The 'cash for car' scheme, enabling Belgians to exchange their company car against a net monthly sum of up to €700, is being taken up but only tentatively.
At least that is what emerges from a survey of 210,000 workers carried out by Acerta, according to which barely 0.175% of them opted for the scheme in 2019.
This allowance got off to a very slow start and has still to get up to speed, the service group RH observed. In 2018, the year it was set up, the scheme was used by 0.065% of workers. The following year, in 2019, barely 0.175% of workers exchanged their company car for a mobility allowance.
"We do not think the 'cash-for-car' regulations are meeting with much success, even though workers' needs in terms of mobility are not going to go away. But they (the regulations) will be able to respond to them better with the mobility budget than with the 'cash-for-car' allowance," Annelies Baelus, director of Acerta Consult, said in a press release.
With regard to the mobility budget enabling workers to make alternative use of the budget allocated to them in lieu of a company car, only 0.011% of them had taken advantage of it nine months after it was introduced. The budget may, for example, be used to make an electric car or a car more respectful to the environment available or to finance alternative means of sustainable transport, Acerta points out.
At the end of the year, if it has not been completely used up, this budget is moreover given to the worker.
Acerta understands several reasons for this slow start. "Leasing contracts for company cars are entered into for a period of four to five years for employers. Terminating them prematurely incurs additional charges. On the other hand, managing a mobility budget takes up too much of the employers' time," Annelies Baelus points out. "It will therefore clearly be necessary to wait for the tools facilitating this management to arrive on the market in order to see a change."
The Brussels Times