ‘Company Car Trends’ research right through the recession and into the current economic recovery.
“The company car choices that organisations are making in 2014 remain very much based on providing cars that are tax and fuel efficient thanks to their low CO2 rating, are practical for fleet purposes, and can be acquired in a cost effective manner through a defined monthly rental.
“We may be heading towards better economic conditions but the fleet industries general mindset shows no signs of significantly changing.”
Surprisingly, however, the latest research shows that in per centage terms both CO2 emissions and fitness for purpose factors were down in popularity compared with the same survey last year.
Brand image on the other hand increased in popularity, even though it only occupied fifth position in the criteria list.
“The fact that ‘brand image’ has increased in popularity during the last 12 months is perhaps a sign that companies are starting to think more about recruitment and retention issues, and becoming more concerned about presenting attractive car choices as the jobs market improves,” said Gary.
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