Biffa puts the brakes on its company-car scheme

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The Independent Online

Biffa, the waste-management group that was taken private in a £1.7bn deal last year, has overhauled its expensive company-car scheme as management moves to cut costs.

The existing scheme is graded by seniority; senior management who report to directors can drive a BMW or Jaguar. This scheme is to be replaced by a one-size-fits-all policy which will see up to 600 employees having to swap their vehicles for a Volkswagen Passat.

Employees also have the option of taking a car allowance instead, thought to be worth close to £4,000 a year. Again, the present system is hierarchical, with senior management below director level believed to have been offered closer to £6,000. About 450 of the 600 eligible for a company car choose the vehicle over an allowance.

The new scheme is expected to save Biffa £3m a year from 2012. A spokesman said: "It was clearly an expensive policy, but now staff from the chief executive downwards will have the choice of one reasonable quality car or take the allowance."

Biffa was taken over by Montagu Private Equity, HBOS Fund Investments and Global Infrastructure Partners in Europe's fourth-biggest deal of 2008.

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