‘Cash for car’ is anything but success
The ‘cash for car’ system, a service that allows Belgians to exchange their company car for a fiscally advantageous net fee of up to 700 euros per month, is not a success. A year and a half after its introduction, barely 14 out of 10.000 employees have made the switch. This is reported by the human resources service provider, Acerta, based on wage data of more than 40.000 employees.
These figures are in line with previous research results. In May, HR service provider, SD Worx, which represents 24.000 companies with company cars, counted only 142 switches to ‘Cash for Car’. Competitor Acerta, representing 40.000 companies, reported 1 in 1.000 of its clients made the switch.
“A year after its launch on January 1st, 2018, we were at 0,065%,” says Annelies Baelus of Acerta. “The chance that the success would come after that was minimal, especially since there was a more interesting proposal on the table in the meantime, namely, the mobility budget.”
The mobility budget is a more advanced measure that has the ambition to make commuting, and by extension, mobility in general, more sustainable. Unlike the ‘cash for car’ system, the mobility budget is not only aimed at employees who have a company car. According to Acerta, it is still too early to make an initial assessment of the mobility budget scheme, which was introduced by the Belgian Federal government in March 2019, but the company estimates the chances of success are higher than those of ‘cash for car‘.
Love for the company car
The fact that the majority of Belgians still hold on to the company car is also shown by the mobility study of the HR service provider, Securex, among 1.500 Belgian employees. Of the respondents with a company car, 59% indicated that they were prepared to change jobs if their employer would no longer offer cars. Employees younger than 50 are particularly willing to do so (66%).
Their aversion to the alternatives is also striking. Two out of three Belgian employees are not open to exchanging a car for a smaller one together with alternative means of transport (bicycle, step, subscription, shared car, etc.). “Remarkably, there is no difference between men and women, nor in the age or place of residence of the employees,” says Securex.
Commuting is burdensome
The Brussels commuter (49%) finds commuting between home and work in the Brussels-Capital Region particularly burdensome. In Flanders, this is 38% of the employees and in Wallonia 36%. Over the past ten years, Securex has seen a sharp increase in the extent to which Belgian employees are reluctant to commute. The increase is highest among Flemish (+13%) and Brussels (+11,2%) commuters.