David Russell: Has the death knell sounded for company cars?

William Hill offers senior executives a choice of a company car or a gross cash allowance (paid monthly) in lieu of a car as a job-status benefit.

Of our employees in the UK who are entitled to this choice of benefit, 50% have opted for a company car, and the other half have opted for a cash allowance.

Although legislation has made company cars less tax-efficient for employees, many senior executives still prefer to have the traditional advantages of a company car, such as ease of procurement, car tax and insurance provided, and free servicing and maintenance. The annual cost of a car (being only the tax charge to the individual) is fixed and known by the employee.

William Hill’s car scheme has the advantage of allowing employees to trade down to a lower car specification, thus benefiting from the reduction in company car tax payable, or to trade up to a higher-specification car, which may meet the individual’s needs better.

We also have a medium-sized car fleet for job-need users. Many of our employees, particularly in retail operations, technical services and property, need a car to carry out their role and their day-to-day responsibilities.

It therefore makes sense for the organisation to continue to offer the choice of a company car or cash allowance to senior executives as a job-status benefit.

David Russell is group HR director at William Hill