The desire to grab headlines by industry media on the dramatic decline of the company car are both unfairly negative and misleading. That’s according to leasing broker Fleet Alliance.

HMRC reported 940,000 company car drivers, a figure that has fluctuated mildly between 940,000 and 950,000 since tax year 2010-11. The latest statistics cover benefit in kind recorded on P11D returns for 2016-17.

Estimates for 2017-18 show a significant drop to 890,000. However, HMRC explains that figures for 2016-17 and 2017-18 “do not include any estimate of the impact of voluntary payrolling”, which it considers accounts for a significant proportion of the expected decline.

Martin Brown, managing director of the Fleet Alliance Group, commented:

“It’s important that the media takes a balanced view of such important statistical information.

“The number of company cars has remained consistent despite repeated stories about its demise and the talking up of alternatives that sidestep benefit in kind company car tax.”

Company cars are the second most reported benefit in kind, behind only private health care. They are worth £4.75 million in taxable revenue.

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