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Company cars remain ‘cleanest’ despite CO2 rise

The BVRLA’s Quarterly Leasing Survey shows that average CO2 figures for new leased cars has risen to a five-year high, but fleets continue to maintain the lowest average.

PCH cars averaged 137g/km and BCH cars 116g/km CO2

PCH cars averaged 137g/km and BCH cars 116g/km CO2

The average has risen to 118g/km CO2, up 7% since early 2017 and set to continue to rise, thanks largely to the increasing share in petrol and personal lease vehicles, and as the inflationary impact of more accurate WLTP emissions testing takes effect, the BVRLA has said.

However, the contrast between emissions for new personal contract hire (PCH) and business contract hire (BCH) vehicles is stark, with PCH cars at an average of 137g/km and BCH cars coming in at 116g/km CO2.

This rise in emissions is being mirrored in the wider new car market, where average CO2 emissions are also at a five-year high, of 129g/km.

BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney, said: “The company car fleet is still the cleanest on the road, and there are signs that it is finally getting the recognition it deserves.”

“The WLTP test regime has been pushing up average emission figures, so we welcome the Government’s recent decision to limit this impact on company car tax (CCT) rates. When you combine this with the increasing availability of RDE2-compliant diesels, which bring a further 4% reduction in CCT, the future looks much brighter for the company car market than it did a few weeks ago.”

“The average new personal lease car emits 18% more CO2 than its company car equivalent, and this revised CCT regime makes it easier for fleets and drivers to make the right choices.”

Another milestone

The survey also showed the petrol market share surpass 50% for the first time, to 52% for the first three months of 2019. In addition, the big loser continues to be diesel, which saw registrations for the fuel type fall by 15% year-on-year, and fall to a 40% market share.

Meanwhile, the hybrid share has fallen to 5%, due to supply shortages rather than a lack of demand, while pure-electric registrations climbed to more than 1% of the market share for the first time.

“There is no sign of the move from diesel to petrol abating, but we are concerned about the decline in plug-in hybrid registrations,” added Keaney.

“Members are reporting some major supply shortages for the latest long-range EVs and plug-in hybrids have a massive role to play in providing zero-emission capable vehicles that can address legitimate range anxiety issues. The Government needs to support this market and should reinstate the Plug-in Car Grant for the latest, more efficient plug-in hybrid models.”

More market insight into the vehicle leasing market can be accessed by downloading the BVRLA’s Q1 Quarterly Leasing Survey infographic.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Jonathan Musk

Jonathan turned to motoring journalism in 2013 having founded, edited and produced Autovolt - one of the UK's leading electric car publications. He has also written and produced books on both Ferrari and Hispano-Suiza, while working as an international graphic designer for the past 15 years. As the automotive industry moves towards electrification, Jonathan brings a near-unrivalled knowledge of EVs and hybrids to Fleet World Group.