Electric Cars / Employer / Industry / Public Sector / Salary Sacrifice

Choosing the right car benefit scheme provider

How do I know which salary sacrifice car benefit scheme provider is right for me?

With more and more entrants coming into the salary sacrifice car space, making sure you choose the right provider to suit your organisation and requirements is really important. You should make sure you have a checklist of the key things that are important to you as there are a few things to think about when choosing your provider.

1. Experience and expertise

You want to make sure that you’re working with a provider that is a safe pair of hands. You may need to consider are how long a company has been providing salary sacrifice schemes for, how many cars are they managing in-life and how many customers (and employees) they work with. These can all be good indicators into the level of experience the provider has. It’s also worth asking for case studies or references from customers in similar industries.

While things are going well, there are of course, no issues. But what about when challenges arise? How will the provider’s experience help them navigate complex matters? How solid are their relationships with service providers (such as breakdown providers, manufacturers, or the garage networks) to be able to resolve problems confidently and in a timely manner.

It’s important to ensure that your provider has a proven track record of delivering schemes across a wide range of businesses of all sizes, too. In our experience, schemes that have been running for three years or more, are currently averaging a 12% take up rate.

“Schemes that have been running for three years or more, are currently averaging a 12% take up rate”

2. Manufacturer relationships

Selecting a provider with established relationships with manufacturers and suppliers can be extremely beneficial when it comes to ensuring you’re getting the best fleet discounts and also being able to secure a good number of stock cars for speedier deliveries. Cars which are available soon are a huge benefit for those who can’t wait for a car built to order. In 2023, over 50% of cars ordered with Tusker were from the stock page. It’s important to be offering as much choice as possible to your employees.

“In 2023, over 50% of cars ordered with Tusker were from their stock page.”

As well as the stock and manufacturer or dealer support, it’s also important that a provider has strong relationships with the aftersales departments of manufacturers. This means that in the unfortunate event that a car is off the road, your provider can pick up the phone and keep that the repair time to an absolute minimum and also keep your employee mobile.

3. Mitigating risk

It’s important to ensure that the scheme is as low risk as possible for your organisation, as salary sacrifice schemes are opened up to far more employees than a traditional company car scheme. With a more inclusive scheme, there’s a higher risk that an employee could leave and there’ll be an early termination cost for their salary sacrifice car.

Knowing you’re protected from any unforeseen costs or liabilities is reassuring and means you won’t face a huge bill for the cars employees order.

Not all providers offer comprehensive risk protections, and levels of cover can vary, so it’s a good idea to compare what’s on offer and understand the level of cover available as well as what you’re protected against. Does it cover just resignation and redundancy, or will it cover TUPE or long-term sickness for example? What is in place should an employee go on maternity leave? It’s important to have a good understanding of what providers offer and any caps they may have on protection costs.

4. Integration with existing employee benefits

If you already have an Employee Benefits Provider (EBP), particularly one which has an online portal for employees to log into, working with a provider who has a single sign on technology with an EBP, means the whole process for you as an employer, and for employees, is much simpler and streamlined.

As the integration often involves different teams from across the customer organisation, from payroll and HR to accounts and legal, it’s crucial to work with a provider that is experienced in managing the process with multiple stakeholders at once across the customer teams and their Benefit Provider.

Single Sign On integration can be very complex so if a provider doesn’t have this, it’s important to understand if they plan to build this technology or if it will always be left as a very separate benefit which could then affect take up and awareness.

5. Communication and awareness

Employee communication is absolutely key to a successful scheme, so you need to ensure that your provider has a communication strategy not just for launch but on an ongoing basis. You will need to educate a wider population that’s new to car benefits, providing information on areas such as how company car tax works and how the scheme operates, as well as a good understanding of electric cars and whether they might be a suitable option.

Providers with dedicated marketing support can be extremely valuable in working with you and your existing communication channels to maximise the engagement and awareness potential to really make the most of your scheme.

6. Online Ordering System

Having a fully automated system to order and manage your employee’s cars can make the car scheme an easy-to-use benefit. An end-to-end online process ensures that drivers are in full control of their cars, from ordering, to tracking the progress of their car’s order and delivery, as well as managing servicing and in-life requirements, and even the end of the agreement processes.

It also means that as the employer, the system can be tailored to your organisation’s requirements, it can manage other benefit contributions as part of the quotation and restrict any types of cars if you should want to.

Some providers aren’t able to provide the entirety of their processes online, so it’s something to consider when you’re choosing a provider – is the simplicity of a fully-automated system important to you? How much extra work will it cause for you and your employees if part or all of the process is completed manually via emails and physical paperwork?

7. ESG Goals

Many organisations find that benefits are a good way of ensuring that they meet with sustainability and environmental targets. And for the car scheme especially, as petrol and diesel cars are such big polluters in the UK.

Implementing a car scheme which is renowned for being environmentally conscious might be something to consider as a result. Does the organisation offset their emissions, not only from their operations, but also for any tailpipe emissions which hybrid or petrol cars might emit? Do they offset the emissions from the charging of their electric cars? They’re important questions to ask when considering the offerings from the providers available to you.

8. Customer Services

More than just ensuring great service to drivers, ensuring the provider you choose has an experienced and dedicated team who are available by phone and online, is critical for you as an employer, but also for your employees.

It’s important that you ensure that all aspects of driver support are provided, even helping drivers with impartial advice over car choices. Ideally to keep administration to an absolute minimum the ordering process should all be online but he for those who would rather complete their order with a person, or just want some advice on which car they should choose, it’s important to ensure there is accessible help for those individuals.

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