No doubt many of you will be looking at your payslips and suddenly realising the impact of the Chancellor’s change to the company car tax rules on your take home pay.
“Thanks George,” you probably muttered. Or, perhaps, something even a little stronger…
But amongst all the rumblings of driver discontent, and the commentary about further company car tax rises, fuel duty increases, and the rest of the usual Budget introspection and examination, was a change to the tax allowances on car leasing.
As you can imagine, this immediately registered on my radar.
So, what is happening? Well, if you run a fleet of leased company cars you can offset the cost of the lease against the profit and loss account. For those cars with CO2 emissions up to 160g/km, you can claim the full amount of the lease.
Not any more. From April 2013, the Chancellor has lowered the barrier to 130g/km. Any car above this limit and there is a 15% restriction.
Which got me thinking. What are my top 10 sub-130g/km cars? As we all like lists, here’s my top 10 sub 130g/km cars to beat the new leasing rules:
Audi A4 Avant2.0 TDI SE 143PS (124g/km): Stylish carry-all for grown ups.
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics BluePerformance Auto (109g/km): Sets so many benchmarks it has to be here – and it’s an auto, too.
BMW 520d SE Auto 8-speed Auto (123g/km): Another BMW? But given any list like this must have the 320d ED, it felt unfair to exclude the 5 Series, which is a brilliant achievement for such a big executive. And it’s an auto.
Citroen DS5 2.0 HDi 16V Hybrid4 200hp DStyle Airdream (107g/km): New to the market, stylish and different. Hybrid diesel gives it low tax too – along with 200hp!
Ford Mondeo Hatch 2.0 Duratorq TDCi 140PS Zetec (129g/km): Brilliant all-round performer. Enough said.
Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Coupe 2.2 eD4 150hp Prestige 2WD (129g/km): OK, you think I’ve taken leave of my senses. A Range Rover. But a Range Rover qualifying for the full leasing allowance? C’mon! It’s got to be here.
Mercedes C-Class Saloon C220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY SE G-Tronic Plus (125g/km): Three pointed star grace, now with low emissions.
MINI Countryman 2.0 Cooper SD (122g/km): A MINI attached to an air inflator. But the pumped up Countryman is none the worse for it.
VW Golf 1.6 TDI Match BlueMotion Technology 105PS (107g/km): They don’t come much better than this.
Volvo V40 1.6 D2 115HP ES NAV Start/Stop (94g/km): New V40 promises much. But virtually any car from Volvo’s DRIVe range would qualify here. Astonishingly low CO2 emissions.