Technology upgrade paves the way for a speed ....
03 October 2012
.... camera revival on UK roads
Staff choose cash over car for wrong reasons
03 October 2012
Employees offered a company car or a cash alternative should focus on the ‘true value’ of a company car, according to a tax expert.
The advice comes in the wake of a survey of more than 2,000 companies by Towers Watson, a global professional services company, which reveals that cash alternatives are outstripping company cars as the most popular benefit. Almost 80% of managerial level employees are eligible for car benefits with most offered the choice of a car or a cash alternative. Just 12% are offered only the car option. The survey shows that 57% of employees entitled to a company car have opted to take the cash.
Darryl Davis, senior consultant in Towers Watson’s Data Service division, said: “We have seen a steady increase in the value of car schemes per employee, but the trend has been for more schemes to move from company cars to cash-based allowances, or to offer employees a choice.”
Government figures on benefit-in-kind tax reveal a steady decline in the number of company cars over recent years. HM Revenue & Customs estimates that there were 950,000 taxable company cars in 2010/11, down from 970,000 in 2009/10. This is a fall of more than 20% over the past eight years, from 1.2 million company cars in 2004/05.
Jeff Whitcombe, director at BCF Wessex, said: “I have been surprised by some of the reasons suggested for the fall and I think the reduction is too easily attributed to increasing taxation. Since 2002, when the minimum was 15% of a car’s list price, the minimum appropriate percentage has fallen to as little as 5%, excluding EVs, and it won’t reach 15% again until 2016. Over this same period, the adoption of low- emission cars has been supported by the availability of first-year allowances, which significantly reduce the wholelife cost of qualifying cars.”
Whitcombe believes the double-dip recession has been the single-most influential factor. “With company car tax rates set for the next five years, as the economy improves I would encourage drivers and employers to use this to their advantage by planning ahead, and focusing on the true value of the company car,” he explained. “For example, take a higher-rate employee who is considering whether to take a Toyota Prius T3 as his new company car or to take a £7,000 gross cash alternative and make his own arrangements.
“With a list price of £23,950 and CO2 emissions of just 89g/km the income tax due this year would be £958, or just 4% of the car’s list price. If the employee took the cash alternative, he would pay tax and NIC of £2,940 and would then have to acquire, maintain and insure his own car.”
Paris Motor Show – new Range Rover
01 October 2012
Jaguar F-Type sportscar unveiled
01 October 2012
Jaguar marked a return to its roots at the Paris Motor Show by unveiling its new F-Type.
Road deaths increase confirmed
01 October 2012
Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) confirm that 1,901 people were killed in road accidents in 2011, an increase of 3% on 2010 figures.
Meanwhile, 23,122 people were seriously injured, an increase of 2% on 2010 figures and the estimated number of people killed in drink-drive accidents increased by 30 to 280. The provisional number of killed and seriously injured because of drink driving rose by 5% to 1,570.
Drink driving accounts for more than half of the increase in road deaths. Of the increase in the number of people killed on our roads (51), 30 can be attributed to drink driving. Failing to look properly was the most significant contributory factor, reported in 42% of all accidents.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "The increase in deaths and serious injuries because of drink driving is absolutely shocking. It accounts for more than half of the increase in road deaths. We must see a drink driving education campaign, backed up with enforcement, to put an end to these completely unnecessary deaths. With last year's surprising increase in deaths and early indications from 2012 that a trend could be developing, the IAM urges the new road safety minister to make road safety his absolute priority.”
The DfT statistics also reveal that 205 people were killed or seriously injured in an accident where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor. Worryingly, the shocking statistic is an 8% rise on the previous year’s figures and goes against a year-on-year decrease since TyreSafe was formed.
“These latest figures are very disturbing, especially given that the number of casualties in all road accidents also rose for the first time in many years,” said Stuart Jackson, chairman, TyreSafe. “It really does reinforce the need for drivers to regularly inspect their tyres to make sure they are safe and legal. October’s tyre safety month is the perfect opportunity to carry out some basic tyre checks and help put a stop to this needless loss of life.”
The figures show that three-quarters (75%) of all people killed on roads in the UK in 2011 were male and 412 people were killed in crashes involving a young driver age 17–24 - accounting for 22% of all road deaths in 2011.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “We hope these statistics will spur the government to implement progressive policies that we know help make walking and cycling safer, and prevent young driver crashes.”
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging greater collaboration with Government on road safety following the publication of annual casualty figures which show the first increase in road deaths since 2003.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: "These figures must be taken as an opportunity to revise the way we work to make roads safer. It is a chance for road safety professionals and the new ministerial team at the Department for Transport to come together and discuss the way forward.
"While we appreciate that the Government has tough funding decisions to make, we must now do more to arrest and reverse the number of people being killed or hurt on our roads. Now is the time to drop the proposal to increase the motorway speed limit to 80mph, and the decision not to set casualty reduction targets in the Government's ‘Strategic Framework for Road Safety'.
“The drink-drive limit should be lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg – in-line with the proposed changes in Scotland & Northern Ireland - and Government, the insurance industry and road safety bodies should work together to make the best use of black box technology in vehicles, especially to help young drivers and at-work drivers."