New benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates will apply to all new company cars registered from today (April 6), with a zero-percentage rate for pure electric vehicles (EVs).
The new company car tax rates were published in the Spring Budget, after fleets had been waiting for them to be confirmed since they were first revealed last year.
The annual BIK cost to a company car driver for a Kia E-Niro registered before April 6, for example, was £1,214 in 2019/20, but this falls to zero in 2020/21, £76 the following year and then £152 for the next three tax years up to and including 2024/25.
Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low, the joint Government and industry campaign to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, said: “The Government’s benefit-in-kind tax rates are the latest of a host of incentives on offer for people considering the switch to electric.
“We expect that this company car benefit will encourage further EV options to be introduced to fleets, as companies work to pass on the tax savings to their employees. It will also add further momentum to the UK’s EV market, which grew an impressive 21% in 2019.”
However, with company car tax now based on CO2 values from the new, stricter Worldwide Harmonsied Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) some company car drivers and fleets could end up paying more tax.
A new study from Cap HPI suggests that the average petrol, diesel or hybrid car has seen a 19.7% increase in CO2 under WLTP and BIK increases of £714 a year, while VED has jumped £300.
The introduction of clean air zones (CAZs) is to be delayed until the Government overcomes the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rebecca Pow, a junior minister at the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra), says the move will provide “certainty” to the commercial fleet industry.
In a letter to David Wells, the chief executive of the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Pow acknowledged it was a “difficult time” for the industry.
She said: “The freight industry is an important part of our response (to the COVID-19 outbreak) and we will keep working with you to ensure you can continue your vital role.”
The Government has a legal obligation to deliver compliance with air quality limits in the shortest possible time, which Pow says the Government still intends to deliver.
However, she told Wells that in order to provide certainty to those affected by clean air zones, Defra will work with local authorities to delay their introduction introducing until after the COVID-19 outbreak response.
“We will keep the timetable under review but we expect the introduction of clean air zones to be no earlier than January 2021,” she said.
Inchcape said today that its business had been adversely impacted by COVID-19 although it was still operating at reduced levels in 14 markets.
It has taken “swift action” to reduce costs and capital expenditure and the board directors have taken a 20% cut in salary in the second quarter.
“Given the high level of uncertainty around the duration and impact of COVID-19, we are exploring other debt options to further increase our liquidity and flexibility, including the Coronavirus Corporate Financing Facility launched by the UK Government.
“In this context the board has decided to preserve cash and no longer recommends the payment of the previously announced final dividend of 17.9p per ordinary share,” it said.
The company will publish its trading update on 21 May 2020.
Arnold Clark has donated two boxes of seat covers to nurses in Bradford.
Aneurin Bevan University Health Board initially tweeted asking for donations of disposable car seat covers for Frontline District Nurses and Community Teams to help to reduce the risk of infection.
Several companies have responded, providing seat covers to healthcare workers in their areas.
These includes LSH Auto in Stockport and Kwik Fit nationwide.
Pendragon will be donating the 20% of chief executive officer Bill Berman’s salary to the NHS at his request.
This 20% is part of a voluntary reduction in salary for corporate staff announced by Pendragon protect its financial position during the coronavirus crisis.
The company is also placing over 80% of its UK operating staff on furlough.
The furlough will be for a 21-day period.
The voluntary reduction of corporate compensation is as follows:
- Board Members and Senior Leadership salary reductions of up to 20%
- Upper management salary reduction of up to 15%
- Other corporate and field support personnel salary reduction of up to 10%.
Berman said: “My priority has been and will continue to be, the safety and wellbeing of our associates, customers and partners in the communities we serve throughout the United Kingdom.
“Supporting our first responders and frontline workers must be our priority as residents and citizens of this great country.
“Each day the men and women of the NHS put themselves in harm’s way in order to save the lives of people they have never met. Every little bit we can do to help the NHS will make a difference.”
The company is also donating 20,000 disposable seat covers to local health trusts and offering 25% off to all first responders and frontline workers for any maintenance or warranty work needed on their vehicles through the end of April at all operating Pendragon service centre locations.
Cazana has launched KeyworkerGarages.co.uk, an online aftersales portal designed to guide frontline workers to maintain their vehicles and stay mobile during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.
The new website contains information on the service centres that are still offering motor support services to key workers and will direct NHS workers, police, delivery drivers to their nearest provider.
To get started, keyworkers have to enter their postcode to access specific location details, opening hours and key contacts.
Cazana acknowledged that, despite many business shutdowns, there are still millions of keyworkers, volunteers and support staff who need their vehicles repaired and there are a number of service centres staying open to support this group and willing to help.
The team at Cazana have collated the data of open service centres from their partner dealers that remain open.
Cazana encourages any centres not listed to submit their details on the site to keep the website up to date.