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Insurers trailing the fleet

MOTOR insurers are competing for the business of ex-company car drivers switching to their own cars after the latest change in taxation, writes Caroline Merrell.

Employees earning more than pounds 8,500 a year are now taxed on 35 per cent of list price if they drive fewer than 2,500 miles a year. The taxable benefit reduces by one-third for 2,500 to 17,999 business miles a year and by two-thirds above 18,000.

AA Insurance has persuaded many of its panel of insurers to offer bonuses. Mark Wood, AA Insurance's managing director, said: 'We can find no- claims discounts for most company car drivers who transfer to their own vehicles, reflecting their years of claim-free motoring with the company.'

The insurers that will offer bonuses provided the insured has a proven track record include Eagle Star, Commercial Union, Guardian and Norwich Union.

Churchill Insurance, the direct insurer, is offering a no- claims discount of 55 per cent off new-business premiums for ex-company car drivers over 30, with three or more claim-free years.

Cornhill is offering comprehensive car insurance for any owner over 30 with no more than one claim in the preceding five years. Premiums are reduced for drivers aged over 35, with further discounts for motorists over 50.

Direct Line also has a scheme for ex-company car drivers. Those who have not claimed for one year will be eligible for a 30 per cent discount, while drivers without a claim for three or more years can attract a 50 per cent discount.