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July 4 election presents ultimate fleet choice list for managers

 Published 1st July 2024
Company Fleet  HMRC / Tax 

The future of fleet will be defined on July 4 when the country goes to the polls to elect the next government.

Transport is a key battleground for most parties, meaning managers can vote with their ‘fleet’ when choosing who will shape the country’s future mobility strategies.

The Conservative Party has vowed to “back drivers” by stopping road pricing and reversing the expansion of London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ). It wants to actively stop pay-per-mile road pricing from being introduced by local authorities as part of a Backing Drivers Bill, which would also insist on local referendums to introduce 20mph zones and Low Traffic Neighbourhoods. It will also look at improvement of enforcing yellow box junctions, while penalising over-running road works and helping to ban pavement parking.

The Labour Party wants to reintroduce the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars from 2030. The Conservatives delayed the ban until 2035 (it currently says 80% of new cars sold will have to be electric by 2030), accelerate the roll-out of charge points and act to support a second-hand EV market with standardised ratings for battery condition. It has also pledged to fix one million potholes each year and reduce the cost of car insurance.

The Liberal Democrats also want to reinstate the 2030 ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine cars and vans and bring back the plug-in car grant. The party aims to accelerate the roll-out of public charging points and cut VAT on public charging to 5%. It has also vowed to limit insurance cost rises and fuel costs, while tackling potholes.

The Green Party wants to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2027, but ban their use entirely by 2035, backed by an extensive vehicle scrappage scheme. It will also increase annual public subsidies for rail and bus travel, with free bus travel for under-18s, while bringing the rail network back under public ownership.

Reform UK wants to ban Ultra Low Emission and Clean Air Zones in cities, along with Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and remove Net Zero commitments. It will scrap the current 2035 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles and remove targets for switching to electric cars and vans. 20mph zones will also be scrapped.

In Scotland, the SNP is campaigning to follow the example of France with a new Low Income EV Car Leasing Fund delivering 50,000 EV leases a year to low-income families. It also wants to improve road safety and mandate the sale of new zero-emission buses from 2025, while increasing purchase incentives for cleaner cars and vans. It also wants to reduce road traffic in urban areas but protect mobility in rural and sparsely populated parts of the country through road improvements.

In Wales, Plaid Cymru says it will encourage active travel instead of car use but will also review nationwide 20mph limits in urban areas, which it believes were poorly implemented. It also wants to roll out average speed cameras and focus on improving driver behaviour, particularly among younger drivers.

The flurry of manifestos comes as the Association of Fleet Professionals publishes a list of 24 key business mobility issues for the next government to consider.

This includes resolving uncertainty about regulations for operating 4.25 tonne electric vans, publishing new benefit-in-kind taxation tables up to 2030, removing plans to introduce road tax for electric vans from next year, better labelling for EV performance in different weather and more support to develop a thriving used market for battery electric vehicles.

Paul Hollick, chair of the AfP, said: “Whoever wins power, we hope to work with them to help resolve these many issues to enable businesses to move forward with their fleet and mobility plans faster and more effectively.” The Tax and Regulation Manifesto from the Association of Fleet Professionals can be downloaded at:

Image: Creative Commons

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