Poland

Last modification: 11 Jan 18

Chapter 1: Economic and business environment

Demographics

38.5 million (December 2016)

Capital

Warsaw

Major cities

Kraków, Wrocław, Poznań, Gdańsk and Szczecin

Languages

Polish

GDP
  • GDP (PPP): $1.051 trillion, World ranking GDP (PPP): 24th 
  • GDP (per capital): $27,654, World ranking DGP (pp): 44th 

(December 2016)

Unemployment rate

8.5% (December 2016)

Main industries

Machinery, Iron and Steel, Coal Mining, Chemicals, Ship Building, Food processing, Glass

Currency

Zloty (PLN)

Interest rate

1.5% (December 2016)

Fleet Maturity Index (scaling)
  •  
Political key info
  • Governance: Parliamentary republic
  • EU member since 2004
  • Sixth-largest economy in the European Union
  • 7th most attractive country in the world to invest
Inflation

0.7% (December 2016)

Chapter 2 : Automotive market, segments & sales

Total Car park


19.5 million registered cars (2015)

New vehicle registrations (Cars, LCV, Trucks)
  • 355.000 passenger cars in 2015 (+8.3% year on year)
  • After first three quarters of 2016, figures show that dealers will be able to deliver over 400.000 cars to their clients.
  • 70% of new cars are bought by entrepreneurs. Private consumers prefer to buy cheaper used cars
  • What is very characteristic for Polish vehicle market is this that new cars are being bought in high-end and very expensive versions – the average price of new cars is more than €22.000.
Top 5 brands (total market)
  • 2015: 
  1. Skoda
  2. Toyota
  3. Volkswagen
  4. Opel
  5. Ford
Model preference top 5 (total market)
  • 2015
  1. Skoda Octavia
  2. Skoda Fabia
  3. Volkswagen Golf
  4. Opel Astra
  5. Toyota Auris
Used car market/renewal cycle

Since 2004, 700.000 to 1 million used cars have been brought for every year. Over half of those were more than 10 years old; 40% were between 4 to 10 years old and only 10% were less than 4 years old.

Chapter 3: Company car market

Total Fleet Park (company cars)/Fleet penetration in total fleet sales
  • 231.000 new cars (+15%) in 2015.
  • The segment of premium cars has grown even faster due to the simplification of VAT deductions
  • 53.000 delivery vans (+16.9% over previous year, with an even higher increase for the first half of the year) in 2015.
  • 2015: Individual clients : 123.611, Fleet segment : 92.159, Other personal company cars : 139.025
  • For years, the private share in the overall car market has been decreasing. In 2010, it was 55%. In 2015, it was 34.8% (123,600 units). It should be noted that the corporate sector (including car rental companies) not only buy more cars, but also more expen¬sive ones. In 2015, the weighted mean price of a privately purchased car was €18,800. For a company car, this was €24,900.
     
Evolution fleet sales (last 5 years)
  • 2005: 6000, 2010: 94.000, 2015: 170.000, 2020 (prognosis): 220.000
  • It has been forecasted that over the next five years, the average growth of the vehicle fleet and lease industry in Poland will be reach around 7%. That is higher than the forecast for new car sales, which should grow at around 5% yearly.
     
Top 5 fleet brands (fleet market)
  • 2015:
  1. Skoda
  2. Volkswagen
  3. Toyota
  4. Ford
  5. Opel
  • For the LCV segment (<3.5t)(2015):
  1. Fiat 
  2. Renault 
  3. Peugeot
Fleet Model preference top 5 (fleet market)
  • 2015:
  1. Skoda Octavia
  2. Volkswagen Golf
  3. Ford Focus
  4. Volkswagen Passat
  5. Toyota Auris

Chapter 4: Taxation & legislation

4.1 Car taxation

  • According to the Polish law, the following taxes/fees are due with regard to cars:
    • Value-added tax (VAT);
    • Excise duty on passenger cars supplied before their first registration in Poland;
    • Car registration fees;
    • Tax on transportation means;
    • Fee for using the national roads;
       
  • Car registration fees
    • Chargeable event: The fee for issuing the registration card along with stickers as well as the fee for issuing number plates are charged every time the vehicle is registered or re-registered (e.g., as a consequence of change of the vehicle’s ownership). Additionally, if the car is registered for the first time in Poland, the fee for issuing the vehicle card is charged.
    • Chargeable person: the fees should be settled by a person who is requesting the registration of a vehicle.
       
  • Fee for using the national roadsµ
    • Taxable event: The fee for using the national roads is due for vehicles with a certain gross mass (maximum total weight exceeding 3.5t) and buses.
    • Taxable person: The fee is payable by a person performing transport on the national roads.
       
  • Tax due: In July 2011 Poland launched the electronic system of charging the fees for using the national roads for transport indicated under relevant provisions. It covers fees due on vehicles with a maximum total weight exceeding 3.5t and buses. The fees are charged based on the distance driven on the road covered by the system and the rates are in PLN per kilometre. The rates vary depending in particular on the
    • category of vehicle;
    • maximum total weight of a vehicle;
    • exhaust fumes emission class.

Persons performing transport on the national roads should possess an electronic device that records the distance covered by a given vehicle.

4.2. Income tax – Taxable persons

  • A passenger car is a road vehicle with a maximum total weight of 3.5 tonnes, designed to transport no more than nine persons including the driver except for:
    • vehicles having one row of seats separated from the cargo hold with a wall or another fixed partition, classified as multi-purpose cars or vans;
    • vehicles having one row of seats with an open cargo hold;
    • vehicles having driver’s cabin with one row of seats and cargo hold body as two separate constructions;
    • vehicles of a special purpose, e.g., truck-mounted cranes, excavators etc.
       
  • The part of depreciation write-offs calculated on the initial value of a passenger car exceeding the PLN equivalent of 20,000 EUR does not constitute tax deductible cost. Moreover, CIT Law limits the deductibility of insurance premiums for a passenger cars, the value of which exceeds 20,000 EUR (only part of share premiums is tax deductible).
     
  • Based on the Polish CIT Law, the expenditures related to the use of a car, which does not belong to the taxpayer, constitute the tax deductible costs up to the limit calculated as a number of business kilometre travelled multiplied by a rate per kilometre or, in particular cases, up to the monthly lump-sum limit. The above-mentioned expenditures include e.g., fuel or costs of repairs. According to the latest tax authorities’ position the costs of rental payments should be treated as tax deductible without any limitation.
     
  • Regardless of the above, in the case of an operational lease the whole amount of lease fee paid by the lessee constitutes his tax deductible cost.
     
  • Regulations concerning trucks: In the light of the Polish CIT provisions,
    • depreciation write-offs and insurance premiums relating to trucks constitute tax deductible costs in full amount and
    • costs of use of a rented truck are fully deductible for tax purposes.​

  • In case of any damage to or liquidation of a vehicle, which was not covered with the voluntary insurance, any losses or repair costs after the car accident do not constitute tax deductible costs.
     
  • Leasing: Below is a summary of general information concerning:
    • conditions that need to be fulfilled in order to classify an agreement related to a lease of a vehicle as an operational or financial lease under the CIT Law;
    • tax consequences resulting from the above-mentioned classification.

Classification of leasing agreements for CIT purposes

 

Operational lease

Financial lease

Period for which agreement must be concluded

A fixed period of time, however, not shorter than two years.

A fixed period of time.

Payments

Total amount of lease payments must be equal or higher than the initial net value of the leased vehicle (i.e., net of VAT) or (if the next leasing agreement pertaining to this vehicle is signed) equal to its market value at the date of the next leasing agreement.

Total amount of lease payments must be equal or higher than the initial net value of the leased vehicle (i.e., net of VAT) or (if the next leasing agreement pertaining to this vehicle is signed) equal to its market value at the date of the next leasing agreement.

Additional requirements

The lessor does not benefit from the given exemptions listed in the Polish CIT Act.

The leasing agreement needs to include a provision authorising the lessee to depreciate the leased asset for CIT purposes.

Consequently, the lessor is not entitled to depreciate the leased asset.

Tax consequences resulting from the agreement

The total amount of rental payments constitutes a tax deductible cost for the lessee and taxable revenue for the lessor.

Furthermore, the lessor is entitled to depreciate the leased object for CIT purposes.

The capital element of lease payment is effectively tax neutral for CIT purposes for the lessee and lessor.

Only the interest element (surplus over the initial value of a leased asset) constitutes tax-deductible cost for the lessee and taxable revenue for the lessor.

4.3. Company cars

  • VAT due on private use of company cars: As a rule, private use of a company’s car by the employee is treated as a taxable supply of services by the employer. In cases where the employee pays no fee for using the company’s car for his/her private purposes, such a use should be considered as a free-of-charge supply of services by the employer, provided that the employer had the right to recover the entire input VAT incurred on the acquisition of goods and services connected with these services. Referring to section 4.2, if the taxpayer has the right to recover only a portion of input VAT incurred on the acquisition of a car, free-of-charge use by employees should not be subject to VAT. If the employee uses the company’s car for his/her private purposes in return for a fee paid to the employer, the employer is deemed to render a rental service to its employee. Additionally, the Polish VAT Law stipulates different methods for determining the taxable amount in case of the private use of the company’s car, depending on whether the employee pays any fee to the employer:
    • in the case of free-of-charge use of a company’s car, the taxable amount should be based on the costs of provision of this service borne by the taxpayer (employer)
    • in the case of use of a company’s car by the employee in return for a fee, the taxable amount should be equal to the amount due to the employer. Generally, if such a fee significantly differs from the market price, the tax authorities are allowed to establish it for tax purposes on the market level.

In practice, the fee for the use of a company’s car by the employee may be calculated as the number of kilometres driven for private purposes multiplied by a fixed rate depending on the engine size of the vehicle.

  • Company cars – income taxes: If for private purposes, the value of this service is treated as a benefit in-kind, which the employee does not pay any fee to the employer for use of a company’s car constitutes his/her taxable income.
    Starting from January 1, 2015, the value of received benefit in-kind is fixed and amounts to:
    • 250 PLN monthly for the use of a car with engine capacity lower or equal to 1600cc;
    • 400 PLN monthly for the use of a car with engine capacity above 1600cc.

However, if the employee reimburses his employer for the private use of a company’s car and provided that the said reimbursement is determined in accordance with the arm’s length principle, no benefit in-kind is granted to the employee.

4.4. Income taxes – drivers’ personal taxation

  • The vehicle costs made in respect of the private use of a vehicle are not deductible in the employee’s personal tax return.

  • The car costs incurred with respect to commuting are not deductible for the employee’s personal income tax purposes.

  • In the case when an employee uses his own car for a business trip and the employer refunds the costs of this usage, such a refund does not constitute a taxable income of the employee provided that it does not exceed the limit set for the number of business kilometres driven by an employee multiplied by maximum statutory rate per kilometre, as presented below:
    • Cars with engines up to 900cc: 0.5214 PLN/km
    • Cars with engines over 900cc: 0.8358 PLN/km


    At the same time, the employer may treat the above-mentioned refund as a tax deductible cost up to the limit described above.


  • In the case when an employee uses his own car for local travel for business purposes and the employer refunds the costs of this usage, in principle, such a refund does not constitute a taxable income for the employee provided that it does not exceed the limit indicated above.

4.5. Electric vehicles

No regulations regarding electric vehicles in Poland. Some regulations may occur in future because of the increasing popularity of electric vehicles.

4.6. Future developments

4.7. Legal background (import taxes)

  • CIT legislation (the CIT Law in particular)

  • VAT legislation (the VAT Law in particular)

  • Local tax laws

  • Excise Law

  • Accounting Law

  • Traffic Law

Chapter 5: Car policies

  • Company car entitlement

  • Which sectors provide most fleet cars?

  • Which job functions often include a company car

  • Which reference car(s) is given to:
    • Entry/junior sales level:
    • Senior sales / management level:
    • Executive level

Chapter 6: Funding methods

  • Overview of penetration of funding methods (buy or lease statement)
    • The second half of the 1990s saw the introduction of pioneering long term renting services on the Polish market. At first, there were only a few providers, with a limited scope of services, aimed almost exclusively at international companies.
    • A significant increase in leased car volume occurred after 2000, when key European players entered Poland. By 2005, there were around 60,000 leased cars. Slowly, also big Polish companies started to use fleet and lease services. The market grew by 10% to 12% per annum.

  • Type of suppliers (captive versus multibrand, international versus local…)

6.1 Outright purchase

  • Definition

  • Pro’s and con’s

  • Economic & legal ownership

  • Business practices

6.2 Renting (Finance lease)

  • Definition

  • Pro’s and con’s

  • Economic & legal ownership

  • Business practices

6.3 Full service leasing (operational leasing)

  • Definition

  • Pro’s and con’s

  • Economic & legal ownership

  • Business practices

6.4 Fleet Management

  • Definition

  • Pro’s and con’s

  • Economic & legal ownership

  • Business practices

6.5 Short term rental

  • Definition

  • Pro’s and con’s

  • Economic & legal ownership

  • Business practices

6.6 Other funding methods

  • Novated lease

  • Private lease

Chapter 7: Fuel

  • Fuel type segmentation
    • Diesels (74.2%)
    • Petrols (25.5%)
    • Alternative fuels (0.3%)

  • Fuel price evolution

  • Fuel infrastructure

  • Fuel card solution

Chapter 8 : TCO components

  • Most important cost factors in TCO

  • Maturity of TCO usage

Chapter 9: Safety, insurance and telematics

  • Accident rate and evolution

  • Security rate and evolution

  • Insurance offers (calculation) and suppliers

  • Telematics availability

Chapter 10: Environment

  • Trends in taxation, legislation and city restrictions (CO2, diesel… )
    • Changes to Polish fiscal law, planned to go into effect at the start of 2017, will also entail a deduction of input VAT related to cars. This could have a great impact on the future of fleet management in Poland. The Polish government recently also said that by 2018 it wants to introduce regulations to promote the development of electric vehicles and help fund the creation and production of Polish EV prototypes. The Energy ministry stated it will introduce tax relief for EV owners as well as subsidies for the first 100,000 cars. So far, only words. But still, a sign that Poland is finally seeing the economic sense behind greening its fleets...
    • No deductions or other mechanisms that facilitate purchase and usage of eco cars.
    • In recent years, eco-drive training have gained great popularity in Polish fleets. Taken together with new telematics solutions that offer analysis and advice on driver behaviour, it is leading to safer and greener driving habits. But again, the green bonus is a side effect. The incentive is a deal with the car insurance sector. Polish fleet operators who educate their drivers and install telematics devices can count on lower premiums.
    • In Poland, fleets choose low-CO2 cars because they have low fuel consumption. The emissions bonus is a side effect.

  • Green vehicles (new powertrains)
    • Lack of alternative powertrains
    • Alternative fuels are only a very small part of the market (0.3%). In the middle of 2016, there were only 286 hybrid and 10 electric cars registered.
    • Polish fiscal law does not promote any green solutions, at least not for vehicles with a gross weight up to 3.5t. So the only bonus of opting to reduce CO2 emissions – a direct result of reducing combustion – is lower fuel bills.

Chapter 11: Mobility

  • Trafic conditions

  • Mobility conditions for employees
    • Alternative mobility is fairly new concept in Polish fleet management. The average Pole still sees cars as a highly desirable luxury good and for employees, the company car is a huge benefit on top of the actual salary. Motivating Polish employees with substitute perks is hard, as they would then rather opt for a company car… with another employer.

  • Mobility solutions (car sharing, taxi, Uber, car-pooling…)
    • There is great interest in the Polish fleet community in car-sharing and other mobility solutions.
    • Some leasing and rental companies are already introducing car-sharing to cities across Poland, but vehicle fleet managers are currently considering this as no more than an option, not a viable alternative to an existing fleet.

  • Smart cities

Chapter 12: Key trends to watch