AM Online

Double cab market will be hit by tax hike

The 2004 budget will help company van drivers who have no private use, but private use tax will rise, hitting the small market for company double cab pickups.

From April 2005 company van drivers who take their vehicles home after work but are permitted no private use will be exempted from benefit-in-kind tax. The reform of a longstanding anomaly is intended to benefit some 85% of van drivers, but LeasePlan has suggested it will need more thought, since no method has been proposed of proving to the Inland Revenue that private use of vans is not allowed.

Meanwhile, for those van drivers whose employers do permit private use, the scale charge is to rise from a current £500 to £3,000 in April 2007, with £500 added if the employer also provides fuel for private use. This provision is likely to affect a proportion of the market for highly-specified double cab pickups from Japanese importers which have until now offered high-spec company motoring for a fraction of the benefit-in-kind exposure suffered by company car drivers.

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