One of the first questions I hear benefits professionals ask when considering introducing a new benefit to their organisation is: “How much hassle will it be to implement?”
And this is particularly the case with company car schemes, because of the perceived work required by employers to identify which employees they should, and can afford to, offer the perk.
This suggests two things: that they have had a bad experience with a service or service provider in the past, or that they are, like most benefits professionals, under immense pressure to undertake their ever-expanding job role with a small or substantially reduced team, so time is of the essence. Of course, many have suffered both scenarios.
This is why fleet providers have raised their game to make the process of running a fleet as pain- and risk-free for employers as possible. In their efforts, providers are working hard to address the common misconceptions that many employers have about the costs and risks involved in implementing and operating a company car scheme.
Firstly, they want to help employers to understand the ease with which they can implement a car scheme. In most cases, providers will endeavour to manage a scheme for an employer, including the communications campaign, which is key to helping to boost take-up.
Secondly, providers want to educate employers about the cost savings they can make, both for their organisation and their workforce through tax and national insurance savings by introducing a salary sacrifice car scheme. In this education process, providers want to dispel the assumption that energy-efficient cars, which are the most tax-efficient to operate through salary sacrifice because of the UK’s C02 emissions-linked tax regime, are dull. According to Tusker, there are now more than 3,000 low-C02 cars available in the UK for employees to choose from.
Thirdly, fleet providers want to help employers understand that the potential risks involved in scheme implementation, such as the costs associated with staff who take up the scheme and then leave the organisation, can be minimised by working with an experienced provider that can help design a tailored scheme that takes such risk factors into account ahead of scheme implementation.
Lastly, fleet providers want to help employers to understand the value of introducing a company car scheme to their benefits package and how it can enhance their employee value proposition. One of the big attractions for organisations is the ability to offer employees, old, new and prospective, the opportunity to own a brand new car at a competitive price compared with retail prices on their local high street.
Surely, the starting point for any benefits professional worth their salt is to research and assess the relative merits of potential products and services for their workforce, which we hope this special fleet supplement, sponsored by Lex Autolease, Tusker and Zenith, will help them to do.
And instead of bemoaning the potential ‘hassle’ of implementation, benefits professionals should instead focus on working with a reputable provider to devise the most time- and cost-efficient implementation strategy for their team and organisation. It is then imperative for professionals to work smarter, not harder, by delegating responsibility for managing these new benefits to their provider partners, and the company car market is a good place to start.