UK government urged to end ‘unfair burden’ of car taxes

November 03, 2016

The UK vehicle leasing and rental industry has called on the government to end the ‘unfair tax burden’ imposed on the fleet market, which it warns is harming growth.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), which represents companies that fund and supply millions of cars and vans, says the government should reconsider planned tax increases during its autumn statement to parliament later this month.

The industry is concerned that increases in company car tax planned for next year and the potential closure of low-tax car schemes could undermine business confidence and discourage companies from ordering new cars.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney has written to Philip Hammond, the chancellor of the exchequer, saying a change of policy would send a message of ‘stability and reassurance’ from the government and give companies the confidence to keep buying new vehicles.

Keaney said: ‘Our members and their customers have been disproportionately hit with a higher tax burden than other industries. We are concerned about what impact these measures will have on demand.’

The call comes amid a period of strong growth for the leasing industry which reflects its importance to the economy.

Latest figures show the number of vehicles operated by the UK's largest leasing companies increased by 11% for the year to August 2016.

The FN50 report into the 50 largest leasing companies in the country revealed a record fleet size of nearly 1.6 million vehicles, of which 1.2 million are cars.

Industry consolidation in the leasing sector means the top 10 companies now account for 81% of the fleet.

Lex Autolease remains the UK’s largest leasing company for the 14th consecutive year, after a 14.4% rise in its fleet. It now operates a fleet of more than 330,000 vehicles.

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