It was a huge pleasure and my privilege to address the ICFM Annual Conference in Wembley on Tuesday this week.

Slightly depressing subject though – company car tax. The two speakers before me talked all things green. I was struck that our company car system really isn’t helping them in achieving their goals.

In 2002, Gordon Brown changed the system to encourage lower CO2 emissions – arguably to great effect. He seemed to accept that with a small loss in tax he could encourage millions of lower emission, safer cars onto the road. This current Government has set company car taxes so high for conventionally engined cars, even those with the lowest emissions, to the point where for many high mileage fleets there are few sensible alternatives. The upshot of this is that the use of older, more polluting company cars has been extended, and others take cash and drive whatever they want and can afford (e.g. petrol SUVs). It is little surprise that last year was the first year CO2 from new cars actually increased after 15+ years of reduction.

The new rules for electric and PHEV company cars have been a long time coming – and from April 2020 we’ll see better company car tax rates, but only IF manufacturers can bring us the right cars in significant volumes…