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Company car drivers pick-up on tax advantages of 4x4 lifestyle vehicles

Company car drivers pick-up on tax advantages of 4x4 lifestyle vehicles
For drivers considering switching their company car for tax reasons, new insight from automotive data experts cap hpi, shows lifestyle 4x4 vehicles present an increasingly popular tax efficient purchase.

In the LCV sector, registrations of new 4x4 lifestyle vehicles have increased year on year for the past 10 years, more than doubling from 7.24% in 2010 to 15.02% so far in 2019. Last year 13.67% of all LCVs sold were 4x4 lifestyle.

The volume of new 4 x 4 lifestyle registrations means it is now the third largest sector across the entire LCV range for registrations in 2019 so far, behind medium vans (40.5%) and large vans (20.2%).

Lifestyle 4x4 vehicles typically have a specification as high as passenger vehicles. As well as boasting practicality and versatility benefits that come with having a massive loadbay, they also have great family appeal. Some of the latest double-cab trucks have impressively spacious cabins and even rear seats, while the improved safety and rugged styling also prove attractive. Towing capabilities and off-roading capability means they are popular with lovers of the great outdoors too.

But it’s the range of tax benefits that can be gained by choosing a lifestyle 4x4 as a company that makes them a disproportionately cheap alternative to a conventional SUV or other choice of company car.

Speed limits with 4x4 lifestyle vehicles differ from model to model and on some models vary according to trim level. The increased mass of some newer pickups means they are too heavy to be classed as ‘dual purpose’ vehicles, and are therefore subject to standard light commercial vehicle speed limits – which are 10mph slower on single and dual-carriageways.

Models from Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan are the best sellers in the sector accounting for 33.11%, 24.24% and 17.78% respectively of total sector sales so far in 2019.

Steve Botfield, senior editor, commercial vehicles & motor cycles at cap hpi, said: “Drivers often choose lifestyle pick-up vehicles to reduce company car tax, because the HMRC classify any vehicle as a van if the payload is greater than 1000kg. This has big tax benefits and can mean that motorists can drive a vehicle with a good spec and big on road presence at a fraction of the cost of running a large luxury 4x4. The increasingly enhanced specifications and features such as a Truckman top and other secure load covers, which are not included with standard 4x4 lifestyles, means they also hold their values well in the used market, making them an even more solid purchase.

The Top 3 lifestyle 4x4s registered in 2018 were:

Ford Wildtrak 3.2 200 Auto

Nissan Tekna 2.3 190 4WD Auto/Nissan Tekna 2.3 190 4WD

Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian 4WD Auto

Added Steve Botfield: “It’s easy to see why registrations have doubled in this sector in the past nine years as drivers recognise 4x4 lifestyle vehicles’ flexible use as a multi-purpose vehicle with top class specifications and very appealing tax benefits.”