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Business cars lead the way

Employer-provided cars are younger, replaced more often and so ensure new, cleaner technology is used in significant volumes more quickly, says the latest Lex Fleet 2000 Report.

Cars provided by employees are bought new in 78% of cases, for an average price of £14,900, according to the survey.

Vehicles are on average 2.1 years old and replaced every 2.5 years.

Those used simply as a business expense are new in less than 31% of cases, average 4.6 years old and have longer replacement periods of 3.6 years.

Retail owners tend to drive 17,100 miles a year, compared with 22,400 covered by the company car driver.

The Government is tackling the problem of the higher mileage covered by company car drivers with changes in benefit-in-kind tax to be introduced in 2002.

Fleet drivers currently pay tax based on the list price of their car and their total mileage, with discounts for exceeding 2,500 and 18,000 miles.

Government figures show significant groupings of taxpayers just above each of the mileage bands, indicating that drivers are covering unnecessary miles just to cut their tax bills.

Across the company car parc this is estimated to be hundreds of millions of miles. From 2002, the system will be based on carbon dioxide emissions, with no reference to mileage.

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