With sales of new cars powered solely by petrol or diesel banned in the UK from 2030, a recent report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that demand for electric vehicles is growing in the UK – accounting for one in 10 car registrations last year – mainly fuelled by businesses or buyers of fleets. Just 4.6% of new consumer vehicles were battery powered.
One Oxfordshire company that is supporting the growth in electric and hybrid cars locally is Your-E Car, which specialises in hybrid and electric vehicles for fleet and personal customers.
Following a successful career in motor parts, sales and leasing, MD Ben Fleetwood, created a leasing business of his own called Red Kite Leasing in 2018. A successful 2019 followed but during lockdown Ben had an epiphany.
“The roads outside our house were absolutely silent for the first two weeks of lockdown 1.0. There was no noise, no pollution and I thought, imagine if the world could stay this way,” says Ben.
In 2020, the re-branded Your E-Car was born.
Ghandi has been credited with saying ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world’, this was Ben’s starting point.
“A number of companies offer general leasing but we wanted our offer to be more specialist. We aren’t going to change the whole world leasing electric cars one at a time, but I feel that we are doing our bit, locally at least. We are increasing the supply and the opportunity for business owners across Oxfordshire to make a sustainable choice for their fleet vehicles.
“Commercial vehicle owners are prepared to look deeper into their environmental impact and by offering staff a choice that includes electric models they allow a whole company to make a difference.”
Driving an electric vehicle needn’t be expensive either. They come with the latest technology, which improves the driving experience, but in reality they may even be better for your bottom line and contribute to a cleaner, better environment.
Until recently, if you’d asked your accountant if you should buy a car through your business, the answer would almost always have been no, because the Benefit in Kind tax you would pay would far outweigh any tax relief you got on the vehicle. However, that all changed last year and as part of the Government’s commitment net zero, business owners are now in a position where, if you buy an electric car, then the benefit in kind tax is just 1%.
There are a number of impressive electric or hybrid models available, but what it even more impressive are the tax savings you can now benefit from by having an electric car in your business. You now get 100% of the cost of the car off set against your profits – on which you pay corporation tax.
If that isn’t reason enough, then consider this; if you are currently funding your car privately, but using it for business, then the money you are using has already had tax deducted. If you are taking a salary or dividends out of your business then HMRC are charging you tax on those funds before you make any payments. But, now, if the company buys the car, then not only do you save Corporation Tax relief on the price of the car, plus the running costs, but you also get to keep more of the money you do take out – because you aren’t funding the car – or you take less out in the first place, so pay less personal tax on it. Either way it’s a win, win.
According to Zap-Map, there are nearly 24,000 chargers installed around the country. So far, they have mainly been concentrated in London and the South East. But Ofgem has said the investment by energy networks would support more ultra-rapid charge points in cities such as Glasgow, Kirkwall, Warrington, Llandudno, York and Truro.
Some 1,800 ultra-fast chargers, capable of charging car batteries in minutes rather than hours, will now be installed across the motorway network – as reassurance for electric vehicle drivers who want to embark on long journeys.