Company Electric Cars Dealt A Blow By The Chancellor

Tuesday, 8. April 2014

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I remember years ago whilst training as an accountant an economics professor saying never assess what the Chancellor is saying at the dispatch box when announcing the budget because the devil is in the detail and the detail is in the small print. And so itr was with the latest budget.

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Whilst company car drivers seemed to have been left alone whilst benefitting from fuel duty freeze in the small print was the ‘leaving alone’ of a previous announcement that benefit in kind (BIK) bands that kick in 12 months from now will continue to 2017 and 2018 tax years. This is the increase of 2 percentage points for each tax band per annum.

So by 2018 the BIK tax applied to cars with a CO2 emission of 76-94g/km will be 19% of the car’s P11D value. So much for looking after the motorist. In 2018 this will raise £240 million for the treasury with a further £480 million in 2019. Those that drive low emission cars will suffer the most as we will see cars under 51g/km dropping into the 13% band with 51-74g/km up to 16% by 2018.

And all this came after the Chancellor announced at the dispatch box that he is ‘increasing the discount for low-emission vehicle.’ I think it is about time for a re-think because this will take anyone currently considering an electric vehicle from a benefit in kind threshold of zero to 13% in 4 years. But it gets worse!

Because if you look at the cost of an electric vehicle compared with the equivalent petrol vehicle the BIK tax is horrendous. Take for example the Nissan Leaf, the Tekna version has an on the road figure, according to What Car of £30,490 before the Government subsidy is applied (and therefore the figure that BIK will be based upon).

Compare this with a Nissan Juke 1.6 petrol Juke, this costs £16,295, the Leaf is nearly twice the price. I seriously think that the government needs to think again about zero emission cars and the disincentive that this brings. By Graham Hill

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD).

Nissan Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show (RHD). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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