Many people used to take the car as standard to get to work, pay customers a visit or even to get a sandwich in the afternoon. That time is irrevocably behind us. The roads are silting up and the car is no longer always the quickest way to get around. Moreover, there is a growing awareness that there is simply no “planet B”. The mobility budget, which employers have been able to issue since 1 March 2019, fits in nicely with these changes. It allows employees to distribute a certain budget over different types of transport – from the electric scooter to the tram or Uber – and thus commute efficiently and sustainably. The MAES Mobility Card, with which you can easily pay for your bus journeys or rent an electric scooter, fits perfectly into the picture. Discover everything about the mobility budget here!
What is the mobility budget?
If an employer chooses to implement the mobility budget, and if the employee agrees (both parties have the freedom of choice), the latter will exchange his or her company car for a sum of money that he can use to travel to and from work . The sum can be used on three pillars:
Pillar 1: a new company car
The condition is that the new company car is at least as environmentally friendly as the one you traded in, and emits a maximum of 105 grams of CO2 per kilometer (from 2020 that limit will drop to 95 grams). Moreover, the new car may not cost the employer more than the car it replaces. The same social and tax rules apply here as with a traditional company car.
Pillar 2: sustainable means of transport
This includes a whole range of environmentally friendly means of transport such as an (electric) bicycle, a monowheel, a speedpedelec, an electric scooter, but also public transport (individual tickets for train, tram, metro and bus and subscriptions are an option). Shared transport, such as an Uber or carpool services, are also possible. These solutions are completely exempt from social contributions and taxes.
Pillar 3: residual balance in cash
You do not have to completely use up your mobility budget. At the end of the year, you can have your money paid out in cash. You do pay a tax of 38.07% on that amount.
The mobility budget in practice
We provide two practical cases to clarify the mobility budget system.
Steven lives in Ninove, but commutes to Brussels every day. He takes his sustainable car to a park-and-ride on the outskirts of the city (pillar 1), and then covers the final kilometers with the folding bike that he carries in his suitcase (pillar 2).
Malika lives in Wilrijk and works near the Leuven station. Every morning she jumps on her electric bicycle to pedal to Berchem station (pillar 2). There she boarded the train to Leuven (pillar 2).
The size of your mobility budget
You can combine the three pillars to your heart’s content, as long as you stay within your budget.
The company car you trade in naturally determines the size of your mobility budget, but that is not the only factor that plays a role. In fact, you have to take into account the full annual gross costs that were associated with your company car for the employer. Such a “total cost of ownership” (TOC), or the total cost for the employer, also includes other parameters, such as
- the fuel costs
- maintenance and repair costs
- the CO2 emissions of the car
- the tax deductibility
- even the driver’s driving behavior (in the form of any accidents and damage at the end of the contract)
Who is eligible?
Both the employee and the employer must meet a number of conditions.
- Employers have had to offer continuous company cars for at least three years.
- Employees must have a company car at their current employer for at least three months without interruption and have responded to one of these three scenarios during the past three years:
- have had a company car for at least a year
- whether you have a company car for at least one year
- whether you are or have been eligible for this
The difference with the mobility allowance
The mobility budget is not the only measure that the government launched. In addition, there is the mobility allowance or the cash for car arrangement. Both systems have many similarities, but also some differences. For example, a company car is not an option for those who get to work with a mobility allowance. Our page dedicated to the theme goes into this even further.