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Salary sacrifice uptake to rise in 2013 while average fleet emissions fall, predicts Zenith

The company says it saw a 70% rise in salary sacrifice scheme implementation in 2012 due to a combination of both new customer wins and increased take-up by existing customers. The most popular manufacturers in 2012 were BMW, Audi, Volkswagen, Ford and Citroen, with the preferred models ordered being the BMW 1 Series, Ford Fiesta, Audi A3, Audi A1 and BMW 3 Series, although Zenith also reports a sharp rise in the popularity of the Honda Civic.

2012 also saw a 9g/km drop in average CO2 emissions for all vehicles ordered, from 117g/km in January to 108g/km by December 2012. Zenith says it expects this trend to continue due to Benefit in Kind tax incentives for low CO2 emission cars and an increasingly wide range of low emitting vehicles available.

Diesels remained the most popular fuel type for vehicles ordered in 2012 but were down from an 80% market share in 2011 to 73%, while the proportion of petrol vehicles increased from 16% to 22%. Zenith noted that continued reductions in petrol CO2 emissions and the ongoing price differential is likely to further increase petrol engine models’ popularity.

Hybrid uptake has increased slightly from 2011 and Zenith has seen its first electric Salary Sacrifice cars ordered in the past 12 months. Overall the proportion of alternative fuel type vehicles ordered has increased from 3% to 4% since 2011.

Ian Hughes, commercial director, added: ‘Take-up of alternative fuelled vehicles has been relatively slow so far, which we believe is largely due to a fear of change and a general lack of awareness of the technology. 

‘As Benefit in Kind tax structure continues to incentivise lower emission vehicles, the trend for an average reduction in emissions will continue and the uptake of alternative fuel vehicles will accelerate.’

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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.