UK firms urged to switch to 'greener' company cars

UK firms could save £3 billion annually by switching to 'greener' company cars, according to new research.

The Energy Saving Trust surveyed 400 board-level executives and found that 55 per cent of respondents were encouraged by bosses to cut their carbon emissions from business travel.

New government tax breaks, which allow UK firms to swap company cars for vehicles that emit less than 120 grams of CO2 per kilometre, could hand savings of £250 million for UK employers through cuts in National Insurance contributions, EST said in its report Behind the Wheel II.

Tax changes could lead to a cut in CO2 emissions in the UK of around five million tonnes a year.

UK workers driving greener company cars could save £645 million through reduced Benefit in Kind income tax contributions and £1.2 billion on the fuel bill for driving their cars privately, EST found.

Nigel Underdown, head of transport advice at the EST, said; "Running vehicles costs a lot of money and with fuel prices over £1 a litre it's not going to get cheaper any time soon," he said. "In addition, companies in the business-to-business sector won't get far when tendering for big contracts unless they can prove their environmental credentials.

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