10 sep 19

60% “ready to quit” if they lose company car

Six out of ten employees with a company car are ready to quit their jobs if they lose that entitlement. That’s the most remarkable outcome of a survey of 1,500 employees in Belgium by HR services provider Securex. 

This deep attachment to company cars is born out of ignorance of the alternatives, suggests Securex mobility expert Hermina Van Coillie.

Unappealing alternatives

  • Around 20% of those surveyed are not aware of the alternatives to company cars – such as the mobility budget, which was recently introduced in Belgium. 
  • And those that do know the alternatives, often find them unappealing. Two out of three employees surveyed wouldn’t consider trading their company car for a smaller model, combined with a train subscription or a bicycle allowance. 

Flexible hours

  • Company cars become less important if work times are less strict: 44% of employees in companies with flexible working hours would consider giving up their company car. In non-flex companies, that’s only 23%.
  • The survey reveals major regional differences in the stress levels experienced when travelling to and from work. Commuting is stressful, say 49% of those working in Brussels, but only 38% of those working in Flanders, and 36% in Wallonia. 

Cash for car

According to Van Coillie, this suggests it’s not distance, but unpredictability is the greater contributor to commuter stress: depending on weather, accidents and other variables, driving into or out of the Belgian capital during rush hour (pictured: Rue de la Loi) can take up to an hour extra.

A separate study by fellow HR services provider Acerta shows only 14 out of 10,000 employees have taken advantage of ‘cash for car’, a mobility alternative rolled out 18 months ago, allowing employees to trade their company car for a cash allowance of up to €700 per month – making it an even less popular option than the mobility budget. 

The answer, both to Belgium’s endemic congestion and its company car addiction, is to adapt HR policies to allow more flexible working, Securex suggests. 

Authored by: Frank Jacobs