Monthly Archives: November 2015

Autumn Statement Summary – Including Company Car Tax and Salary Sacrifice

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Comment on Chancellor’s Autumn Budget Statement

Overall, the Autumn Statement was a rectification of an ‘economy in crisis’ with a clear focus on a more environmentally conscious Britain, benefitting the responsible driver.


Company car tax

With the retention of the three per cent diesel supplement in company car tax until 2021 raising an additional £1.36 billion, the determination to meet air quality standards was clear.

Ultra-low emission vehicles

Although the Government is yet to announce the new structure of the Plug-In Car Grant set for next year, the desire for the corporate sector to drive demand shows a progressive outlook on the future of mobility with ultra-low emission vehicles at the centre. Evidenced by a commitment to spend more than £600 million over the next year and between 2020/1, the support for uptake and manufacturing of these vehicles is promising.

Salary sacrifice

Consecutive Budget and Autumn Statement announcements have included a warning about the popularity of salary sacrifice schemes and their impact on the government’s tax take.

The Chancellor told the House of Commons in his latest Statement: “The government remains concerned about the growth of salary sacrifice arrangements and is considering what action, if any, is necessary. The government will gather further evidence, including from employers, on salary sacrifice arrangements to inform its approach.”

Benefit charges 2016/17

One element of the statement relating to benefit charges for 2016/17 may not be kindly received, with employees in receipt of company-funded fuel seeing benefit-in-kind tax bills rising from April 6 next year for private use. The fuel benefit charge multiplier for cars is set to increase from £22,100 to £22,200, with van fuel benefit charge multiplier increasing by only £5 from 2015/16 to 2016/17 and the van benefit-in-kind tax increasing by £20 in the same period.


Another interesting announcement is the end of the right to cash compensation for minor soft tissue injuries for those exaggerated or fraudulent whiplash cases. To accompany this, more injuries can go to the small claims court with the upper limit increasing from £1000 to £5000. The resulting saving in annual insurance costs, which is calculated to decrease annually by £40 – £50, shows a sense of gratitude to the responsible driver.

Road Infrastructure and maintenance

‘Building for the future’ is a key theme projected throughout the statement, with significant government investment in Department for Transport, plans to spend over £15 billion on constructing new roads and £6.9 billion on road maintenance, including a permanent pothole fund, over the next five years. As the biggest investment for 45 years, the Roads Investment Strategy is set to include resurfacing of over 80 per cent of the road network and deliver more than 1,300 miles of additional lanes.

Although the benefit-in-kind tax bills are rising, it is good to see such a forward-looking statement aiming for zero emissions by 2040, a conscious effort to improve the supporting infrastructure whilst complimenting responsible drivers – an encouraging future for sustainable business mobility.

Service & Maintenance packages explained – How much does your vehicle really cost to run?

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How much does your vehicle really cost to run?

Most of us have a pretty good idea of the cost of fuel, insurance and road tax. But when it comes to predicting the cost of service, maintenance and repairs, things can get a lot trickier. This article explains what you can expect from a Service and Maintenance package provided by one of our finance partners, Leaseplan UK Limited t/a Network Vehicles.

As you’d expect, all brand new vehicles come with a warranty that covers the failure of any parts which the manufacturer has guaranteed to work correctly for a certain number of years. Unfortunately, these guarantees tend to come with a list of exclusions, the most common of which is anything which could be considered ‘fair wear and tear’.

This simple phrase is often the reason servicing costs seem to escalate and the final bill ends up being a lot more than originally quoted. For example, over the next few years, how many tyres will you need to replace, how many wiper blades, batteries or bulbs? Then there’s the cost of all the mandatory servicing routines required to keep your warranty valid.

Whilst it might be tempting to put off thoughts of all the costs involved, simply dealing with it as and when necessary, you can be sure that the older the vehicle gets, the more it will cost to service and maintain.

Fixed cost servicing for up to 5 years

Budgeting is so much easier when you can wrap up all your servicing and maintenance costs into one easy to manage monthly payment. It means you can relax, safe in the knowledge that the amount you need to pay has been fixed for the entire duration of the contract.

Our comprehensive maintenance package covers all of the costs involved in scheduled servicing routines, as well as mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements. Of course, we can’t cover anything which requires replacement due to misuse, but if any of the parts covered by your contract fails due to fair wear and tear, or a manufacturing fault, then we’ll get it repaired or replaced at no cost to you. This even includes like for like premium brand tyres.

Quality and value nationwide

Every year we carry out over 150,000 service and repairs nationwide. It’s a scale of operation that gives us immense buying power, without sacrificing quality workmanship. As a result, you can benefit from some of the most competitive prices available and the peace of mind that all work is conducted by accredited garages who only ever use fully approved parts.

It works like this…

When it’s time for a scheduled service, or if any repairs need doing, we’ll arrange for your vehicle to be picked up from your home or work address and deliver it to one of our quality approved garages. And if you need a courtesy car, we’ll get that arranged for you as well.

The whole process won’t take long because your package includes preferential booking times and, if the repair is urgent, we’ll make sure it gets prioritised. Either way, we’ll keep you informed every step of the way. Then, once the work’s complete, we’ll get it straight back to you. It really couldn’t be easier.

If you breakdown…

No matter how well your vehicle is maintained, there’s always the chance of an unexpected parts failure. If this happens to you, you’ll want someone you can rely on to help you get back on the road as quickly possible.

So to give you the best possible service and support, our comprehensive Roadside Assistance Plan is delivered by the AA. And by using all their experience and expertise, we’ve been able to achieve the impressive record of fixing 82% of vehicles at the roadside, with an average attendance time of just 45 minutes.

We can come to your aid whether you’re at home, on the road in the UK or even if you’re travelling across Europe. We’re available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and if we can’t fix it straight away, we’ll help you and your party reach your original destination.

A quick summary

The Network Maintenance Plan covers all parts and labour in relation to:

  • All scheduled servicing and maintenance routines
  • All mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements
  • Replacement of items failing due to wear and tear, such as:
  • Unlimited premium brand tyres via our UK wide chain of fitters and mobile engineers (excluding replacements due to misuse)
  • MOT tests (from 3 years onwards)

The Network Roadside Assistance Plan is available separately, or in addition to, the Network Maintenance Plan and covers:

  • AA patrols
  • Repair or recovery of your vehicle to an onward destination
  • Free of charge replacement vehicle – 24 hrs a day
  • Home Breakdown Assistance
  • European roadside, recovery & repatriation
  • Onward travel, including 24 hour car hire
  • Communications and translation service
  • Foreign travel documentation service (subject to a document fee)
  • Batteries
  • Exhausts
  • Cam belts
  • Wiper blades
  • Alternators
  • Starter motors

We like to be transparent

We don’t believe in small print, so just to make sure you’ve got all the facts, there’s a handful of exclusions for vehicle maintenance you need to be aware of (none of which will be a surprise).

  • Repair or replacement of parts due to driver error or negligence (including misfuelling)
  • Tyres damaged due to misuse
  • Repairs due to accident (whether it was your fault or not), impact, vandalism, theft or misuse
  • Missing or broken items (such as a bent aerial or missing hub caps)
  • Vandalised or stolen wheels or tyres
  • Lubricants, AdBlue or fluid top ups between service intervals
  • Vehicle Glass
  • Adding or removing artwork or lettering, washing, valeting or waxing, oils or fluids outside of normal servicing
  • Roadside assistance provided in mainland Europe only (excluding Northern Ireland)