Uk Fleet Industry Hits Green Target Ahead of Time


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Lex Autolease customers are one step ahead of the game when it comes to driving
down costs and meeting green targets.

Even before April’s new CO2-based tax regime came into force, Lex Autolease
found that the average company vehicle comfortably came in beneath the
industry’s ‘magic’ tax barrier.

A study of the customer fleet during 2008 found that the average CO2 figure per
vehicle was just 158g/km – well under the 161g/km benchmark for higher
allowances on corporation tax. This year, the figure has tumbled to under
152g/km across Lex Autolease’s entire fleet of 350,000 vehicles.

Steve Osborne, Head of Fleet Management at Lex Autolease, comments: “Cost
reduction and green fleet policies go hand in hand so, for the few business that
have not imposed car choice lists directly linked to CO2, now is the time to
act. In the current climate, both employer and employee should be receptive to a
change in policy that not only reduces the private and corporate tax bill, but
also benefits the environment.

“Our customers have really stepped up to the green mark by working with us to
lower CO2, influence employee choices and drive down overall costs on their
fleet. We have supplied over 30,000 vehicles to companies across the UK with
emissions of 120g/km or less and these are the real standard bearers.

“Each of those company drivers is paying the lowest rate of benefit in kind tax
and really getting the most out of their employment package. In turn, the
company could also be making thousands of pounds in post tax savings.”

Lex Autolease expect this downward trend to continue as the Government’s
proposed 2020 target to reduce car emissions becomes ever closer. In a decade’s
time all new vehicles will need to emit just 95g/km of CO2, to comply with this
legislation, which is a 40% reduction on 2007 levels.

Steve Osborne says: “Only a handful of the models currently available would meet
that target today, but we will gradually get closer as new technologies and
alternative fuels are introduced.

“Businesses are often early adopters in this regard; partly because of the tax
benefits, but also because they change their cars every three to four years.
This means older, higher-polluting models are replaced with a new breed of clean
and frugal alternatives.”

Lex Autolease says that despite the proactive approach many fleets have already
taken, there’s more that can be done to reduce CO2 and overall business costs.

Steve Osborne continues: “The rate of tax at the pump is not within our control,
but firms can take giant leaps forward to reduce their overall fuel spend and
taxable income.

“Firstly they should refine their choice lists to bring on board more fuel
efficient and low-emitting vehicles. Next, identify ways for drivers to cover
fewer miles and, finally, work out how to buy fuel smarter on a consistent
basis. Together, these improvements can significantly reduce costs to the bottom
line and help companies improve their overall profitability.”

Top tip for turning your fleet a cost-effective shade of green

Incentivising choice lists to encourage lower CO2 vehicles will usually
stimulate improved rental costs, a lower fuel bill and reduced corporation tax.