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Helping Your Staff Get From A to B

Running a business that requires staff to travel around a lot? You have a consideration to bear in mind that other companies might not – how you are going to accommodate this process. Sure, in general work, staff are expected to get themselves to and from their workplace off their own back. But if your staff driving all day as part of their work, have to attend regular off site meetings as part of their work and more, you’re going to have to start looking into covering some of the costs of this. Otherwise, you’ll find people leaving and recruitment difficult, as people will rightly question why they’re covering the costs of doing work for you. Now, there are a huge number of areas to explore here, but hopefully, some of the following information will help to guide this process in the right direction!

Company Vehicles vs. Vehicle Allowances

First, let’s consider providing your staff with some sort of vehicle, as this is what you’ll need to do to ensure that they can get from one place to another as fast and conveniently as possible. Sure, public transport can be great, but it can come with problems that could impact your business’ productivity and profits. You don’t want your team missing important meetings because there were public transport delays, or turning up looking windswept or rained on because the weather was adverse en route. Two options that you have available to you in this situation are providing a company vehicle or providing a car allowance. Here’s some information on both that can help you to form a judgement on which may best tick your boxes. Take your time to mull it over, as either can be a big investment.

What Is a Company Car?

When you offer your staff a company car, you are directly providing them with a vehicle that they can use for work purposes. There are tax implications to be aware of when providing a company car – and your team need to be aware of them too. A company car will be subject to a Benefit In Kind (BIK) tax. This tax is reserved for non-cash company benefits and perks. The tax rate will depend on a number of factors, including the age of the car, its fuel type, its emmission levels, the engine size, its list price and how much the employees themselves are earning. When you provide a company car, you are responsible for a number of things. This includes choosing the car, providing the car, maintaining the car, paying insurance and tax on the car and forking out for repairs of the vehicle too.

What Is a Car Allowance?

A car allowance is an agreed amount of money that you will add to your employees’ annual salary that they can then use to buy or lease a vehicle for work purposes. This cuts a lot of work out of your end of things. Your team will have to source and buy or lease the vehicle by themselves and they will also be responsible for maintaining and insuring the car over time. If you choose to provide a car allowance, you need to make sure that everything is down in your employees’ contracts. What the allowance is to be used for. What kind of vehicle is acceptable and how long the allowance will be provided for. You’re also going to have to consider tax implications when providing a car allowance. You will need to take car allowance tax out of the employee’s main earnings at the normal income tax rate, as the allowance will technically be considered part of your employee’s salary.

Fleet Cards

Regardless of whether you provide your staff with a company vehicle or an allowance for their own vehicle, you’re going to need to make sure that this vehicle is fuelled for their work and there are a couple of ways to do this. The first is to provide a fuel allowance, which means you will give your team a set amount of money per mile they travel or per litre of fuel that they use. This is a straightforward way to ensure that eveyrone can fill their vehicle and just means that staff need to keep their receipts and file their expenses with you. You can process payments back to them, ensuring that they aren’t out of pocket for the journeys that they’ve done on work time. Of course, this can be difficult for your staff, who may not have the cash flow to consbtantly be paying for their fuel and waiting for their money back. An alternative to this option is a smart fuel card. Now, you may be wondering what a fleet card is, so let’s take a moment to get into their basic definition. Put simply, fleet cards are a type of payment card that allows you to manage expenses associated with the vehicles your provide your staff with. This is generally vehicles that you own and that your team use for work purposes. You may also hear fleet cards referred to as “fuel cards”. In short, your staff will use the card to pay for fuel when they fill up.

How Does the Process Work?

Fleet cards are pretty straightforward, which probably explains why they’ve experienced great success since the 1980s. You will simply apply for fleet cards and issue them to staff members who need them. Usually, you will have to choose the fleet card you want to use. They are issued by different companies and your team will only be able to use them with those exact companies. This means that it’s logical to choose a company with plenty of stations in areas where your staff live and operate frequently. When your staff use the card, your business will be billed directly, rather than you having to get staff to prove where they filled up and provide receipts, then having to reimburese the costs to them yourself. These cards tend to be interest free and you can get an itemised bill of which cards have been used, how much was charged each time and you can then pay this total sum on an agreed due date. You can request that cards have the name of authorised users on, so only the person you’ve given the card to is able to use it.

Are Fleet Cards for You?

If you are wondering whether fleet cards are for you, you just have to ask yourself how often your staff need to fuel up for their work. If you run a fleet vehicle business where staff drive lorries to and fro everyday, this is a simple and conclusive “yes”. If you have office staff who only venture out to meetings and need to claim fuel on a very occasional basis, it may prove easier to just reimburse money to them. Only you can know your business’ needs and requirements, so take some time to think whether this is the right choice for you and your staff.

These are just a few of the basics when it comes to making sure that your staff can get from one place to another while working for your business. Hopefully, some of the information provided above should help you on this journey, ensuring that you make the right decisions not only for yourself and your company, but for the team that’s working for you and generating your profits too! Take some time to mull the different options over and determine which ticks the most boxes.

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