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OPINION: A dull Budget? Don't think so!

Date: 19 March 2008

Tristan Young is Editor-in-chief of BusinessCar

Well, despite what the political commentators would have you believe, it certainly wasn't a boring Budget for the business car market.

As you may well have already seen on our website or in the pages of this very magazine, there are plenty of issues fleet managers and anyone with an influence over the financial side of running company cars need to react to now.

Obviously, the petrol duty rise postponement and massive hikes in VED for so-called 'gas-guzzlers', especially in the first year of registration, grabbed the headlines, but as always with politicians, the devil was in the detail, in more ways than one.

Several industry figures, including Lex boss Jon Walden, have criticised the lack of substance behind various proposals, but we've certainly got more than enough to get stuck into.

The complicated issue of capital allowance is something every finance director will need to be aware of - cars somewhere between 161-180g/km are pretty much ruled out as company vehicles from next year, while there's a sneaking feeling that the AMAP issue has only been left alone for now, and isn't settled for the long-term. Plenty of posturing left in this one from all sides, as we're already starting to see.

Then there's a prominent and unwelcome return to the agenda for road charging, with the Chancellor inviting tenders to run schemes. More will follow

in 2009.

And don't forget, hidden in the small print was confirmation that the BIK bands will again drop in 2010, leaving the 15% banding at 130g/km.