What saves more money – company car or car allowance?

Is a company car the best way to save money on your tax bill or is it more tax efficient to opt for the company car allowance? Both perks have their own pluses and negatives in terms of the tax breaks on offer.

One quickest ways to work out the best option for you is to use the handy cash or car decision tool provided by Comcar. Just enter the make and model of car you’re considering, add the monthly allowance your company makes available plus your  Monthly PCP/PCH Payment and the decision tool will calculate the best option for you in seconds.

In addition, the HMRC website provides all the detail you need and offers it’s own useful online calculator to help you assess your company car options.

As you’d expect, the accuracy of the calculation depends on the level of detail you are able to provide regarding the age of the car, fuel type, CO2 emissions, engine size and list price of the car, along with other information.

An allowance is paid as part of your salary meaning it is taxed at the normal rate.

Do remember that if you are likely to have quite high private mileage then the allowance is likely to be the better option.

 

A quick guide to car rental abroad

Here’s our quick guide to car rental abroad and the new Drivers Summary document that more and more car rental companies will be asking you for when you rent in the UK, Europe and worldwide.

In June 2015 the driving licence counterfoil which records penalty points and fines became obsolete. Now, to hire a car, you need to provide your driving history by logging onto the GOV.UK website and generating a Drivers Summary (or getting a drivers summary code).

It’s a simple process, if you remember your national insurance number and have your driving licence number and postcode. They all need to be entered into the GOV.UK website to obtain a code. You can then use this code once and it’s valid for 21 days.

If you need to hire a car again you have to log-on again to obtain a new code. A driver can have up to 15 check codes active at any one time.

One of the positive points is that anyone can check a driving record once they have been provided with a check code by logging onto https://www.gov.uk/check-driving-information. The driver no longer needs to be physically present to show the driving licence counterfoil.

View or Share your Driving Licence Information the Easy Way

Now you can use SecureIdentity to access this service at GOV.UK. In the past you’ve always needed your your driving licence number, national insurance number and your postcode, which may not be details you find easy to remember or always have to hand.

Road blocks
The Drivers Summary system is new. Car rental companies in the UK are familiar with it, but some rental companies abroad may still be coming to terms with the change. It’s worth contacting your chosen car rental firm to confirm whether they are aware of the new system and require a Drivers Summary or an share your driving details code.

Exceptions
The new law at present is not applicable to driving licences in Northern Ireland or older paper-only licences.

Extras
When you are hiring a car abroad you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) too. This is worth checking before you leave.  Apply for it through the AA, RAC or the Post Office.

If you will be driving in countries beyond the continent do check the Foreign Office website for useful advice.

Car rental abroad without a counterfoil

The government has made the driving licence counterpart obsolete. It’s been replaced with the driving summary.  Now the real impact of the change is becoming apparent, especially when you want to rent a car in the UK or abroad.

What’s the change?
The paper based counterfoil was rarely needed. Usually, you’d end up looking for it just before you went on holiday because you might need to rent a car.

The new drivers summary does basically the same job as the old counterfoil. The main difference is that the drivers summary is valid for just 21 days. For this reason, it’s worth making preparations if you plan to rent a car, or several cars when you are travelling.

Some things to remember
The counterpart is obsolete: it’s no longer accepted anywhere.

The car rental company should ask to see a copy of your summary, or ask you for a driving licence check code so they can access these details themselves online.

If you need to do this while you are travelling, or if you need to rent several cars within a short space of time, the The Simple-Sign-In app from SecureIdentity can be handy. It’s an easy way to access the DVLA services you need.

When you use SecureIdentity’s simple sign-in process, you’ll be able to access and share your driving details whenever you want quickly and easily  without having to remember long passwords,

 

Help your friends or family with their tax affairs

Tax returns and other government services have gone digital, which can be daunting for some people, especially the elderly, disabled, infirm or vulnerable who may be reluctant to go online themselves.

You can help friends and family access the government services they need online by becoming a “trusted helper”.

A trusted helper can:

  • confirm that their friend or family member’s Income Tax assessment is correct
  • update or check their friend or family member’s personal tax account
  • claim their friend or family member’s tax refund
  • check their friend or family member’s company car tax

You can be a trusted helper for up to 5 people using SecureIdentity and GOV.UK.

Here’s how it works

If you already have a SecureIdentity just use your Simple Sign-in app to login (if you don’t already have a SecureIdentity you can create one in 10 to 15 minutes. Just choose SecureIdentity when you’re asked to choose a certified company to verify your identity at GOV.UK Verify).

After verifying your identity, you’ll need the following details for each individual that you will be helping:

  • first name and surname
  • date of birth
  • National Insurance number

The person that you are helping will need to verify their identity on GOV.UK Verify. They will have to sign-in to their account and accept you as a ‘trusted helper’.

Remember that even if you are helping someone with their tax, they are still responsible for their own taxes.

More about becoming a trusted helper

How to save money with company car tax bands

An environmentally friendly company car fleet will reduce the negative impact on the planet and reduce your tax bill as new company car tax bands are introduced.

From the tax year 2020/21 there will be 15 new bandings for taxing a car, with 11 bands for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles (ULEVs).

The government has designed the new bandings to encourage the take-up of the cleanest electric and hybrid cars.

HMRC is proposing a new company car tax band with 50m/km as the new threshold for ULEVs. The ULEV CO2 emissions value consists of the capacity for zero emission miles and the level of CO2 produced when the car runs on a conventional combustion engine.

For the best tax breaks: if given the choice, opt for a ULEV. These vehicles will be given favourable, lower tax rates soon, although the exact rate has yet to be finalised.

Use SecureIdentity to check the company car tax band you are paying now.

More secure, less complicated: Say hello to the new breed of online ID

SecureIdentity is one of the new breed of online ID services, but what makes it different from what’s gone before?

Think about it for a minute. You bank online regularly and you already have secure login details that keep you safe when you do that. You also have a credit card or two that you regularly check online. Then there’s the Amazon and the ebay account plus maybe some supermarket shopping accounts, utility suppliers and all the rest.

Most of the time, these things work pretty well. You sign in, do what you need to do then get out. But what happens when things don’t go exactly to plan?

Most of us, at one time or another, have had to work through an issue with an online service provider. Maybe we want to change a direct debit, or check a delivery address. When we try to make these sort of changes online, the service provider obviously wants to make sure that we are who we say we are.

So far, there hasn’t been one simple way for us to prove who we are online, service providers have just sort of made it up as they went along.

Take your bank, for instance. Just a few years ago, if you needed to sort something out with your account the bank would probably be satisfied that you were who you said you were after asking two or three security questions. The first question was usually something like: “What’s the third and fifth letter of your password?”. Usually that was followed by a few questions you’d set up yourself previously, like “What’s your mother’s maiden name, memorable address, favourite football team?” or whatever.

But these security processes didn’t satisfy the banks for long. Pretty soon they started to ask us to create more sophisticated (much less memorable) passwords. Then they started issuing us with dongles that served up new security numbers every 30 seconds or card readers than needed smart cards and pin numbers.

Over the years, the business of proving who we are online has become pretty complex. Every new security enhancement that comes along makes proving who we are online more difficult. SecureIdentity is part of the new generation of security designed to solve this. It fuses advanced security with super simplicity. Think of it like a passport that lets you prove who you are online.

Imagine you left for a holiday abroad without packing your passport. You’d expect to have a pretty hard time getting out of the UK and into the country you wanted to visit right? Sure, there’s a chance that you’d be able answer a great number of questions and eventually the border control guards might be satisfied that you were who you said you were, but your passport makes that whole process easy.

SecureIdentity works like a passport on the internet. Soon you’ll be able to use it in lots of places whenever you need to prove that you who you say you are. It’s hard to imagine all the benefits that will bring today, because the idea is new and GOV.UK Verify is the first, and currently the only, place you can use SecureIdentity.

But in the months to come, more and more sites will start offering you the opportunity to verify you identity simply and securely using the secure identity you use to access government services at GOV.UK.

It’s smart, simple, and straightforward, and it’s the shape of things to come.

It’s taken 20 years to create SecureIdentity for GOV.UK Verify

Barclays, Paypal, The Post Office, Experian: these are just some of the household names available to you when you need to choose a certified supplier and access the services you need on GOV.UK.

SecureIdentity by Morpho is a bit different. We don’t spread our expertise across lots of services. We don’t do retail, banking, consumer credit or credit checking services. Keeping your personal details safe and secure in the digital world is all we do and we’ve been doing this for more people in more places for over 20 years.

If you haven’t heard of us already it’s because Morpho has traditionally been a company that’s worked for the world’s major governments, institutions and security services behind the scenes.  Think of us as the security  ‘engine’ that powers privacy in today’s networked world. 

  • We’ve already secured over 2.5 billion identities for citizens around the world
  • We’re the world’s No 1 provider of driving licences
  • More than 50 of the world’s governments already use our services to keep private details secure for citizens
  • We employ over 8,600 people in more than 50 countries

We provide reassurance

We’re backed by more than 20 years of experience. We’re extensively involved with government schemes where identity and security is at the top of the agenda – helping citizens to interact with official organisations in the knowledge that their valuable personal data is safe.

We provide the systems that deliver this reassurance – across the public sector as well as for financial institutions and government security services.

  • We authenticate 20 million digital signatures a year
  • We trace and archive 50 million transactions every day
  • We produce more than 2 million smart cards a day

You know us better than you think

The chances are, if you’ve got a mobile phone, or you’ve bought online or in-store with a credit card, or you’ve passed through passport control, we’ve been working behind the scenes to make sure your personal details are safe and your financial transactions are secure. Now, with the launch of SecureIdentity by Morpho, the world’s most established government grade identity systems are in your hands. 

Why replace Government Gateway with GOV.UK Verify?

The government has been looking closely at how the new connected world can enable improved, more straightforward access to government services for UK citizens. It has also been looking closely at online security; how it can best handle people’s personal information sensitively and provide the reassurance that their data is safe when they enter it online.

Making it all easier and more secure

The entry point to local and national government services – the way you got in and were asked to prove who you were – has traditionally been through the Government Gateway. You might already have used it. If you have, then you may well be one of the 65% of people who say that, getting access to the government services you need today is  a bit tedious. The multi-stage approach to proving who you are on the Government Gateway was appropriate when the system was launched some years ago, but now it needs a refresh. The Government Gateway scheme is now being gradually replaced by GOV.UK Verify, which aims to provide a faster and more secure service, for most of its previous functions.

Providing better digital service

For about 15 years this entry system – where you sign in and prove you are who you say you are –  worked how it was supposed to, but the world around us has changed.

How we connect and interact with online services has changed. Now we thrive on getting things done quicker, in a secure online environment, with far less hassle:

Faster

We all expect faster responses when we’re online. We demand easier access, and less fuss. Technology has made it all possible. You can shop online, run your bank account online, book flights, arrange holidays, pay bills.

There’s no reason why your interactions with government services can’t be just as smooth and straightforward as they are with any other organisation you connect with online.

Safer

This is the main reason why the government has engaged with a range of leading technology firms.

Using external expert companies is going to make sure that the procedures you go through when you prove who you are at GOV.UK  are always at the cutting edge of smart technology and that that latest advancements in secure online verification will always be freely available to people when they use the new Government services portal. This makes everything more straightforward.

Simpler

Today we expect to achieve much more online. Our expectations of what should be able to do when we access Government service via the web is much more joined up.

We want straightforward access to the entitlements that are due to us (like tax credits or benefits) and when we need things from other Government departments (like a new passport or a visa) we expect the relationships we have already established with one aspect of Government to speed up our requests and help us get what we need faster. The new GOV.UK Verify process enables you to register and prove who you are  once and after that, never have to jump through the same hoops again.

In a nutshell, this is what UK GOV Verify has been designed and built to offer – simple and secure access; taking the hassle out of using the numerous services you call upon through various government departments – from passport renewals to benefits and tax returns through to registering births, deaths, and marriages. All these things have to be done – now they’re just going to be easier to do.

We’re building Britain’s most comprehensive Q&A resource to help you make informed decisions about the certified company you choose to verify your identity at GOV.UK

Accessing the government services we need online is getting easier. Soon there’ll be no need to fill in paper forms, no more waiting for security codes to arrive in the post and no need to apply for access to one service at a time. One login is all you need.

The new GOV.UK Verify process takes about 10 minutes. You’ll need to have some documents to hand, like your passport and driving licence to complete the one time verification process but after that, verifying who you are at GOV.UK takes just few seconds.

When you first use the new service, one of the first things you’ll notice is that, in order to prove who you are at GOV.UK, you’re asked to verify your identity by setting up an account with one of several private security services. Nine different companies are allowed to offer the verification service you need to get online. Morpho is one of them and our GOV.UK Verify service is called SecureIdentity.

When we developed SecureIdentity we wanted to be sure that the service we offered was driven by real insights from people just like you. That’s why, over the course of this summer, we’ve asked nearly 3,000 people to tell us exactly what they expect from the certified verification provider they choose.

You learn a lot when you ask 3,000 UK Citizens about the new verification process for GOV.UK Verify, and over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring all your most frequently asked questions in this blog and developing our easy-to-use Q&A resource.

If you have questions about why, when and how you should choose a certified verification provider to help you get online and manage the government services you need, ask them in our growing FAQ section. We’ll make sure they’re answered as soon as our interactive Q&A goes live. Meanwhile, take a look at the top three most frequently asked questions people like you have about GOV.UK and the new verify process.