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Company car purchases continue to increase
Belgian businesses are continuing to buy company cars, and at ever increasing rates. According to auto industry association Febiac, there were 292,734 new company cars registered in 2017 – an increase of more than 3% on the year before.
However, employees getting company cars as part of a salary package in fact dipped slightly. Not all cars and vans purchased by companies are being offered to employees as part of remuneration; many are used by the company only during working hours, such as for deliveries or the transport of materials. The figures also includes ambulances and taxis.
Still, notes Febiac spokesperson Joost Kaesemans, politicians’ efforts to discourage the use of company cars by employees to get to and from work and to take public transport instead have not been as successful as they had hoped. Brussels and Antwerp are two of the most congested cities in Europe.
In 2015, the purchase of cars and vans by companies surpassed the number purchased privately by individuals for the first time. Over the last two years, the gap has become wider, with nearly 39,000 more company-owned cars registered in 2017 than private vehicles.
“The figures continue to show that something needs to happen with the mobility budgets,” says Kaesemans. “If companies still want to enjoy the tax incentives that company cars offer, there should be other customised alternatives. They could be offered tax breaks for handing out public transport passes and for motorcycles and scooters, for instance.”