Some of your questions answered
What are the key differences between taking a car allowance compared to running a company car?
A car allowance is subject to tax and Class 1 National Insurance Contributions as earnings through the payroll.
A company car is subject to a car benefit charge and the employer must report it to HM Revenue & Customs on form P11D after the end of each tax year.
The tax is paid either by direct payment to HMRC or via a restriction to the individuals tax code.
The employer is liable to Class 1A National Insurance Contributions on the benefit. The benefit is
calculated using the list price of the car and accessories multiplied by the appropriate
percentage arrived at by reference to the fuel type and CO2 emissions figure.
Adjustments are made for capital contributions or private use contributions made by the employee.
As the situation may vary from car to car, it is best to call us for individual advice.
If the employer provides fuel for a company car, there is also a car fuel benefit charge
unless it can be demonstrated that the employer pays for no fuel for private mileage
(not even £1 worth).
The fuel benefit is calculated using a fixed multiplier, which for the
current tax year is £24,100 and the appropriate percentage already calculated for the
car benefit. The employer may claim Capital Allowances on company cars.
What is the significance of a car model’s CO2 emissions in terms of selecting a company car?
The car benefit is calculated as a percentage, which is based on the level of CO2 emissions. The higher the level of CO2 emissions,
the higher the percentage used, up to a current maximum of 37%.
Businesses can now operate and run 100% electric vehicles, such as the Tesla Model 3, what are the tax benefits in doing so?
The benefit charge is nil if the company car cannot produce CO2 emissions under any circumstances when driven.
Some employees use their private car while on business - what are the implications of doing so?
Business mileage travelled in private cars or vans may be claimed at tax-exempt rates of up to 45p per mile for the first 10,000 miles per annum and 25p per mile thereafter.
This is known as AMAP Rates. If the employee takes other employees on the business journey,
they can claim an additional 5p per passenger per business mile. The exempt rates are
deemed to cover a proportion of the vehicle running and maintenance costs as well as fuel
costs. A business mileage log showing the date, start and end locations of the journey, the
purpose and the mileage should be kept, to support the claims.
It is often said that a pick-up truck is tax efficient for a business; can you explain why this is?
Certain pick-up trucks commonly referred to as double cab pick-ups are classified as vans
for HMRC purposes. Vans attract completely different tax rules and there is no benefits
charge whatsoever if there is no significant private use of the van (travel to and from work
excepted). In basic terms, to qualify as a van the double cab pick- up must have a payload
of 1 tonne (1,000 kg) or more.
What are the business benefits of running a fleet solely on contract hire?
The main benefit is cash flow; the employer pays the monthly lease cost without expending
capital reserves on purchasing the vehicles. In addition, if the vehicles are used for business
travel, the employer can reclaim 50% of the VAT. Of course, there is also the advantage of
being able to afford to change the cars for newer and better models at regular intervals.
Tax is a complicated area for employees to understand, if someone needed to remember one thing what should it be?
If your employer provides fuel for your company car, it is not worth incurring a car fuel benefit unless you have high private mileage.
To calculate how much fuel benefit you'll have to pay, you need to calculate the vehicle's
benefit in kind with a fuel charge multiplier. The benefit in kind or BIK tax is evaluated by
multiplying the car’s CO2 emission level, the value of the car when new - including any
modifications - and your income tax bracket.
An average fuel benefit charge would be £18,800 x 23% = 4324. In terms of tax this would
amount to £864.80 or £1729.60 for a 40% taxpayer. Remember, your employer needs to
provide only £1 worth of private fuel and you will incur the full fuel benefit charge. To avoid it,
the employee must keep a mileage/journey log to support his/her business mileage claim
and they should claim per mile at HMRC’s Advisory Fuel Rates, which are currently:
|1400cc or less
|1401 – 2000cc
|1600cc or less
|1601 – 2000cc
These are treated the same as vehicles with petrol or diesel engines.
4p per mile.
Alternatively, the cost of private mileage may be reimbursed to the employer using the same rates. Again, a mileage log would be required to support the calculation.
For further information or guidance please go to the following link: hmrc.gov.uk/cars
Diesel Particulate Filters
Diesel particulate filters are necessary to reduce the amount of harmful particles released from diesel vehicles.
Although particulate filters are very effective in dramatically reducing the amount of particulates emitted from diesel vehicles, most filters need
to burn the trapped particulates off fairly regularly, known as regeneration. This usually requires the vehicle to be driven at over 50mph for a short period of time.
This fact sheet will help you decide whether vehicles using particulate filters are suitable for your drivers.
What is a Diesel Particulate Filter?
Diesel particulate filters are used to reduce the exhaust emissions
as required by European legislation, especially particulate matter.
A particulate filter traps most of the soot that is produced during diesel
combustion and would normally travel down the exhaust and into the
atmosphere. These particulates can cause respiratory problems if people
are exposed to high concentrations overtime.
Particulate Filters Need to "Regenerate"
A filter can hold a certain amount of soot, but not a huge quantity, so
it needs to regularly go through a process of regeneration in order to clear
out the soot and allow the vehicle to operate properly. Regeneration occurs
when the filter reaches a sufficiently high temperature, allowing the soot
to be converted to a much smaller amount of ash. On most systems,
to allow the filter to automatically regenerate, the engine should be used
regularly at a sufficient speed, to ensure a high enough temperature of the
exhaust gas is reached.
Although it may vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, typically a
vehicle must be driven at 50mph or above for at least 20 minutes in order
to automatically regenerate the filter. During the regeneration phase, high
temperatures in the filter may cause a slight smell, especially during the
What Happens If It Doesn't Regenerate?
If the vehicle is not driven in a way that automatically regenerates the
particulate filter, it will build up an excessive amount of soot, which, if not
resolved, will reduce the performance of the vehicle and damage the filter.
If the filter does build up too much soot, a vehicle warning light will
appear to alert the driver. The problem can usually be resolved by
allowing the filter to automatically regenerate until the warning light
goes out – i.e. by driving the vehicle at 50mph or above for at least 20
minutes. The vehicle handbook will have specific guidance for the vehicle.
If traffic conditions and speed limits do not allow the vehicle to be driven
so that the filter regenerates, it will have to be returned to a dealer for
a forced regeneration to clear the filter. If the warning light is ignored and
the vehicle is driven without regenerating the filter, it will cause damage
to the vehicle, which will not be covered by warranty or our maintenance
agreement. We are aware of businesses in the UK who have incurred costs
in the region of £1,000 to £1,500 after a driver has failed to follow the
correct regeneration process.
Self-Heating Particulate Filters
The majority of vehicle manufacturers now have diesel particulate filters
that require the regeneration cycle to be driven, but not all.Some have
systems that can heat up the particulate filter and regenerate it without
the need for a higher speed drive cycle. Some inject fuel straight into the
filter which burns and therefore increases the temperature in the filter, and
others have heaters built into the filter. For specific details of individual
models, please refer to manufacturers’ websites.
Alternatives for Urban Drivers
If drivers are restricted in their ability to regenerate a diesel particulate
filter through driving at higher speeds, there are other vehicles that can
be chosen which do not use this technology.Diesel models with the
built‐in heating systems are an option, or alternatively, a petrol, petrol
hybrid, electric or alternatively fuelled vehicle may be more suitable,
especially in urban only driving conditions.
Which Drivers Should Order These Vehicles?
Diesel particulate filters significantly reduce harmful
emissions and are vital for diesel vehicles meeting European
tailpipe emissions, but care is needed when using this
technology in predominantly urban driving conditions.
Therefore check the type of particulate filter on any diesel car
with an urban drive‐cycle and make sure it’s suitable,
otherwise consider a different fuel type or vehicle technology.
Maintenance Package – What’s Included?
Maintaining your vehicle to the very highest standard is essential and a maintenance inclusive arrangement can eliminate
all risks and costs associated with a fleet of vehicles as well as taking away the administration burden.
The Standard Maintenance Package Includes:
All Manufacturers scheduled servicing in addition to any routine and unexpected maintenance issues:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements including associated parts and labour due to fair wear and tear
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Cam belts, Wiper blades, Alternators, Starter Motors.
- MOT tests
- Unlimited Premium Branded tyre replacements including valve and balance
- Free mobile tyre fitting service - At a convenient location for you by appointment
- Tyres - No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres
Free Service Booking and Management Service:
- Free collection and delivery from home or work address
- Free wash and vac
- Free online booking service
- Regular progress updates on repairs
- Preferential booking times – urgent repairs prioritised
- Downtime managed to a minimum
- Accredited garages including dedicated LCV networks (Often available out of normal working hours)
- Courtesy car upon request (subject to availability)
Valuable Benefits for you include:
- Planned fixed cost budgeting
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with problematic vehicles and manage all issues to a successful resolution
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract.
And, if selected:
Comprehensive Roadside Assistance Cover 24/7 365 Days a year including free European Travel Breakdown Assistance:
- Free of Charge 24hr replacement Vehicle
- At home and roadside attendance
- Average time to attend 49 minutes with 80% roadside fix rate
- Repair or Recovery to onward destination
- Onward travel – taxi, train and air fares including accommodation for up to 8 passengers.
- Repatriation back to UK
- Onward travel incl. accommodation
- Communications and translation service
- Foreign Travel Documentation Service (Subject to Document Fee) Valid for 12 Months
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. (bent aerials, missing hub caps)
- Vandalised and Stolen wheels and or tyres, Misfuelling, Lubricant and fluid top-ups between service intervals. e.g. oil top-ups, screenwash top-ups
These details are an overview and there may be minor variations with different funders. Ask your account manager for more information.
What is Finance Lease?
A finance lease is a form of flexible leasing to fund the use, but not the ownership, of a vehicle and is ideally suited for VAT registered businesses.
The leasing company (lessor) hires the vehicle to the customer (lessee) for an agreed period of time (the primary period of hire) for an agreed monthly sum.
A balloon payment can be added to reduce the rentals. The balloon payment is the responsibility of the hirer, it is not a guaranteed future.
The key features of Finance Lease
Finance lease is particularly attractive to VAT-registered businesses using commercial vehicles
- Fixed monthly rentals cover the rental of the vehicle. Maintenance is not included but could be arranged by OVL under a separate agreement.
- The monthly rentals are calculated by taking the following into consideration:
- The cost of the vehicle (excluding VAT)
- The period of the lease
- Anticipated residual value of the vehicle (sometimes called the balloon payment)
- Although you never take ownership, at the end of the contract a final rental
(balloon) is payable. Usually, this means the vehicle is sold and a
proportion of the proceeds of the sale are returned to the lease holder. Or
you can hold on to the vehicle for a small annual cost.
The key benefits
- Low initial rental
- Fixed rentals for the whole package, making budget planning easier
- Flexible terms to meet your finance requirements
- There are no mileage restrictions but your choice will affect the future residual value of the vehicle
- The interest rate is fixed for the duration of the lease
- You must keep the vehicle in a well maintained condition. This will affect the residual value at the end of the lease
- You will need to meet the service requirements and return the vehicle with the maintenance records
- The customer retains the risk of the resale of the vehicle at the end of the contract. at contract end, the estimated resale value based on the
chosen vehicle, term and mileage. All sales proceeds, less fees, are used to settle the estimated resale value, which may result in surplus or deficit payments
- The vehicle must be insured with full comprehensive cover
What happens at the end of the contract?
- Return - the vehicle to the Leasing Company who will sell it and refund
any surplus sale proceeds to the customer, usually 95% of the sold price.
If the value of the vehicle is in negative equity (only likely to happen if
there is a balloon) then the hirer is liable for any shortfall.
- Sell - the vehicle to an independent third party. The hirer receives the full
sale proceeds and refunds the Leasing Company a fixed percentage,
usually 5% of the sold price.
- Continue - to use the vehicle for as long as they want on a payment of an
annual secondary period rental (commonly known as a peppercorn
rental). This is normally the equivalent of one monthly rental. This option
is not normally available where there is a balloon rental payable.
Why should I choose finance lease from OVL?
There are many reasons to choose OVL. We’re one of the UK’s leading vehicle leasing providers with over 30 years’ experience. With dedicated Account Managers, we can
help take the hassle away whether you need one or 1,000 vehicles.
We offer pretty much any make or model of vehicle currently on the market, covering cars and vans of all sizes and to suit a range of budgets.
What is Personal and Business Contract Hire?
Contract hire is a popular type of vehicle leasing that’s a simple way for you to get
behind the wheel of a brand new vehicle. You’ll spread the cost and always know what
your monthly payment will be. Plus you avoid the significant upfront investment that
comes with buying a vehicle outright.
Contract hire is flexible – you’ll be able to choose from a vast range of cars and vans,
with a contract length and mileage to suit your needs. Additional products like
maintenance packages and insurance can also be built into your monthly payment.
Here is a rundown of some of the most commonly asked questions about contract hire and how you could get your hands on your next brand new vehicle.
How does contract hire work?
You choose a car or van, how long you’d like to keep it, and how many miles you’re expecting to do in it each year.
Decide if you’d like any optional extras, such as heated seats or sat nav, and how
much you’d like to pay upfront. A typical up-front payment is equivalent to six months’
rental, but this can be reduced, or increased as required. All of this information is used
to calculate the monthly cost to you of leasing the vehicle. That’s the cost that you’ll
then pay each month over the duration of the contract. Once the contract’s over, as
long as the vehicle’s in good condition and within the mileage limit, you simply hand it back.
We have a great selection of offers on cars and vans to help you choose.
How long can I lease a vehicle for?
Contract hire gives you the option to lease a vehicle for a fixed period of time, which is between two and five years.
What is the cost of contract hire?
This depends on a number of factors, including the make and model of the vehicle you
choose, the contract length and the mileage you opt for. The lower the mileage over
the term of the agreement, the lower the monthly payment. You’ll need to make an
upfront payment followed by fixed monthly payments over the length of the contract.
The higher the upfront payment, the lower the monthly rental.
What mileage can I choose?
It’s up to you – although annual mileage options go from a minimum of 5,000 to a maximum of 50,000 miles per year.
We understand that it’s hard to predict what might be around the corner, and that our
customers’ driving needs can change over the period of their lease. That’s why we are
happy to talk through your options at any point in your contract should you need to
renegotiate your mileage. You might even be able to take advantage of a cheaper
monthly payment if you’re doing less miles than you thought.
Just contact us and we’ll take care of the rest.
What is covered by the monthly payments?
- Vehicle Excise Duty/Road Tax: Vehicle Excise Duty, commonly referred to as road tax, is included in the lease agreement, for the duration of the contract.
- Warranty: All new lease vehicles will come with the standard manufacturer warranty.
- Delivery: The majority of leasing deals include free delivery to a UK mainland address of your choice.
What's not covered/optional?
- Maintenance: Lease agreements do not include maintenance as standard, but you can often include a maintenance package with your lease, which will generally cover the
annual service, replacement tyres plus wear and tear items. NB If you do not include a maintenance package, it your responsibility to have the vehicle serviced
according to the manufacturer's service schedule. The book should be stamped at the time of service to keep the history of the car.
- Glass replacement is not included but is usually covered by your insurance policy.
- Insurance: It is your responsibility to arrange insurance from the day of delivery as insurance is not included.
All lease vehicles must also be insured on a fully comprehensive insurance policy.
What additional services are available with contract hire?
You can add maintenance and breakdown to the monthly lease cost. Doing this will give you even greater certainty around your vehicle costs.
What vehicles can I choose?
We supply all makes and models of Cars, Minibuses and Vans. AS there is a huge
selection of cars and vans available, and because you’re spreading the leasing
payments over a period of time, you might have more options than you think. You’ll
have the opportunity to drive a brand new vehicle, built to your specification, which
you might not be able to afford to buy outright.
Vans will normally be expected to include ply lining to protect the inside of the van.
Will I own the vehicle?
No, it’s owned by the leasing company (funder) that finances your contract hire.
What happens at the end of the contract?
In most cases, you simply return the vehicle and take out a new lease on a new
vehicle. We can arrange a seamless changeover. When the funder come to collect
your old vehicle, it will be inspected for any damage or issues. Providing you return it
within the terms of your contract and without damage, there won’t be any hidden
surprises. The funder takes on the risk of depreciation and deals with selling the
vehicle on. You just have to decide what to do for your next vehicle. Of course if you
love the vehicle you’re in, you can usually extend the length of your lease.
What is business contract hire?
Business contract hire lets businesses finance their vehicles in exactly the same way
as described above - over a fixed period of time, with an initial payment, agreed
mileage and subsequent fixed monthly payments over the duration of the contract.
The rentals are subject to VAT, which may be partly reclaimable depending on your
businesses VAT position. There may well be other financial advantages which we
would be able to advise you of on an individual basis.
What is personal contract hire?
Personal contract hire works in the same way as business contract hire, but the contract is between the leasing company and the individual.
The only other difference is that VAT isn’t reclaimable.
Here's some end-of-contract tips:
- You should return the vehicle in a safe and roadworthy condition, with all the appropriate documentation, spare keys and equipment.
- You should service the vehicle according to the manufacturer's service schedule. The book should be stamped at the time of service to keep the history of the car.
- Before the vehicle is returned, clean it properly to allow a thorough inspection.
- Read the BVRLA Fair Wear and Tear Guide to learn what's acceptable and what's not.
Why should I choose contract hire from OVL?
There are many reasons to choose OVL. We’re one of the UK’s leading vehicle leasing providers with over 30 years’ experience. With dedicated Account Managers,
we can help take the hassle away whether you need one or 1,000 vehicles.
We offer pretty much any make or model of vehicle currently on the market, covering cars and vans of all sizes and to suit a range of budgets.