Frequently Asked Questions
Search keywords...

On the quote request page you can choose any car from a drop-down menu. New car models are constantly being released and availability changes frequently.

If you decide to request a salary sacrifice quote select the option on the quote request form. Some organisations may not offer salary sacrifice at this time, if this is the case the option will not appear and you will not be able to request quotes for this payment method.

To provide an accurate quote you will be asked for your Gross Salary, pension status and Tax Code. If these details are unavailable, please enter £25,000 as a salary and 1185L as a tax code, this will calculate your quotes on a basic rate of tax.

The contract includes all costs of finance, maintenance, servicing, tyres, windscreen and glass, payment of fuel for business journeys, comprehensive insurance and full support from Knowles Associates.

The contract does not include fuel for private use, top up fluids including antifreeze, engine oil and AdBlue if required. This only applies between servicing; if any fluids are refilled as part of the service it will be included.

Although every effort will be made to arrange a replacement vehicle, the contract does not include a free of charge replacement vehicle in the event of a breakdown or accident. A relief vehicle is available at an additional cost on request from the quote team.

The contract does not cover damage caused to the vehicle by incorrect driving style, failure to follow the instructions published in the manufactures handbook or impact damage. Any additional cost not covered under the contract will be the responsibility of the driver.

You will receive a mileage allowance if you travel on official business.

If you choose salary deduction part of the allowance may be deducted from the cost of the car during the quote and this reduces the amount you pay for the private use. The other part of the allowance is for fuel and this will be taxed if the allowance exceeds the HMRC advisory fuel rate. HMRC advisory rates can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/advisory-fuel-rates

Because salary sacrifice savings are based upon your reduced pay, the mileage allowance is not offset against the cost of the car. This is because it would result in lower savings and would reduce the benefit of salary sacrifice. The full allowance is paid on submission of your business mileage return. The allowance you receive will be greater than the HMRC advisory fuel rate and you will pay tax and national insurance on the profit element (allowance – advisory fuel rate)

Example salary sacrifice allowance 45p advisory fuel rate 11p

45p – 11p = 34p
Tax @ 20% = 6.8p (34x0.2)
NIC @ 13% = 4.42p (34x0.13)

Net allowance = 33.78 pence per mile

Note: the allowances used in the example is indicative, the actual allowance applicable to your employer will be shown in the quote.

The quotation provided is based on the gross salary and tax code that you provided at the time of the quote and confirmed by your payroll department. If your salary changes then there will be a direct impact on the savings calculated. It is likely that you sacrifice savings will change throughout the term of agreement due to pay point increments, promotion, changing in working hours and inflationary pay awards etc.

Examples of changes

1. A pay increase can affect your pension savings

BandGross Income BandsEmployee Rate
g£111,377.00 - £1,000,000.00 14.50%
f £70,631.00 - £111,376.99 13.50%
e £47,846.00- £70,630.99 12.50%
d £26,824.00 - £47,845.99 9.30%
c £21,478.00 - £26,823.997.10%
b £15,432.00 - £21,477.995.60%
a £0.00 - £15,431.995.00%


It is important to note that when your gross salary falls into a pension band the employee rate applies to the whole salary.

This means that if a sacrifice reduces your gross salary from band ‘d’ to band ‘c’ your pension contribution will reduce from 9.3% to 7.1%. Similarly, if you are in band ’d’ and a pay increase takes you into band ‘e’ your contribution will increase from 9.3% to 12.5%. This can happen at any time during your contract as a result of inflationary pay increases and incremental pay points.

It is very important that you make sure that you understand the pension savings each year of the contract. You can do this by increasing and reducing your salary in the quotation.

2.Your salary increase may place you in a different tax band

Taxable IncomeTax Rate (Band)Tax Rate 2018-2019
£150,001.00 and above Additional Rate 45%
£46,351.00 £150,000.00 Higher Rate 40%
£11,851.00 £46,350.00Basic Rate20%
£0.00 £11,850.00Personal Allowance 0%


Unlike the pension rate the income tax rate applies to the salary at each band. This means that if your pay is £47,350.00 and the sacrifice reduces your pay to £44,350 you will save £1,000.00 at 40% and £2,000.00 at 20%.

The car benefit tax detailed within your quotation is for information only; for further details, please request a call-back from the menu bar or seek independent advice.

If you receive a salary from your employment you pay income tax through the PAYE system. If you receive goods or other non-cash items, you are receiving a "benefit in kind" which is taxable. A car that is provided by your employer whether by salary deduction or salary sacrifice is classified by the HMRC as non-cash income. The "benefit in kind" value of the car is calculated by multiplying the list price of the car by the CO2 percentage.

Each year HMRC publish a table of emission values that equate to a CO2 percentage figure the current tables are applicable to April 2019.

N.B. the percentage values apply to petrol engine, there is an additional 4% supplement for diesel engines, however this is capped at 37%. If your diesel engine meets the Real Driving Emissions 2 (RDE2) standard the supplement will not apply.

Payments made by salary sacrifice are a salary swap and not payments for the private use of the car. Therefore, the tax calculation is List price x CO2 % x tax rate

e.g. £20,000.00 x 15% = £3,000.00 x 20% =£600 per annum

Payments made by salary deduction are classified as payments for the private use of the car and HMRC discounts the Car Benefit Charge by the value of the private use contribution. Therefore, the tax calculation is List price x CO2 % - private use contribution x tax rate.

e.g. £20,000.00 x 15% = £3,000.00 - £1,000.00 = £2,000.00 x 20% = £400 per annum

Is the car benefit tax included in my payment for the car?

No, it is a separate payment to the HMRC - The tax is collected through the PAYE system in one of two ways.

1.Via an adjustment to your personal tax code. The HM Revenue & Customs will reduce your tax code by the value of the benefit. This simply means that, if you pay tax at the standard rate, the tax you pay will increase by 20% of the car benefit. When you apply for a quotation we will calculate the tax charge for you and we will inform the HM Revenue & Customs, to adjust your code, if you take a car under the scheme.

2. By payrolling. There will be no change to your tax code, but your employer will collect the applicable tax from your pay each month and this will be paid to the HMRC. You will see a payslip note detailing the amount that has been taxed (please note this is not the amount of tax you pay, but the amount on which tax is applied)

The method used will depend on your employer, if you are unsure of the method your employer uses please call Knowles Associates.

If an employee wants to opt in or out of a salary sacrifice arrangement, employers must alter their employment contract with each change. The employee’s contract must be clear on what their cash and non-cash entitlements are at any given time.

It may be necessary to change the terms of a salary sacrifice arrangement where a ‘lifestyle change’ significantly alters an employee’s financial circumstances. Salary sacrifice arrangements can allow opting in or out in the event of a lifestyle change.

As a general rule, employees cannot swap between cash earnings and a non-cash benefit whenever they like, any expected tax and NICs advantages under a salary sacrifice arrangement won’t apply.

Some examples considered a lifestyle change:

  • Marriage
  • Divorce
  • Pregnancy
  • Redundancy (partner of spouse)
  • Ill Health
  • Change in role (forced)
  • Change in legislation that impacts on the employee’s net earnings
  • Changing employer
  • When the employee has an extended period of maternity or sick leave, the full employer’s contribution may be removed, at the employer’s discretion. As a result, you will pay the full cost of the lease car.

    If you are on a period of low or no pay, you may be recharge monthly or discuss and agree a repayment plan. On return to work your contribution will be reinstated, based on a new estimate of the annual business mileage if applicable.

    If you choose to return the vehicle you will be liable for a financial penalty, on account of early termination of the contract, except in exceptional circumstances.

    If your Maternity Pay is calculated using the pre-sacrifice salary, you will continue to sacrifice the full amount during the period of full and half pay. When you go on to SMP or No Pay, your employer will discuss and agree a repayment plan .

    If your Maternity pay is calculated using the post-sacrifice salary, the sacrifice will be stopped for the period of the Maternity Leave and your employer will discuss and agree a repayment plan.

    When we deliver your new car, you will receive an information card giving all the contact numbers and suppliers. We recommend that you key the main numbers such as breakdown and accident helpline, into your mobile phone. You can also go to our website www.knowlesfleet.com and select Click here to get info and type your registration number or you can login and go to your home page to find all details of your car.

    Some diesel engines require Adblue to comply with Euro 6 emission standards because it reduces harmful nitrogen-oxide emissions.

    Unfortunately not all manufactures include Adblue in the vehicle name but most cars that use 'Blue' in the description use it. Generally, most German and French makes including Audi, BMW Citroen, Volkswagen and Mercedes do use it. The only way that you can be sure is to check the manufacturers website or ask your local garage.

    Topping up with AdBlue is simple but always consult your car's handbook first, but typically all you need to do is open the AdBlue filler cap, screw on the connecter of the refill bottle, then let the AdBlue drain into the tank. Many larger refill containers require a connecting nozzle, and you may want to buy one of these from a dealer if you’re a high-mileage driver, as larger refills can save you money in the long run.

    Before you make your vehicle selection, we would like to make you aware of diesel cars that use a diesel particulate filter. If you are a driver that makes frequent short journeys, you should consider very carefully if a diesel vehicle with a particulate filter is right for you. If you are unsure if the vehicle you would like has this type of filter, please visit the manufacturers website and review the technical specification of the vehicle. Alternatively, please call us on 01206 255 420.

    1. If you need any help or assistance please call 01206 255 420
    2. Make sure that your business mileage is accurate as this will affect the quote
    3. If you are not sure what your annual business mileage should be; calculate your average monthly mileage and multiply this by 10 to take account of holidays and other periods of absence or consult your line manager
    4. If you have any special requirements or if special terms apply to you please call us on 01206 255 420 e.g. disturbance allowance, special allowance
    5. Make sure your private mileage covers your commuting to and from work as well as any personal journeys you will do over the course of the contract

    These cars are currently the best priced lease vehicles available to you:
    - Volkswagen
    - Polo
    - Vauxhall Corsa
    - Seat Ibiza
    - Volkswagen Golf
    - Vauxhall Astra
    - Seat Leon

    To obtain quotations for any of these vehicles please continue to the request a quote page

    Most cars are factory orders and will take around 12 - 14 weeks from order to delivery so please take this into account when you make your choice. Some vehicles may take longer.

    You can cancel the agreement within 5 (five) days from the date of signing the hire agreement without liability or fee. Any cancellation after this period may result in you being liable for a cancellation fee.

    Knowles Associates provide an administration service to your employer. We are not a leasing company, credit broker or hirer. All quotations, terms & conditions and documentation has been approved by your employer.

    The financial impact is different for retirement pensions depending on how the pension will be calculated. If you opt out of salary sacrifice arrangements in the final three years before your retirement, you will be liable for any increased pension costs that may be charged by the NHS Pension Scheme. Pension is either calculated under a Final Salary or a Career Average arrangement. For most staff in the NHS their pension will be calculated using both arrangements. The implications of a salary sacrifice on each arrangement are shown below:

    Staff are advised to firstly understand which retirement arrangement applies to them by checking at http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/4017.aspx

    1995 Final Salary Scheme – This is calculated on the best of the last 3 pensionable years. Avoiding salary sacrifice arrangement in this 3 year period will ensure pension is not reduced.

    2008 Final Salary Scheme – This is calculated on an average of the best 3 consecutive years in the last 10 years of service. Avoiding salary sacrifice arrangement in the last 3 year period may ensure pension is not reduced.

    2015 Career Average Salary Scheme – This will be calculated every year on the employee’s pensionable earnings. Any reduction in earnings will therefore result in a reduced pension