Am I entitled to a company car and under what terms?

There is no automatic entitlement to a company car. This would be between you and your employer, so if you have a company car it should be clearly stated in your written employment contract as an express term. Sometimes, rules about vehicles are found in a separate vehicle policy or staff handbook. If there is no written term referring to your right to a company car, consider whether there might be an implied right based on 'custom and practice'.

During maternity leave, women are entitled to the benefit of all their terms and conditions except for pay. This means, in particular, that if you have a contractual right to a company car, you should get to keep it during your maternity leave.

With all contractual benefits, your employer must not unlawfully discriminate against members of staff, for example by making decisions to give or withhold the benefit for a reason relating to one of the protected characteristics, such as sex, sexual orientation, disability, race, religion or age.

If the contractual benefit is available to full-time workers, it should also be extended to comparable part-time workers, unless the employer can justify treating part-time workers differently on objective grounds.  

The provision of a company car will be considered by HM Revenue and Customs as a taxable benefit.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.