Up to 80% of dealers could be failing to keep sufficient records of employees’ vehicle use, which could see them facing fines, dealer management company Cooper Solutions has warned.

Dealers have to calculate Benefit in Kind tax rates for staff using more than one company car, and fleet managers have to record their staff’s use of vehicles, making sure they only drive cars within or below their designated tax band.

The rules on the averaging scheme,  which dealers use to calculate BIK rates, were introduced six years ago.

According to Cooper Solutions, which works with 1600 dealers, HMRC is undertaking detailed audits of these records, with a number of HMRC enquiries into the automotive sector.

“The issue of averaging has become a ticking timebomb for dealers – and those without auditable records of vehicle use are open to time consuming and potentially costly scrutiny from the HMRC,” said Dean Pipitone, director of Cooper Solutions.

“There’s still time for dealers to address this issue, but time is running out. We believe where revenue inspections are concerned, it’s not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when,'” said Pipitone.