Electric cars benefit from a UK government plug-in car grant (see https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants). When this was launched initially, a £5,000 grant for pure electric vehicles and £3,500 for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles was made available to help discount the product which was available to customers.
Until economies of scale improve, the cost of an alternative fuel vehicle can still be more than the petrol or diesel comparison. The introduction of a grant helped bring more pricing consistency and demonstrated the UK’s support for ultra-low emission vehicles. However, in 2018 the support for a PHEV was removed and the support for pure electric vehicles was lowered to £3,500.
The British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA), is now pushing the government to continue supporting the grants amidst speculation that EVs may soon lose the ability to benefit from a grant. The suggestion that this could be removed may affect the immediate popularity of EVs, in particular for personal car users where company car tax savings are not a consideration.
Car-E-Lease is recommending to the Government that alternative support should be offered if physical grants be removed, such as tax breaks, insurance support, discounted electricity etc. Car-E-Lease adds that if the government genuinely supports the carbon reduction and clean air zone improvements, they need to prove this by supporting the customers making the change.
So why should a company car driver lease an electric car? The first step is to ensure that an alternative fuel car is suitable for your needs and requirements. An easy to use guide is available at https://www.carlease.uk.com/car-e/ which should help you understand which fuel choice may or may not be suitable for your driving styles. Should an electric car be suitable for you, as a company car driver there are considerable benefits available to you (and the company). Not only does the company have the chance to allow all rentals to be offset against corporation tax but it can show its corporate approach to carbon reduction and offset within its fleet. Add to that an ability to make savings on servicing/maintenance (electric cars generally are cheaper to run) and fuel.
A driver operating an electric vehicle will benefit from 0% BiK (Benefit in Kind) tax from 2020 – this is the start of a free company car. Unlike petrol and diesel alternatives with 15-25% BiK bandings, electric vehicles will remove the cost issue surrounding a company car. For some individual drivers, they will save hundreds of pounds per month on their tax bill; what better way to encourage change than offering an incentive like this?
Another possible incentive for EVs may come in the form of green number plates. Very recently you may have noticed the press latching onto some Government consultations which are discussing whether a pure electric vehicle should have a different coloured number plate in green/partial green. The idea is about allowing other motorist to recognise the electric vehicle choices available to them by making them easily distinguishable.
Additionally, in having the ‘green plates’ benefits like free parking, bus lane access or free charging could be offered. This would replicate some of the schemes operating across Scandinavia, like the Norwegian’s approach where electric cars receive an ‘e’ so they can park for free. If you would like to contribute to the debate, have your say at – https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/introduction-of-green-number-plates-for-ultra-low-emission-vehicles
So what is the best car to lease in 2019? The new Tesla Model 3 has been suggested by many to be the revelation of this year, bringing one of the world’s leading products to the mass-market; not quite a ‘cheap’ car, but definitely more affordable to the general population of the UK.