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Thoughts on this company car benefits scenario?

(10 Posts)
sweetheart Thu 25-Feb-16 11:10:35

I work for a small business so we don't typically replace cars every 3 years. My car is the one of the oldest but also one company are least likely to replace in a hurry.

My contract says I'm entitled to the equivalent of a 3 series BMW which I did have. Another person left a couple of years ago and I swapped my car for theirs which is a 1 series to save on tax payments. Over the last couple of years my tax on this has got really high - I'm paying about £280 a month for the car.

Dh and I have a car at home we're about to sell but I'm now thinking of returning my company car and saving on the tax. I'd probably be about £2.5k a year better off.

Where do I stand with work? Can I refuse the company car? There is nothing in my contract about company car benefit and I suppose I'd get mileage instead which isn't really an issue as I barely do any business miles so I don't need to worry about wear and tear.

Is there anything significant I'm missing or should be thinking of to discuss with my boss?

confusedandemployed Thu 25-Feb-16 11:12:41

I can't see why you would be unable to forego the car. For completeness you'd need your contract changed as if that happens ever in most small companies

sweetheart Thu 25-Feb-16 11:17:54

Ahhh but could I have it left in my contract if I wanted to take it back up at any time should situations change?

Chasingsquirrels Thu 25-Feb-16 11:29:18

That's a really high benefit (because your car is oldish it is presumably reasonably high emissions?).
Do you get fuel benefit as well? If you don't have the car what is your fuel benefit position?

sweetheart Thu 25-Feb-16 11:37:51

The car is a 2013 registration. I don't have fuel benefit as I don't really do any business miles so I just pay my own fuel.

sweetheart Thu 25-Feb-16 11:38:29

emissions are 99g co2 per kilo

Chasingsquirrels Thu 25-Feb-16 11:58:27

There are quite a lot of inconsistencies here.

Firstly £280 per month is £3,360 pa, so it is costing you a lot.

Secondly, your first post says your company don't replace every 3 years and yours is one of the oldest, yet as a 2013 plate it is less than 3 years old?

At CO2 of 99g it is pretty low, so it's at least a £50k car (or more, depending on your tax rate). You are paying for this perk, and you need to think about whether it really benefits you.

Most companies will provide a cash alternative to a car, so if you could negotiate this you would be better off not only by the tax saved each month, but also by the net amount of the additional salary.
You have to offset this against the running costs of your own car, particularly if it isn't new and will start to incur more maint costs.

You should also consider your overall income if you were to take a cash alternative, would it take you over the child benefit income level, or over the £100k threshold so that you lose your personal allowance? If so it would be worth considering putting the extra into your pension - if you could get your employer to pay this direct then you (and they) would also save the NI cost of the additional pay.
BUT who knows what's going to happen with pensions in the budget, if you do consider this get financial advice as to what is appropriate for your particular circumstances.

sweetheart Thu 25-Feb-16 13:39:36

Not sure what is inconsistent here.......? My total car benefit is over £8k per year which as a 40% tax payer works out to over £3k which works out monthly to £280 as I previously said. My car is the oldest at 3 years old but company have no plans to replace it in near future. the book value price of the car is £21k - not sure where you got £50k from?

Chasingsquirrels Thu 25-Feb-16 13:50:27

The inconsistencies are as I spelled out in my last post, but aren't really relevant to the consideration you need to make - which is whether the car is worth the cost to you, and what alternatives you have. Both of which you are going to have to consider yourself, looking at the cost of running a car yourself and the additional benefits you could get from your employer if you didn't have the car.

My £50k was based on £280 pm = £3,360 pa, calculated up at as 15% (14-15 rates for a diesel car, it's probably 16% this year but I didn't check) benefit at 45% tax rate, at 40% that makes it even more. It is the list price of the car when new that matters, not the book value now.
If it really is a £21k list price car (I have no idea what most cars cost new) and 99g then something is seriously wrong with the car benefit calculation, you can check this by looking at your p11d.

sweetheart Thu 25-Feb-16 14:58:01

yes - just found that my P11d is wrong, which means my tax return is wrong. Nice tax refund on it's way to me now - this has been most helpful!

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