Search Icon

Need a call back?

Simply fill out the form below and we'll call you.

Arrange a Chat

Give us a call!

Get in touch, we want to hear from you.

Northern Ireland +44(0) 28 9024 3131

Upload your CV

Be a part of our team at FPM, simply fill out the form below.

Upload CV
File Upload

Maximum file size: 67.11MB


Upload your CV

Be a part of our team at FPM, simply fill out the form below.

Upload CV Single Post
File Upload

Maximum file size: 67.11MB


29 January 2020

New Year, New Car? Significantly reduce the cost for you or your employer!

Tax Tips – Business Question:

I own my own business and operate through a limited company.  I am considering changing my car and having the company purchase the car for me.  What are the tax implications of this?

‘New year, new car? An electric or ultra low emitting car can significantly reduce the cost for you and your employer’ says Director Paddy Harty

Share This on

Many businesses provide a company car as part of an overall remuneration package for employees.  The private use of a car however is considered to be a Benefit in Kind by HMRC and therefore is taxed as part of the employees overall employment income.

The Benefit in Kind (BIK) is a notional figure which the employee is taxed on and which is supposed to represent the effective amount of remuneration the employee has received by being provided with the car.  The employee must pay tax on the deemed remuneration and the amount of this will dictate the amount of National Insurance Contributions the employer has to pay (termed Class 1A).

The BIK value is calculated based on a number of factors including the type of fuel used by the car, the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the UK manufacturers list price for the vehicle.  Note it is irrelevant what the company pays for the vehicle as BIK is based on the manufacturers list price.  To this BIK percentage HMRC adds 4% based on other emission factors such as the use of diesel fuel.  This enables the company to arrive at a cash value and this is returned on a form P11D in July of each tax year.  The maximum amount that you could pay under BIK is 37% of the vehicle list price.

With the increasing focus on green technology and the governments attempts to reduce congestion and CO2 emission levels, a generous tax regime exists for employers providing electric and ultra low emission vehicles.  These vehicles have a much lesser BIK percentage and for the current tax year the BIK percentage is 16% of manufacturers list price provided the vehicle emits less than 50grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre.

The tax benefits of providing ultra low emission vehicles are however reducing and in fact the Benefit In Kind cash value upon which the tax charge is based has increased by 78% over the last 3 years whereas the equivalent increase for diesel and petrol cars is approximately 25%.

At the end of the day however there is a relatively straightforward calculation that can be done to work out what the net cash effect on you is by having a company car provided and measure this against the amount of income that you would need to earn to arrive at the same net figure.  Company fuel benefit however tends to be very expensive and therefore generally speaking you are usually better paying for your own fuel and then charging the company the HMRC approved mileage allowance of 45p per mile for the first 10,000 business miles and 25p per mile thereafter.

As a company owner you will also be interested in the tax implications of the car purchase for the company.  The company is able to claim a special form of depreciation called “Capital Allowances” on the car.  These Capital Allowances offset a percentage of the car cost against the company profits.  For ultra low emission vehicles this is 100% of the cost, falling to 8% of the cost for the highest carbon dioxide emitting vehicles.

The advice above is specific to the facts surrounding the questions posed.  Neither FPM nor the contributors accept any liability for any direct or indirect loss arising from any reliance placed on replies.

Contact Paddy

Paddy Harty / Director

Newsletter Signup

Stay up to date with the lastest news from FPM.