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How will the Budget affect the business fleet?

What does it mean?

Thankfully the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) measure will only apply to cars at the moment. Vans and trucks are immune from the changes so there is some relief for those who have large operational fleets. For businesses that have large company car schemes however, this could be bad news.

That being said, the rise will only apply to vehicles that don’t meet the Real Driving Emissions Step 2 (RDE2) standards (which is largely cars that are not recent clean diesel engines). It’s the first step and real sign that the government has showed it’s serious about businesses investing in cleaner fuel-powered vehicles.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom…

Vehicle tracking benefits for HGVs

The Chancellor also announced that he would freeze HGV VED and Road User Levy rates in April 2018 which should provide some relief to haulage and transportation fleets. The Government also announced that they would be willing to take a closer look at the rates and reward those that plan their routes efficiently.

Companies that invest in technology such as vehicle tracking could potentially see that an initial investment now might save those thousands in the future. Vehicle tracking software like RAM Tracking allows businesses to monitor their entire fleet in real-time and help them plot more fuel efficient routes to avoid congestion, make shorter journeys and reduce their carbon footprint.

Chris McClellan, CEO at RAM Tracking said,

“We have long advocated that companies invest in technology to take the stress and cost inefficiencies out of their fleet management. Our award winning technology is used across thousands of businesses in the UK every day and the fact that every movement is monitored and recorded allows our customers the unique chance to analyse their data and make better decisions about route planning. I’m delighted to see the government is willing to reward companies for taking the initiative to be more proactive, more environmentally friendly and more responsive to using innovative technology such as vehicle tracking.”

Fuel duty

It’s important to recognise that the Budget did bring some good news as well. Fuel duty will be frozen in 2018-2019, extending it for a further year which is bound to be greeted with praise considering fuel prices continuing to grow.

Electric vehicles

The Chancellor also noted that companies that invest in cleaner vehicles and newer technology such as driverless cars or electric vehicles could gain from a “new £400m charging infrastructure fund, £100m in plug-in-car grant and £40m in charging R&D”. Hammond also stated that HMRC would clarify the law so that employees or companies who charge their electric vehicles at work would not face a benefit-in-kind charge potentially from next year.

Yet again, if companies are looking to invest in driverless technology, vehicle tracking is the perfect supplement to partner. Data analytics captured from vehicle trackers can not only help plot and measure driving performance by driverless cars but can also help businesses keep in touch with their fleet across the world without even ever having to speak to the driver (or the car!).

In summary

The Budget might not have brought everything businesses were hoping for and there is undoubtedly some frustration regarding diesel cars. However, at RAM Tracking we’re pleased to see that companies that are investing in technology to consider more efficient route planning are going to be rewarded for their investment. Hopefully this Budget is the first step to more improvements and focus on technology across the fleet industry.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, had several key announcements during the latest budget, the most talked about being the tax rise for diesel can owners. For fleet managers and business owners this is likely to hurt the bottom line.

It’s less than a decade ago that the government was encouraging business fleets to take on diesel fuel vehicles for their business operations. Now the government has done a full U-turn and the Chancellor’s diesel benefit-in-kind tax supplement is set to rise from 3% to 4% from as early as April 2018. This echoes recent speculation out of Whitehall that the government could in fact even ban diesel altogether in major cities from 2020.

So where does this leave business owners with a fleet of diesel vehicles?

What does it mean?

Thankfully the Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) measure will only apply to cars at the moment. Vans and trucks are immune from the changes so there is some relief for those who have large operational fleets. For businesses that have large company car schemes however, this could be bad news.

That being said, the rise will only apply to vehicles that don’t meet the Real Driving Emissions Step 2 (RDE2) standards (which is largely cars that are not recent clean diesel engines). It’s the first step and real sign that the government has showed it’s serious about businesses investing in cleaner fuel-powered vehicles.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom…

Vehicle tracking benefits for HGVs

The Chancellor also announced that he would freeze HGV VED and Road User Levy rates in April 2018 which should provide some relief to haulage and transportation fleets. The Government also announced that they would be willing to take a closer look at the rates and reward those that plan their routes efficiently.

Companies that invest in technology such as vehicle tracking could potentially see that an initial investment now might save those thousands in the future. Vehicle tracking software like RAM Tracking allows businesses to monitor their entire fleet in real-time and help them plot more fuel efficient routes to avoid congestion, make shorter journeys and reduce their carbon footprint.

Chris McClellan, CEO at RAM Tracking said,

“We have long advocated that companies invest in technology to take the stress and cost inefficiencies out of their fleet management. Our award winning technology is used across thousands of businesses in the UK every day and the fact that every movement is monitored and recorded allows our customers the unique chance to analyse their data and make better decisions about route planning. I’m delighted to see the government is willing to reward companies for taking the initiative to be more proactive, more environmentally friendly and more responsive to using innovative technology such as vehicle tracking.”

Fuel duty

It’s important to recognise that the Budget did bring some good news as well. Fuel duty will be frozen in 2018-2019, extending it for a further year which is bound to be greeted with praise considering fuel prices continuing to grow.

Electric vehicles

The Chancellor also noted that companies that invest in cleaner vehicles and newer technology such as driverless cars or electric vehicles could gain from a “new £400m charging infrastructure fund, £100m in plug-in-car grant and £40m in charging R&D”. Hammond also stated that HMRC would clarify the law so that employees or companies who charge their electric vehicles at work would not face a benefit-in-kind charge potentially from next year.

Yet again, if companies are looking to invest in driverless technology, vehicle tracking is the perfect supplement to partner. Data analytics captured from vehicle trackers can not only help plot and measure driving performance by driverless cars but can also help businesses keep in touch with their fleet across the world without even ever having to speak to the driver (or the car!).

In summary

The Budget might not have brought everything businesses were hoping for and there is undoubtedly some frustration regarding diesel cars. However, at RAM Tracking we’re pleased to see that companies that are investing in technology to consider more efficient route planning are going to be rewarded for their investment. Hopefully this Budget is the first step to more improvements and focus on technology across the fleet industry.

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