AFP Launches Updated Tax Manifesto Ahead of General Election

Date: 4th June 2024

A revised Tax and Regulation Manifesto is being launched today by the Association of Fleet Professionals (AFP) ahead of the General Election on July 4th.

The first edition of the document was created in 2021 and revised early last year. This latest version has grown to 24 points from the original 13, something that underlines the growing number of issues that fleets are facing at the moment, the organisation says.

New additions include finally resolving ongoing confusion over regulations surrounding 4.25 tonne electric vans, new benefit in kind taxation tables up to 2030, the removal of plans to introduce Vehicle Excise Duty on electric vans from April 2025, the need for fiscal support to make electric cars and vans more attractive in the used market, a better labelling scheme explaining the range of electric vans in different weather conditions and with different loads, and improvements to the charging infrastructure including regulatory and fiscal support for accessible, affordable and fit-for-purpose charge points.

Paul Hollick said: “Since the pandemic, the problems that fleets are facing seem to have multiplied, largely as we grapple with the implications of electrification and other zero emissions initiatives. Within our Future Mobility Committee and across our membership, we have been discussing the kind of help we would like to see from government and it is fortuitous that we are publishing this Manifesto just as the general election gets underway.

“Whoever wins power, we hope to work with them to help resolve these many issues, and the document represents the AFP’s core thinking about what needs to be done. It is designed to focus on practical ideas, ranging from quite small detail alterations to major strategic shifts, around which we believe that change or definition is required to enable businesses to move forward with their fleet and mobility plans faster and more effectively.”

He explained that the majority of the points added to the new edition of the document focussed on current issues experienced around van electrification.

“One of the undeniable facts in fleet over the last few years is that van electrification is proving much, much more difficult than for cars. We are now in the situation where the majority of new cars being added to fleets are electric vehicles (EVs) or plug-in hybrids, a percentage that we very much expect to climb over the next few years in a steady and predictable manner towards the 2035 production deadline.

“The same is just not happening for vans. There are issues over the capabilities of the vehicles themselves that make their operational viability for some fleets open to question, while availability of charging is also an ongoing issue for many. In the company car sector, adoption has been powered by preferential benefit in kind taxation, and some kind of government support is needed to really get the electric van market moving in the same manner.”

Additionally, Paul said that interventions were needed in the used market, especially bearing in mind the large numbers of ex-company cars that were starting to enter remarketing.

“A properly functioning used market is essential for the electrification of the UK car parc but there are indications that issues remain, largely around the appetite of buyers for these vehicles. In several countries, governments are offering support such as the interest free loans being offered in Scotland, and we’d like to see more done here.

“The fact is that fleets need to be able to set realistic future residual values in order to viably operate electric cars and vans, and the used EV market needs to be quickly developed to a point of stability in order for this to be possible.”

He added that the AFP hoped the Tax and Regulation Manifesto would serve to prompt dialogue within the fleet industry and political circles, with the general election serving as a useful focal point for discussions.

“As an organisation, we would like to help enable those conversations to take place, and for whoever wins power to take a serious look at the resulting suggestions. Of the points we suggest, several could be implemented quite easily by any new government. Others, such as the need for discussions around a road tolling plan, are very much strategic and part of longer-term shifts in policy.”

The 24 points in the Tax and Regulation Manifesto are:

1.       More support for electric vans

2.       Confusion over regulations surrounding 4.25 tonne electric vans to be resolved.

3.       Scrap plans to introduce Vehicle Excise Duty for electric vans

4.       Better labelling for electric vehicles (EVs)

5.       Support for used EV Sales

6.       A national kerbside charging strategy is essential

7.       Community charging projects

8.       Chargepoint regulation

9.       Move public charging VAT to 5%, in line with home charging.

10.     Easy access to get charge points fitted…

11.     … and VAT should be removed from home charger installation costs

12.     Review of the AER

13.     Actual cost definition for electric vehicle charging reimbursements

14.     Clear signposting of EV initiatives is required

15.     Benefit in kind tax tables to 2030

16.     Clean Air Zones should be co-ordinated nationally

17.     Tax breaks are needed for employees taking a mobility solution…

18.     …for shared and low carbon mobility..

19.     … and for hydrogen

20.     Parking costs should be linked to shared mobility and public transport solutions

21.     Inner city parking needs to be improved

22.     The “available to use” rule needs updating

23.     A clear definition of occasional private use is required for cars

24.     Road tolling strategy needs to be clearly signposted

The Tax and Regulation Manifesto 2024 can be downloaded here.