Salary sacrifice company cars: Case studies

Local authority adds early termination insurance to salary sacrifice car scheme, while banking group boosts retention by consolidating car benefits for all employees

Cheshire West and Chester Council

Cheshire West and Chester Council reduced the risks associated with its salary sacrifice car scheme by insisting that participating employees take out early termination insurance.

Debbie Thompson, reward manager at the council, says: “It is very important to make some decisions up front. If you have decided where you are coming at it from a cost perspective and have a good idea of what your risks are likely to be in the future, that can make it a lot easier. We have early termination insurance, which we insist people take out as part of the package.”

The council launched its scheme, provided by Tusker, for 9,000 staff last summer. Drivers can choose from a range of 450 environmentally friendly cars emitting less than 120g/km of CO2. About 120 cars have been selected by staff, and a further 200 enquiries are in the pipeline.

In future, the council will put more emphasis on communicating the scheme. Thompson adds: “For us it is a win-win. It is about offering people access to a new car, which they might not have been able to afford otherwise, reducing our grey fleet usage and converting to a much greener car scheme.

“The fact that staff can get savings on their car insurance is another selling point. Some staff have put their children on the insurance because it is so much cheaper that way.”


Banking giant Santander introduced a salary sacrifice car scheme to consolidate its car offering for all its 30,000 UK staff after acquiring high-street brands, such as Abbey National, Bradford and Bingley and Alliance and Leicester.

The scheme was launched in October 2011 and by the end of January 2012 had a total of 226 cars. It is linked to the bank’s Go Green campaign, which encourages environmentally friendly behaviour by staff, and vehicle emissions are capped at 120g/km of CO2. It runs alongside, but is separate from, a conventional company car scheme for high-mileage business drivers.

Tom Manahan, fleet manager at Santander, says: “There have been no great surprises for us so far, but it is important to plan out what will happen in the event of promotions, maternity leave, secondments, career breaks, and so on. We are not dealing with a static population.

“We did a lot of notifications to employees about what was coming and had 22 orders by the first morning. The website has been a very good marketing tool and we are looking to develop that further, with a new campaign in the third quarter of this year.

“What we are introducing is a fantastic benefit at no cost to the business, so it is a no-brainer, really. And from our internal surveys, it does appear to be improving retention.”

Read more on How to manage salary sacrifice company cars