Two-thirds of companies surveyed said they had considered purchasing cars outside the UK, according to the report’s main author Professor Peter Cooke.
At the time of the study – prior to the falls in UK vehicle prices – purchasing new cars abroad was widespread. The trend looks set to increase further, as many firms that were not buying elsewhere said they were planning to do so. Small and medium-sized companies prefer to buy abroad; for larger companies there is less incentive to do so as they already receive discounts from dealers.
Popular locations for purchase of cars on the continent were found to be Germany, the Netherlands – due to its favourable tax regime – and Belgium. One unexplored option that could have interesting consequences, according to Cooke, is that fleet operators can ask their own dealers to buy outside the UK.
The survey was conducted independently by Nottingham University late in the summer of 2000. Surveyors received 366 useable responses representing 77,000 units of operation, representing a cross section of the market and which tie in with the current industry.
Tax Q&A: Company cars