The government’s benefit-in-kind emissions taxation is making company drivers choose smaller cars.
Lex Vehicle Leasing released its figures for 2003 this week. The UK’s leading contract hire provider’s stats are the best indictor of company car driver's leasing habits.
The company’s 2003 purchasing list suggests that the government’s carbon dioxide taxation is producing the desired effect. Fleet drivers are downsizing, with larger cars losing out to smaller, more efficient vehicles, and with petrol giving up ground to diesel powerplants.
Specifically, Ford’s market-leading C segment Focus replaces the Mondeo as the most popular choice. VW’s Golf and Vauxhall’s Astra make it three small hatches in the top five.
The big losers are just that by comparison. BMW’s 3 series (pictured), the second-most popular company car in 2001, is now a distant fifth in the running. Volkswagen’s Passat, formerly fifth in 2001, slips to ninth in the list. Audi’s A4 drops out of the top ten completely.
The fleet proliferation of diesel-powered cars has also shot up, due to their qualification for lower CO2 tax brackets. Last year they matched petrol-engined variants car for car, rising from just a quarter of cars purchased three years ago. Fleet and business registrations accounted for the majority of new cars on the road last year, with a combined share of 51.3% of the market.