Fleet Evolution, winners of the VIB’s Best Product for Making Pay Go Further 2015, are myth-busting for employers and employees alike about the benefits of car salary sacrifice, says Andrew Leech
When we meet clients, it’s clear that many people perceive car salary sacrifice as a benefit that’s cumbersome to put in place and administer. That isn’t the case at all. There’s currently a lot of confusion and presumption about salary sacrifice cars.
Fleet Evolution’s scheme is very simple, and is a proposition that can be put in place in companies of any size – large or small. It’s the straightforward and clear nature of our proposition that led to our win at the 2015 VIBs. Fleet Evolution is quite unique, because we were purpose built just to provide salary sacrifice cars. One of the main misconceptions is that you need 1,000 employees for a scheme to work: we set ourselves the challenge of approaching to companies of around 200 employees and help them deliver a fully compliant, very low risk, low administration salary sacrifice car scheme.
We’ve not only done that, but surpassed the challenge to such an extent that even if you only employ a handful of people, then we can make the scheme work for you very simply, and with less administration and risk than, for example, a childcare voucher scheme. Cars should be a potential benefit to everyone in the company – it’s an increasingly popular benefit area, and after a mortgage, the car is the biggest expense that most adults will face.
A further misconception is that the schemes have a high level of risk, whereas with Fleet Evolution the only employer risk is allowing an employee to reduce their salary to below the minimum wage. In the case of leavers, we take the car back, and if an employee goes on maternity or sick leave, the scheme makes payments for the car on their behalf.
The third misconception is that schemes are high in administration. Typically with us, the scheme takes the maximum of a week to set up and implement, and occupies no more than about half an hour a month of HR, payroll and finance time – combined – to run and manage.
It’s a challenge for us to overcome these perceptions, and there are also a great many companies that aren’t aware of car salary sacrifice schemes at all, so we have to create awareness around the benefit.
When employers understand the benefit, Fleet Evolution doesn’t expect HR to do any promotion of the scheme to their employees, apart from making their employees aware of it. We take care of all the promotion ourselves, because we have more time than HR managers, and we fully comprehend all the products available. We can challenge employees’ perceptions about the product, and help them to be aware of all the options – for example ‘green’ vehicles. We’re the best people to promote the scheme, and we take full ownership of promotion.
We invest a lot of time and energy on two things –firstly we help employees to understand the true cost of the vehicle they’re currently driving and comparing that cost to a salary sacrifice car: in other words, giving them financial education around the benefit.
Secondly, we help employees understand ‘green’ cars, and educating them that actually there are many very capable, low CO2 products available, regardless of what vehicle they want – saving them money through the tax implications, and helping the environment.
When employers understand the true value of a salary sacrifice benefit, they should look for a scheme that is risk-free, where the provider is taking the risk rather than the employer. The provider of the scheme should also be promoting the scheme rather than the employer – and the scheme should entail no cost to the employer. With Fleet Evolution, there are no set up costs – as a provider, we only make money if the scheme succeeds.
Our ethos at Fleet Evolution is to give the scheme our all – we’re responsible for everything, and from ground-up we run our systems and processes in a way that’s tailored to the market, and to all companies – regardless of their size.