We've Got The Power

Issue 100

AVL unveils electric car 'salary sacrifice' scheme.

“The priority is always the customer – that’s not just rhetoric, it’s our ethos.”

So says Stuart Beagrie, founder and MD of Middlesbrough-based Advanced Vehicle Leasing – a firm that, since 1997, has been dedicated to getting the best vehicle leasing deals for private customers and businesses alike.

And with its new salary sacrifice scheme on electric cars, it’s plugging into the so-far untapped potential of the vehicles of the future.

For 27 years, family-run AVL – Advanced Vehicle Leasing – has built an enviable reputation for hassle-free business and personal leasing arrangements on all types of cars and vans.

With Stuart and son Clarke in the driving seat, AVL – centrally based on Middlesbrough’s Riverside Park since 2015 – has 25 full-time staff who go the extra mile to ensure the hundreds of vehicles leased each month are the perfect fit for the customer.

Stuart said: “Whether it’s one car or 100, everyone gets the same attention because that’s the core of our business. It sounds oldfashioned but it’s a basic thing – look after your customers.

“We had a strapline ‘nice people to do business with’ but we have to be. We don’t make anything in here, so we need to look after people.”

And with their latest initiative, they’re not just helping the customer – they’re helping the planet too.

AVL has launched a salary sacrifice scheme where businesses lease electric vehicles and the employee pays for theirs by ‘sacrificing’ a proportion of their wage.

And, says Clarke, it could prove a gamechanger.

He explained: “The employee sacrifices an element of their wages towards the cost of having the vehicle each month. It comes out of their gross monthly wage, but they are saving the National Insurance and the element of PAYE tax on that. The employer is also saving their National Insurance contribution.

“In effect, the employee gets a fully serviced and maintained, all-electric car for a much smaller percentage of what they would be paying by doing it all themselves.

“It must be an electric vehicle, though, because the ‘benefit in kind’ tax on electric cars is next to nothing in relation to diesel and petrol – that’s the big win.”

Stuart adds: “It’s a win for everybody – the employee, the employer, the environment, us – and there genuinely isn’t a catch.

“From an employer’s point of view, they’re going down the right route regarding carbon emissions and for an employee, we feel it’s the right thing to do and will be cheaper for them to run because it’s cheaper to charge your car up than fill it with petrol or diesel.”

Launched in mid-January, Clarke said the salary sacrifice scheme has several advantages for the businesses using it.

He explained: “One big win for the employer is that it will help staff retention – you’re giving your staff access to something they wouldn’t get access to elsewhere and it could save them hundreds of pounds a month. A lot of companies have green targets, which of course this can help meet.”

Each customer will use a secure portal on the AVL website to access the scheme.

Clarke said: “Businesses will create a ‘log in’ and can then offer the staff they wish to access it. Then we will work with them, to find the correct vehicles and manage all the paperwork for them.

“One reservation people have had was regarding staff members leaving – they don’t want to feel lumbered with the car. Most companies in the marketplace want three to six months’ minimum notice but we’ve structured it so that any time after the first year, regardless of circumstances, if a member of staff leaves, we will take the car off their hands at a month’s notice.”

And whether it’s leasing electric, petrol or diesel vehicles, Stuart says customer service will remain at the heart of the AVL operation.

He said: “We literally do everything – from the credit, to getting the right cars, the right colour, the right models, then getting them delivered on a trailer. It’s all part of what we do.”


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