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Fleet industry urged to make MPs aware of WLTP issues

The BVRLA and other fleet stakeholders are urging the industry to write to local MPs to highlight the need for fleet-friendly changes to vehicle taxation on the back of the WLTP review.

The government consultation looked at sources of emissions other than exhausts

The BVRLA has warned that failure to act on WLTP could impact the Government’s air quality strategy

The consultation, which closed on Sunday 17 February and is expected to bring changes in the Spring Statement, looks at the impact that the new emissions testing cycle will have on Company Car Tax (CCT) and Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) when it is implemented from April 2020.

A new, more accurate testing procedure, WLTP is expected to increase most cars’ reported CO2 figures by 10-20%, having an inflationary impact on emissions-based CO2 taxes like CCT and VED.

The BVRLA has been vocal – along with the wider fleet industry – on the impact of a lack of action on WLTP, including how it could derail the Government’s own clean air strategy and hike up CO2.

Helped by the BVRLA action, the Treasury says it’s received more than 250 consultation responses, which was much higher than they had expected and includes more than 160 submitted as a result of a campaign spearheaded by the BVRLA.

Now the association, backed by the Vehicle Remarketing Association, is urging fleets to write to their local MP about the review. The aim is to encourage MPs to express their constituent’s concerns to Treasury Ministers, in order to keep up the pressure even after the consultation has ended.

Commenting on the BVRLA’s campaign, Sam Watkins, chair at the VRA, said: “As an organisation, the VRA shares the BVRLA’s concern about how the potential, negative impact of WLTP on the company car sector could have widespread repercussions. Certainly, the Government’s stated intention to do nothing to the bands equates to a relatively substantial increase in company car taxation.

“This is problematic in several respects and, we believe, shows a potential lack of understanding about the company car’s role in both the UK motor industry and wider business community.

“Fundamentally, the company car provides UK business with a method of flexible, cost-effective business transport that is really inaccessible through any other route.

“Making company cars unattractive to employees from a taxation point of view doesn’t mean that those same journeys won’t be made – they will, but in cars provided by employers that will be older, more polluting and potentially also less safe.

“The way in which the company car market provides a continual turnover of relatively new stock through the remarketing sector is perhaps the single most important reason why the UK has among the least polluting vehicle parcs in the world.”

The BVRLA is urging the Government to act in four main areas over the WLTP consultation:

  • Adjust future VED and company car tax bands for 2020 and beyond to account for the increase in WLTP-based CO₂ figures
  • Provide a legacy CCT table for pre-April 2020 vehicles, freezing the rates at 2018/19 level
  • Provide a 4/5-year view of future company car tax and VED bands, enabling fleets and drivers to plan their vehicle choices
  • Ensure that all CO₂-related taxes and charges (e.g. congestion zones, lease rental restriction) are treated consistently under WLTP

To access the BVRLA’s instructions on how to write to your MP, click here.

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.