Longer life for car fleets

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The Independent Online
EMPLOYERS are requiring staff to keep their company cars longer and reducing the choice of models, according to a report published today by Monks Partnership, writes Roger Trapp.

The executive remuneration adviser's 1994 edition of Company Car Policy UK, published in association with Lease Plan, reports that 36 per cent of cars are kept for 70,000 miles or more, compared with 28 per cent a year ago. Meanwhile, 37 per cent are kept for more than three years, against 24 per cent last time. The change has been prompted by the greater reliability of vehicles.

As fleet operators move towards deals with one manufacturer, even directors are being denied choice. Only 62 per cent, against 69 per cent a year ago, were able to choose any model up to a price limit.

However, to make this reduced choice more acceptable, companies are allowing staff to trade up to better cars by making a contribution to the cost. In addition, 60 per cent of larger companies now allow 'status' or 'perk' car users to opt for cash instead - though take-up rates are low as cars remain tax-efficient.

Larger companies, in particular, also claim to be promoting 'green' policies by such means as encouraging use of diesel, unleaded fuel and catalytic converters.