The vast majority of British businesses with a fleet component to operations allow personal use of vehicles, but that doesn’t mean that careful planning isn’t required to make this happen.
There are a number of considerations when it comes to personal use, such as tax, liability and depreciation, and HMRC have taken a particular interest in this area of late.
To start with, businesses must make sure adequate insurance is in place to cover personal use of vehicles. After that, employees need to be provided with comprehensive guidance on what constitutes personal use and what their reporting requirements are.
A YouGov survey from 2016 found that 56 per cent of those using company cars were unaware of HMRC rules on reclaiming business mileage. Whether a personal or company car is being used for business purposes, it is up to the business to report it to HMRC.
Business owners need to know when and where part of the fleet is being used for personal use, whether that involves dropping a child off on the way to work or running some errands during a lunch break. Not staying on top of these issues can result in bigger fuel and maintenance bills.
If an employee uses their vehicle for private reasons then they must pay tax on the value to them of the company car, which ultimately depends on how much it would cost to buy and the type of fuel it uses.