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Kurt Barlow

Job Offer

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I have been offered a new job which I said I would provisionally accept but would like to discuss a few points

The first is that the job comes with a car allowance of 4900 but is based near Kings Cross and 99% of the work is within walking distance or on the tube network. I  went back to them and said the cars a nice offer but as an alternative would you be prepared to pay my season ticket which is 3500 and keep the rest in lieu of occasional car hire where needed. I explained the car would simply be a tax liability on my driveway as I would have to get the train anyway which would cost me another 3500 on a season ticket. Also I needed to use the fast train as opposed to TFL Rail (through the free oyster card - another perk) as this is slow and means an additional train change. Commuting into London is a nightmare and I have to do about a third of the drop offs and pick ups of Barlow Jnr so need some flexibility in that regard. The response seemed a bit guarded almost as if I was asking for something exceptional.

The other issue was just some routine questions that arose after the interview. 

This was Monday morning. The interviewer assured me that she would get back to me.  Heard nothing since!

Any thoughts? 

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I thought a car allowance was simply an additional amount payable with your salary in which case its yours to spend as you want. I'm not aware whether an employer can make any stipulations as to whether you actually spend it on a car.

I suppose it depends on whether a car is necessary for you to perform your job, if you were expected to travel to customers then it would be reasonable to expect some conditions. 

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1 minute ago, sleepwello'nights said:

I thought a car allowance was simply an additional amount payable with your salary in which case its yours to spend as you want. I'm not aware whether an employer can make any stipulations as to whether you actually spend it on a car.

I suppose it depends on whether a car is necessary for you to perform your job, if you were expected to travel to customers then it would be reasonable to expect some conditions. 

This I get a car allowance and just take the cash and then drive my 9 year old car.

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10 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

I have been offered a new job which I said I would provisionally accept but would like to discuss a few points

The first is that the job comes with a car allowance of 4900 but is based near Kings Cross and 99% of the work is within walking distance or on the tube network. I  went back to them and said the cars a nice offer but as an alternative would you be prepared to pay my season ticket which is 3500 and keep the rest in lieu of occasional car hire where needed. I explained the car would simply be a tax liability on my driveway as I would have to get the train anyway which would cost me another 3500 on a season ticket. Also I needed to use the fast train as opposed to TFL Rail (through the free oyster card - another perk) as this is slow and means an additional train change. Commuting into London is a nightmare and I have to do about a third of the drop offs and pick ups of Barlow Jnr so need some flexibility in that regard. The response seemed a bit guarded almost as if I was asking for something exceptional.

The other issue was just some routine questions that arose after the interview. 

This was Monday morning. The interviewer assured me that she would get back to me.  Heard nothing since!

Any thoughts? 

They might be unused to someone who actually thinks about finances sensibly rather than a 'thank you sir' attitude.  Their internal policies may not be set up to handle the above.  If they come back and say no can do, then go the environmental line - say that you were trying to follow the green agenda, not cause problems (assuming you want the job).

 

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2 minutes ago, ad_ceng said:

This I get a car allowance and just take the cash and then drive my 9 year old car.

I took it that the car allowance was subject to providing a car. 

My wife and I have one car which is all we need. A second car would simply sit on our small undersized drivway as there is no frickin way Id consider driving from Essex to Kings Cross. 

Just now, wherebee said:

They might be unused to someone who actually thinks about finances sensibly rather than a 'thank you sir' attitude.  Their internal policies may not be set up to handle the above.  If they come back and say no can do, then go the environmental line - say that you were trying to follow the green agenda, not cause problems (assuming you want the job).

 

Ha - the joke of it this for a company building part of HS2!

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8 minutes ago, sleepwello'nights said:

I thought a car allowance was simply an additional amount payable with your salary in which case its yours to spend as you want. I'm not aware whether an employer can make any stipulations as to whether you actually spend it on a car.

I suppose it depends on whether a car is necessary for you to perform your job, if you were expected to travel to customers then it would be reasonable to expect some conditions. 

The option was either a lease car or car allowance (which I presume requires you to have a car available). We have a car but my wife uses it for work and there is no way she can get the train on the odd day I might need a car. 

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I expect they have a pretty standard package that they offer for typical jobs.

People in HR often aren't the decision makers..  they just administer.

You are asking for something they probably don't have the authority to decide..  so they will ask someone else,  who will first wonder why you are asking for less than they offered, and then wonder if there are any issues with saying yes,  so they will speak to finance and maybe legal. Someone in the chain will be on holiday and then eventually the stars will align and you might get an answer.  

Personally I would take the cash, just run an old car for the odd business related thing that might require it..  then spend the rest on your railcard.   Job done.

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4 minutes ago, wherebee said:

They might be unused to someone who actually thinks about finances sensibly rather than a 'thank you sir' attitude.  Their internal policies may not be set up to handle the above.  If they come back and say no can do, then go the environmental line - say that you were trying to follow the green agenda, not cause problems (assuming you want the job).

 

My counter offer was you pay my 3500 season ticket and keep the rest (which would fund occasional car hire if needed)

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1 minute ago, sleepwello'nights said:

One of the reasons companies started adding allowances to salaries was because they could be "non pensionable". This meant that your pension entitlement would be from your basic pay not your total pay. YMMV.

I wondered if there was a trick there to do with pensions. 

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3 minutes ago, Libspero said:

I expect they have a pretty standard package that they offer for typical jobs.

People in HR often aren't the decision makers..  they just administer.

You are asking for something they probably don't have the authority to decide..  so they will ask someone else,  who will first wonder why you are asking for less than they offered, and then wonder if there are any issues with saying yes,  so they will speak to finance and maybe legal. Someone in the chain will be on holiday and then eventually the stars will align and you might get an answer.  

Personally I would take the cash, just run an old car for the odd business related thing that might require it..  then spend the rest on your railcard.   Job done.

I would do but we dont have space for 2 cars and we cant park on the road near to us. In anycase even 3rd party insurance costs a packet these days. Just seems a waste. 99% of my transport will be public transport with only very occasional need for a set of wheels

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1 minute ago, Libspero said:

Funny..  I could have sworn you were moving up to the north east a while back.

We were looking at that as an option along with East Yorkshire as Mrs B is a chemical engineer. Would have been a lot cheaper of course. 

I then got a got a job in London and Mrs B got one in in Essex so we moved to Billericay. So far we have resisted the desire to get our fake bake tans. 

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I have a car allowance, in theory I have to have access to a car for work purposes. Current job nearly 8 years, I've needed a car once and used Mr Dipsy's as his is insured for work purposes. All other travel has been by train and claimed on expenses, permissible as I can work on the train. 

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I had a car allowance in the past and the company seemed to see it as a salary 'perk' but implied that if you needed to use car it had to be decent (less than 3 years old IIRC, hence the car allowance) as visits to customers and taking customers was in the T&Cs but not written down, they did not want you turning up in a 20 year old Ford Fiesta! as this reflected badly on the company. Salary discussion in future years was on the base salary as the car allowance was fixed unless you moved up the grades.

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8 minutes ago, satch said:

I had a car allowance in the past and the company seemed to see it as a salary 'perk' but implied that if you needed to use car it had to be decent (less than 3 years old IIRC, hence the car allowance) as visits to customers and taking customers was in the T&Cs but not written down, they did not want you turning up in a 20 year old Ford Fiesta! as this reflected badly on the company. Salary discussion in future years was on the base salary as the car allowance was fixed unless you moved up the grades.

I said to the company - well how about I take a lease car and my wife uses it daily to commute to work. Answer - err no. 

So clearly not viewed as an add on perk. 

Edited by Kurt Barlow
addition

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9 minutes ago, satch said:

I had a car allowance in the past and the company seemed to see it as a salary 'perk' but implied that if you needed to use car it had to be decent (less than 3 years old IIRC, hence the car allowance) as visits to customers and taking customers was in the T&Cs but not written down, they did not want you turning up in a 20 year old Ford Fiesta! as this reflected badly on the company. Salary discussion in future years was on the base salary as the car allowance was fixed unless you moved up the grades.

Yeah, this, about the age, condition etc of the car you use is in the small print of my company’s car allowance policy. Although it took them several years to notice I was driving a really  old Toyota Corolla. Hire cars and the odd excuse that your using your wife’s car today will get you a long way, I suspect.

3 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

I said to the company - well how about I take a lease car and my wife uses it daily to commute to work. Answer - err no. 

So clearly not viewed as an add on perk. 

Well, naturally....  but if you’re not using it everyday, so what. They wouldn’t know.

methinks you are giving the, TMI. Just stop volunteering stuff, take the money and make your own arrangements.

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8 minutes ago, Melchett said:

Yeah, this, about the age, condition etc of the car you use is in the small print of my company’s car allowance policy. Although it took them several years to notice I was driving a really  old Toyota Corolla. Hire cars and the odd excuse that your using your wife’s car today will get you a long way, I suspect.

Well, naturally....  but if you’re not using it everyday, so what. They wouldn’t know.

methinks you are giving the, TMI. Just stop volunteering stuff, take the money and make your own arrangements.

Or  just show some flexibility and allow the purchase of a season ticket in lieu of a car which would be the simplest option. 

My experience of car allowances they usually want to know details of the specific model .

 

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14 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

I said to the company - well how about I take a lease car and my wife uses it daily to commute to work. Answer - err no. 

So clearly not viewed as an add on perk. 

Perhaps I should have said perk for you. They do not employ your wife and want to ring fence the perk for you.If you leave would there be a complication for them supplying a lease car used by your wife. I still think this is to do with the age of the car and business use insurance and salary ranges for the job you have been offered. HR tend to get bogged down in this stuff. If you took the allownace and on business use turned up in a decent car I feel there would not be a problem.

Edited by satch

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1 minute ago, satch said:

Perhaps I should have said perk for you. They do not employ your wife and want ring fence the perk for you.If you leave would there be a complication for them supplying a lease car used by your wife. I still think this is to do with the age of the car and business use insurance and salary ranges for the job you have been offered. HR tend to get bogged down in this stuff. If you took the allownace and on business use turned up in a decent car I feel there would not be a problem.

Problem is my wife needs our car daily so not really an option to use that. 

To get to work by train would require 4 trains and then a taxi to her work site. 

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1 minute ago, Kurt Barlow said:

My experience of car allowances they usually want to know details of the specific model .

 

Maybe...  YMMV. Like I said, my particular employer didn’t, and it only slowly became an issue as various people started wondering why they only ever saw me in an ancient Toyota,

So now I have a company car, which I, like you, don’t need to commute. The only reasons my wife doesn’t drive it to work is she works in Romford, which seems to result in on average a trip to the body shop once a year, which would cause me to be called in for a stern ticking off. 

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8 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Problem is my wife needs our car daily so not really an option to use that. 

To get to work by train would require 4 trains and then a taxi to her work site. 

Depends on how often you need to hire a decent car which is what I would suggest. If you need a decent car once a month then hire if you need it more often then the comapny seem to be saying we are giving you the car allowance for a car for business purposes, you getting to the office on a daily basis is your issue, as it is for x number of other employees.

Edited by satch

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Why aim so low, I'd demand they relocate their offices, within walking distance of your house.

You've got to play hardball with these types of negotiations.

Edited by SNACR

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