As we have reported previously in The Car Expert, more new car customers are turning to EV salary sacrifice schemes to take advantage of considerable tax benefits compared to other forms of financing.
Since the introduction of valuable Benefit in Kind tax savings for low emission cars, the demand for electric vehicles has rocketed and, for many users, an EV salary sacrifice scheme can offer big savings on income tax and National Insurance. While you can take a petrol or diesel car on salary sacrifice as well, there are comparatively few financial advantages to doing so these days.
Salary sacrifice, known as ‘sal-sac’, allows employees to reduce their cash earnings in return for a non-cash benefit, which can include a car. And because the deduction is made before income tax is applied, the scheme can represent a significant saving, especially when that’s set alongside the lower car tax (VED) which zero-emission EVs attract.
One of the biggest problems with EV salary sacrifice is that it is quite difficult to understand compared to traditional PCP car finance or PCH car leasing. Your employer needs to be signed up to a salary sacrifice programme, and the monthly cost of a car will depend on how much you earn and how you earn it (unlike a PCP or lease, where the monthly payment is going to be the same no matter what your salary is).
However, a number of new start-up companies have made great headway in helping potential customers understand the costs involved, as well as making it easier for small businesses to sign up to salary sacrifice programmes. Combined with the tax savings in salary sacrifice for electric cars, and it’s proving to be a very favourbale way for customers to make the switch from petrol power to electricity.
So where should you go for more information and a chance to sign up for a new car under an EV salary sacrifice scheme? Here, The Car Expert sets out the websites of some of the best providers currently available, to give a broad overview of the service currently being provided to companies and their employees.
Some of the companies below are marked with an asterisk* – these companies are commercial partners of The Car Expert, so we may receive a small commission if you click through to their websites to find out more. This does not affect the price you pay, but helps us to keep the site running. The rest of the sites are listed alphabetically.
They say: Unlock the benefits of an electric car subscription
Elmo is part of the huge Constellation Automotive Group, which also includes other well-known car-related brands such as Cinch and WeBuyAnyCar. As well as its regular car subscription offering for consumers and businesses, Elmo now offers a fully-managed salary sacrifice service for electric cars on subscription.
It couldn’t be simpler, the website says. To qualify as a benefit with HMRC, the subscription must be kept for a minimum of 12 months, after which it can be ended with 30 days’ notice. Elmo also takes car of all the admin required and will arrange delivery to the user.
Browse for a car on Elmo’s website and you’re offered an initial few recommendations such as Renault Zoe, Citroën ë-C4 and Vauxhall Mokka Electric, but there’s a drop-down tab which opens up a much larger list featuring Audi, MG and even Polestar.
Click on any car and you get an overview of its efficiency and range, a short review called ‘What we think’, more detailed information and colour choices. There’s also details of collection and delivery costs.
They say: Unlock the benefits of an electric car subscription
Like Elmo, Onto is an EV-only subscription provider that offers a fully-managed salary sacrifice service using its subscription platform.
Onto can set up the agreement, take care of all the paperwork, and can deliver the car directly to the employee, who can then unlock the car using the Onto app.
There’s a handy calculator to show you a range of vehicles based on your salary, including an Onto-branded Fiat 500 if you’d like to save £50/month by becoming a mobile billboard for Onto. The caluculator gives a clear breakdown to show you exactly what your net cost is – something that’s not often made very clear with salary sacrifice. It also shows how much the employer can save.
They say: Your partner on the road to the Electric Revolution!
Fleet Evolution claims to have launched the UK’s first electric car salary sacrifice scheme in 2012 and today has a wide range of clients – its smallest customer has three employees and the largest more than 10,000. They have developed a simple approach, they say, that is based on HR department needs, not fleet department.
There’s lots of helpful information explaining how salary sacrifice schemes work and how to set one up for a business. To encourage people who don’t have access to a home charger, Fleet Evolution have schemes where they supply a two-port 22kW charger to a factory or office for employees’ use.
You need to be registered to request a quote for a car but once that’s done it’s a case of using the drop down menus to choose a manufacturer and then a model, before sending send that criteria to receive a quote.
The site also contains helpful information about fleet management, specialist vehicle control and making changes to a company’s vehicle needs so that it becomes more environmentally friendly.
They say: Environmentally Friendly Car Leasing
Like its name, which pretty much sums them up, Go Green’s website is simple to navigate. From the landing page you are instantly given the opportunity to search for a make, model, fuel type (electric or hybrid), range or you can just browse through special offers or price bands.
Go Green is part of the Bridle Group, a large vehicle finance broker. They are dedicated to offering only electric or hybrid vehicles, which (probably not coincidentally) are the vehicles that benefit most from salary sacrifice tax advantages.
There is the same amount of space given to electric cars as there is to hybrids. And they say it’s not all about the environment – Go Green says there are real savings to be made and they want to help you find them.
The drop-down menu will assist in finding what you’re looking for, but if you’re still not sure what you want you can request a call back from one of their experts. There are special offers, blogs and a handy section of guides for the most common questions about electric vehicles and leasing including, of course, EV salary sacrifice.
They say: Car leasing deals from the experts
With more than 100 years’ experience in the UK motor industry, Hippo Leasing is probably justified in saying it can find you ‘the right car at the right price’. And one of the ways to do this is through salary sacrifice. From the landing page click on ‘Leasing’ and you’ll find it tucked away at the bottom of a list of leasing arrangements.
The site goes a long way towards explaining what sal-sac is and how it works. It outlines the benefits for employers and employees, and offers to take care of all the paperwork involved in signing up.
There’s even a good case study on how it all works using the popular Tesla Model 3 and a fictitious marketing manager as examples. This also shows how the Hippo deal includes servicing, maintenance and roadside assistance as part of the set-up.
There’s a frequently asked questions section and finally an application form to request a call from the company. The site offers plenty of help and news and outlines the car brands available.
They say: Discover the electric advantage
There’s plenty of bright ticks and pound sign images when you land on the LeasePlan page giving a positive feel. Scrolling down you’ll quickly find ‘Greener and Easier’ a section all about salary sacrifice with positive messages about saving money, the environment and reducing our carbon footprint.
This section comes second only to ‘Rentals’, LeasePlan’s core business, so you can see how much importance the company now gives sal-sac. You can go straight to a group of interesting topics, such as ‘how much to pay’, ‘what are the rules’ and ‘is it worth it’ and there’s even a downloadable guide available with more information.
Finally, there’s a section for next steps which asks employees to speak to their employer and ask them to get in touch or, if you’re the business owner, HR or fleet manager, there’s an email address to click on and start negotiations.
They say: Love the car, love the planet
Started by a husband and wife partnership, Love Electric claims that its car scheme can halve the monthly cost of any new electric car and the easy website explains how they do this. The landing page runs through a selection of electric cars that are available to lease and there are helpful sections to click on that explain the different aspects of what’s on offer with a Love Electric plan.
These include, for example: no deposit, insurance, flexible terms, servicing, breakdown cover and information about charging the vehicle. There are two main sections at the top of the page too, one for employees (which car can I afford?) and employers (see how it works). If you’re an employee and you like what you see, there’s a way to refer your employer to Love Electric.
The website goes to great lengths to show how simple the scheme can be. Additionally, from the landing page, there are useful news sections and information on the company’s pledge to the environment, a blog section and a new community forum which Love Electric admits is ‘early days’ but which it hopes will grow to become a further information resource.
They say: Drive change. Drive electric.
Award-winning Novuna offer all sorts of car leasing and fleet service deals and are committed to cleaner, more efficient motoring. There’s lots of offer from the start but, among the wealth of information on EVs and their use, is a section on salary sacrifice.
It takes a few clicks to get there, but eventually there’s plenty of information for businesses and employees looking to change over to an EV in this way. It explains fully what sal-sac is and how it works and goes on to show the benefits to employees, businesses and the environment when changing over.
Among the plus points offered by a Novuna scheme are a choice of car, a home charger fitted by British Gas, maintenance, road tax and insurance. There’s an ‘EV Hub’ that answers many of the questions and concerns an employee might have, while showing available vehicles within various parameters such as price, range, charging speed and even boot space.
They say: Get the whole EV package from Octopus
Octopus says it realised how good EV salary sacrifice was and decided to design a scheme that makes it easy and cost-neutral for companies to set up and run. That’s the group’s vision and the website goes on to explain more about that goal. You can click on ‘employer’ or ‘employee’ from the landing page for more detailed information but the general ‘Salary Sacrifice’ drop down menu offers information on how sal-sac works and what you get with an Octopus scheme.
That includes the new car, insurance, servicing, maintenance, breakdown cover plus 4,000 miles of free charging and a home charger installed. There are useful sections explaining how businesses can sign up with Octopus, how the scheme will affect net income and what affect it will have on your tax returns.
The ‘employer’ section provides plenty of information about how the scheme can work for your company, while the ‘employee’ route even has a tab entitled ‘convince your company’ with a call to ‘join the electric revolution’ and help get more businesses to switch over to EVs.
The Electric Car Scheme
They say: Drive the latest electric cars, for less
The Electric Car Scheme was set up to help drivers access government tax incentives for EV salary sacrifice that are ‘hard to access’. The company also says it will find cheaper deals and take some of the risk away from businesses, such as paying early exit fees if employees go on sick or parental leave.
The Scheme works with a selection of car leasing companies to find the best value lease deals for each model. Drop-down menus at the top of the landing page take either companies or employees through the system, explaining how it all works, what’s included with the scheme and calculations on savings.
There’s a good advice section which compares electric vs petrol cars, considers leasing against buying and so on. The site also tackles popular issues such as range anxiety, using charging points and deciding whether to go full electric or hybrid.
To look at specific cars you have to register, but that page offers lots of comparison advice in terms of price, specifications, range and extras.
They say: An affordable way to drive electric
Tusker provides company car and salary sacrifice car schemes to public and private sector UK organisations. Promising to take away all the hassle of admin and paperwork, the company sets out other benefits from taking an EV salary sacrifice agreement.
These include a wide choice of vehicles, insurance, breakdown cover, servicing, MOT, replacement tyres and accident management. Scroll down and you are invited to investigate further either as an employee or an employer. The former outlines all the benefits of signing up for a salary sacrifice scheme while the employer section looks at how offering a scheme can make a good benefits package to workers while reducing risk and lowering carbon emissions.
A contact tab allows you to take your search for a salary sacrifice car to the next step while a drop-down menu provides the chance to ‘set up a scheme for your own company’.
They say: Together we’re electric
WeVee’s claims its mission is to make the process of getting a new electric car as simple as possible by bringing EVs together and setting up salary sacrifice programmes with employers.
To find your ideal EV click on the drop down menu and search by body style, make or group such as sports cars, SUVs or even vans. The website is geared towards employers and explains how a sal-sac scheme can help bosses attract and retain workers while halving their motoring costs.
For employees there are explanations of how the scheme works – including an entire section on ‘Driving an EV’ – but for more detailed advice WeVee offers special employee advisers to talk rookies through the initial minefield.
There’s a section in EVs currently in stock and ready for delivery and, slightly tongue in cheek, there’s an offer to ‘drive like the boss’ with a range of tempting higher-end models normally seen in the executive car park but which, being electric cars, are available at tempting monthly rates.
They say: Smarter salary sacrifice
A leading independent vehicle management business, Zenith specialises in all sorts of leasing and outsourcing programmes, including EV salary sacrifice.
It’s not instantly obvious where sal-sac is from Zenith’s landing page and indeed you have to go via the ‘Business’ drop down menu and then scroll down through ‘Funding’ to find it, such is the breadth and depth of Zenith’s offerings.
Once there, everything is explained: how the scheme works, the tax benefits, the choice of cars, and what’s offered in a Zenith scheme, which includes: insurance, road tax, servicing, maintenance, breakdown cover, replacement tyres, windscreen cover and accident management.
For employers, Zenith’s online management system, called Pulse, gives access to information regarding employees’ cars such as emissions or accidents. And its scheme offers levels of risk mitigation to protect against financial penalties if an employee has to go on a longer-term absence.
Looking for a new electric car? Our Expert Ratings give you the definitive verdict on every new EV on sale in the UK:
*The Car Expert has commercial partnerships with Elmo and Onto. If you click through to their websites, we may receive a small commission.