How do I calculate the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for the mobility budget?

The legal mobility budget

Belgium’s legal or federal mobility budget offers employees the opportunity to exchange their company car for sustainable alternatives.

The alternatives are divided into 3 pillars:

  • Pillar 1: environmentally friendly car with a CO2 emission lower than 95 g/km
  • Pillar 2: sustainable mobility and housing costs
  • Pillar 3: payment of the remaining budget at the end of the year

Want to learn more about the mobility budget?

Calculation based on Total Cost of Ownership

To calculate the mobility budget, you rely on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). This is the total annual gross cost of a company car.

To calculate the TCO, there are two official formulas since September 2023: the actual cost formula and the lump sum value formula.

Starting from January 1, 2024, as an employer, you are obliged to use one of these formulas. For a period of three years, you use the same formula for all employees who exchange their company car for the mobility budget.

Next, you choose whether to use this formula for each individual employee or per job category.

TCO Formula 1: Actual Cost formula

The first TCO formula includes the average annual gross cost of the company car.

This average is calculated based on the costs incurred in the last 4 years. If your employee has not been driving the company car for 4 years yet, you apply the actual duration of use of the company car.

To calculate the sum of the actual costs of the car, you rely on a comprehensive list of expenses. These include:

  • The lease or rental price of the car
  • Fuel and electricity costs
  • Insurance
  • CO2 solidarity contribution
  • Non-deductible VAT
  • Tax on non-deductible expenses

TCO Formula 2: Lump Sum Value Formula

In the second TCO formula, the specific calculation depends on the type of vehicle. You make a distinction between:

  • Hired or leased vehicles
  • Owned or financially leased vehicles

For both formulas, you add a fixed and variable component.

For a hired or leased vehicle, the formula consists of:

  • Fixed component: Annual rental or lease cost + average annual cost of all expenses not included in the rental or lease contract (unless included in car policy) + non-deductible VAT + tax on non-deductible car expenses + CO2 solidarity contribution paid by the employer
  • Variable component: (6,000 + commuting distance x 2 x 200) x fuel consumption cost per kilometer, provided that fuel costs are not included in the annual rental or lease cost

For an owned or financially leased vehicle, the formula looks like this:

  • Fixed component: Catalog value of the vehicle (including tax on the non-deductible portion of the catalog value) x 25% + CO2 solidarity contribution paid by the employer
  • Variable component: (6,000 + commuting distance x 2 x 200) x fuel consumption cost per kilometer

If you choose this option and use it again after three years, you must explicitly indicate your decision.

Don’t know where to start? No worries. Our mobility advisors are happy to assist you.

Keep these three things in mind

1. A digital mobility account for the entire mobility budget

In addition, your employees should also have access to a digital mobility account where they can track their entire mobility budget at all times.

Fortunately, the Olympus app knows how to do that.

2. Not using a lump sum value formula? Then the actual cost formula is mandatory

If you do not explicitly indicate that you are using the lump sum value formula for calculating the TCO, then you are required to use the actual cost formula.

If you wish to switch formulas, you can do so after three years. You will then use the new formula for every new employee who trades in their company car for the mobility budget.

3. Mileage allowance for business trips

As an employer, you can choose whether or not to include the mileage allowance for business trips in the TCO.

  • If you include it, your employee will no longer be entitled to an additional exempted mileage allowance.
  • If you don’t include it, your employee will receive an exempted mileage allowance as compensation.

Ready for the mobility policy of the future?

Source: Royal Decree of September 10, 2023, implementing articles 8, §5, and 12, §5, of the law of March 17, 2019, on the introduction of a mobility budget and amending the royal decree of March 21, 2019 implementing the law of March 17th, 2019 on the introduction of a mobility budget. Belgian Official Gazette September 29th, 2023.

The legal mobility budget: 5 benefits for companies

1. Cost and time saving

Believe it or not, the legal mobility budget saves costs.

Think for example of parking costs, fuel or the repair of mirrors after an unfortunate accident.

These mobility costs decrease through the use of shared cars, bicycles, the train …

In the Olympus app, you also enjoy advantageous rates.

In addition, it also reduces the number of working hours lost to administration.

Thierry Devresse from My Mobility Budget Butler, expert and partner in the mobility budget, confirms: “A mobility budget requires less work than managing a company car.

The only thing you have to think about is the implementation. But that effort pays off. Afterwards, you will only gain time.

See how Silverfin implemented the legal mobility budget.

2. Flexibility

The mobility budget provides mobility tailored to the needs of your employees.

They will get to choose out of a long list of means of transport. Bus, train, car sharing, bike sharing, taxi, electric scooters… it can all be done.

This way they are no longer obliged to travel by company car. They choose their own mode of transport.

Thierry continues: “The mobility budget gives your employees a very wide range of mobility options.

All these options respond seamlessly to the needs of your employees based on the time, place and people who may accompany them.

See how Business & Decision experiences the use of the mobility budget.

3. Sustainable mobility policy

When looking at corporate mobility evolutions, sustainable mobility policy is very present. Take a look at the advantageous legislation for electric company cars, for example.

That is precisely what the legal mobility budget is used for.

Not only with an environmentally friendly car, but also through alternative means of transport. You stimulate the use of public and shared transport or the purchase of an (electric) bicycle.

As a result, the legal mobility budget helps reduce CO2 emissions.

Thierry adds: “The mobility budget gives your company a modern and responsible image.

4. Increased productivity

We don’t have to tell you: exercise makes you happy. The same is true when your employees spend less time in traffic.

And happy employees? They are more productive.

All the more reason, therefore, to simplify the use of (shared) bicycles and scooters in your company.

Employees who come to work by public transport also benefit from this. They gain productive hours during the day.

They no longer have to focus on traffic and can use their time productively. The train, for example, is the ideal moment to answer e-mails.

5. An asset in the war for talent

For 6 out of 10 potential employees, a sustainable mobility policy is an important factor in their choice of employer.

With that in mind, you can offer mobility in a cafeteria plan, just like countless other companies have done before you.

But if you really want to stand out in the war for talent? Then the mobility budget is for you.

Thierry agrees. “It’s the most advantageous remuneration for employees under Belgian law. That way, you attract talent and retain it.”

Convinced of the legal mobility budget?

Discover how we can help.

The legal mobility budget: 5 tips from a mobility expert

Tip 1. Update your mobility policy.

Thierry: “Implementing the legal mobility budget starts with an up-to-date mobility policy. In other words, a mobility policy focused on flexibility and reducing CO2 emissions.

Companies should look at the latest developments in mobility: electric vehicles, charging stations, charging cards… and alternative forms of transportation.

Electric cars fit nicely into Pillar 1 of the legal mobility budget: an environmentally friendly car.

The remaining budget can be spent by employees on alternative forms of transportation under Pillar 2.

Thierry Devresse van My Mobility Budget Butler, partner van Olympus Mobility

Tip 2. Think of teleworking

Thierry: “While you update your mobility policy, don’t forget teleworking either. We don’t call it ‘the new normal’ for nothing.

This extra degree of flexibility increases the success of the legal mobility budget.

By having more people work from home, employees feel less need for a big company car. Instead, they look for alternative solutions such as the mobility budget.”

He goes on: “Employees who work from home 50% of the time can even use their budget to cover housing costs. A very big advantage and one which is being taken advantage of eagerly.”

“The implementation of teleworking in your mobility policy increases the success of the legal mobility budget.”

Thierry Devresse, My Mobility Budget Butler

Tip 3. Get guided through the implementation.

“The setup and implementation of the legal mobility budget take a lot of time. Especially when you try to figure it all out yourself.

With a consultant, you can save yourself tons of work.

He or she has the right expertise and immediately ensures that you are legally in order. With one to three days of consulting from an expert, you can get started.”

See how Silverfin approached the implementation of the legal mobility budget.

Tip 4. Manage administration with the right partner

“The right guidance not only makes the implementation of the legal mobility budget easier. An external partner also saves you a lot of time for managing it.”

Thierry explains: “Keeping track of reimbursements, subscriptions, commuting… it’s a lot of work. Not to mention how to keep track of the different budgets of your employees.

With the right partner, you keep control and stay afloat.

For a completely carefree experience, My Mobility Budget Butler works with Olympus Mobility. This way companies get optimal guidance for both implementation and mobility management.”

Beheer eenvoudig het wettelijk mobiliteitsbudget met Olympus Mobility

Tip 5. Communicate

Thierry: “The legal mobility budget is not immediately clear to everyone. Good communication is therefore essential.

I recommend providing thorough presentations. Tell your employees how it works, what they can use their budget for and how they can easily keep track of it.

You could even make videos.”

Thierry adds with a laugh: “Remember that you will always get questions afterwards. You may have already familiarized yourself with the matter, but for some, it’s completely new.

Still, all your work will pay off. Smooth communication results in greater satisfaction from your employees and greater interest in the legal mobility budget.”

Want to implement the legal mobility budget?

The legal mobility budget: An overview

Overview

  1. What is the legal mobility budget?
  2. Who is entitled to the legal mobility budget?
  3. How do I calculate the legal mobility budget?
  4. How do I implement the legal mobility budget?
  5. Where do employees spend their budgets on in Pillar 2?
  6. How do I keep a record of all my employees’ budgets?

What is the legal mobility budget?

The legal mobility budget is a sustainable and tax-advantageous alternative to the company car. With that budget, employees exchange their company cars for an environmentally friendly car and other alternative forms of transport.

Specifically, the legal mobility budget consists of three pillars:

  1. Environmentally friendly company cars: cars with a maximum CO2 emission of 95 g/km (this regulation will change in 2026 to cars without CO2 emissions).
  2. Sustainable mobility and housing costs: public or shared transport, purchase or maintenance of a bicycle or scooter, rental or loan …
  3. Cash: at the end of the year, your employee will be paid out the remaining budget, after a reduction of 38.07% special employee contribution.

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Who is entitled to the legal mobility budget?

The answer is twofold:

  • Employees who are already driving a company car today.
  • Employees with a position that entitles them to a company car, but don’t (yet) use it.

We also make two remarks here:

  • The legal mobility budget can only be implemented when you have had a mobility policy for three years and when at least one employee has a company car on which he or she pays VAA.
  • When you currently offer salary benefits in exchange for the company car, your employee cannot exchange these benefits for the mobility budget.

How do I calculate the legal mobility budget?

In short? Based on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In other words: the total annual gross cost of the company car.

It includes costs related to the car, such as:

  • The lease or rental price of the car
  • Fuel Insurance
  • CO2 solidarity contribution
  • Non-deductible VAT

For employees who are eligible for the mobility budget, but do not have a company car, it is different. They first choose a fictitious company car. Based on that you determine their TCO.

The two official TCO formulas have since been approved in a royal decree. They will take effect in 2024. When booking a demo, you discover how you can best tackle your TCO calculation.

In the meantime, you can appeal to some concrete guidelines. The budget amounts to …

  • Minimum €3,055
  • Maximum one-fifth of the gross annual salary of the employee or €16,293 per calendar year

These amounts are indexed annually on 1 January.

Already allocated mobility budgets can be adjusted when your mobility policy allows it, without exceeding your company’s sectoral salary index.

Need a practical example? Check out how Business & Decision tackled it.

 

How do I implement the legal mobility budget?

We spoke to an expert in the field, Thierry Devresse of My Mobility Budget Butler, who broke down the implementation into five steps:

  1. Update your mobility policy
  2. Consider teleworking
  3. Draft a policy with an eye to the statutory mobility budget
  4. Establish procedures for the statutory mobility budget
  5. Communicate thoroughly with your employees

He emphasized not tackling this process alone. You will lose a lot of time trying to figure out all the legal regulations.

Social secretariats help with some of the above items, but not all. For a complete unburdening, it is best to involve a consultant such as MMBB.

See how Silverfin tackled this in practice.

Where do employees spend their budgets on in Pillar 2?

We briefly mentioned it earlier. Pillar 2 consists of sustainable means of transport and housing costs. In more detail, it covers …

  • Tickets & subscriptions for public transport within the European Economic Area
  • Tickets & subscriptions for shared transport within the European Economic Area
  • International train tickets within the European Economic Area
  • Purchase of an (electric) bike or scooter
  • Maintenance or equipment for your (electric) bike or scooter
  • Rental costs or mortgage loans of employees who live within a radius of 10 kilometers around the workplace or more than 50% work from home
  • Family members of the employee may also use the budget for the above

As an employer, you are not obliged to enter the full list. It’s best to make sure your offer meets the needs of your employees.

How do I keep a record of all my employees’ budgets?

Keeping track of expenses, remaining budgets, reimbursements… No small feat. With a digital tool like Olympus Mobility, you can keep control.

In the Olympus management portal…

  • You can easily assign budgets to your employees
  • Get a monthly overview of mobility expenses
  • No longer process reimbursements for other external purchases in Pillar 2
  • Download the Pillar 3 report at the end of the year and send it easily to your social secretariat or payroll responsible

Furthermore, your employees also get a real-time overview of their remaining budget in the Olympus app.

Want to implement the legal mobility budget?

The legal mobility budget with Business & Decision

Who is Business & Decision?

In brief, it is an international CRM and e-business consultancy.

Experts in everything digital & data.

They’re more than happy to look into digital strategies and are ready to innovate alongside their customers.

Business & Decision over het wettelijk mobiliteitsbudget

How does business mobility take shape at Business & Decision?

As true innovators, they were among the first to implement the legal mobility budget. Approximately 170 employees have already joined, 50 of them with a company car in pillar 1. That is one-sixth of their total fleet.

They are even more committed to further reducing their CO2 emissions in 2023. Working from home and electric cars are just some examples of their sustainable mobility policy.

They are also unpacking all pillars of the legal mobility budget this year. Many of their employees have already chosen to spend their budgets on housing costs.

Their only challenge? Current contracts with leasing companies.

Tine: “We find ourselves in the transition years. The Belgian state is calling for electric driving, but our contracts have not yet expired. That is why we also have fuel engines available.”

Watch the full interview here:

What did your mobility policy look like a few years ago?

Tine: “In 2020, we opted for cash-for-car, which was a huge success. After discontinuation in 2021, we looked towards the legal mobility budget.

This is a great project, but it currently deters companies because of its complexity. Especially since it is new.”

What challenges did you encounter in terms of mobility?

“We experienced dissatisfaction from our employees. Some of them used their company car only to a limited extent or not at all, but still faced the associated costs.

Furthermore, we also paid their public transport expenses.

That means that we incurred double costs, while dealing with dissatisfaction. This marked the start of our search for a solution for better mobility.”

What criteria was that solution expected to meet?

“The most important criterion, of course, was the satisfaction of our employees. A reduction in our CO2 emissions also played a role.

We also wanted to avoid increasing red tape at all times. The HR and finance departments already have enough on their plate as it is.

A project like the legal mobility budget should not add to that.”

What advice would you give to other companies who want to use the legal mobility budget?

First of all, make sure your management is behind your choices. Next, organise a survey within your company to establish the needs of your employees. Are they actually interested in such a mobility budget?

After that, it’s a matter of using the right tools. For me, that means Olympus Mobility.

It is also important to engage an external person to guide you through the whole process. That is how you reduce the burden on HR.

We were able to count on the expertise of Thierry Devresse of My Mobility Budget Butler.

If you do not have the right guidance and tool, implementation will be an administrative nightmare.”

Why did you choose Olympus Mobility?

Users can consult their budget in real-time every day. Expenses are deducted immediately, including housing costs.

Refunds are made immediately by Olympus Mobility. This means that employees do not have to wait a month for their money.

Also, the administrative cost we saved is almost equal to the work of a half-time employee.

The costs of external coaching and Olympus Mobility are actually not that expensive, by the way. I definitely recommend giving it a listen before setting it aside.”

Tine also states:

I believe in the legal mobility budget and the applications that guide us in it. Once electric driving becomes more widespread in society, people are increasingly starting to look towards the legal mobility budget.

They will opt more for a smaller car and use the remaining budget for alternative solutions.”

What does an experienced user of the legal mobility budget himself have to say about it?

We spoke to Pierre Caeymaex. As a Data Consultant at Business & Decision, he moves around Brussels by public transport on a daily basis. Or on his electric skateboard. He opted for the train for his holiday in France.

Pierre: “I initially chose the legal mobility budget because you can also use it to pay your rent. But in the end, the many options are the biggest strength of this system.”

“I have been using my budget for a subscription with SNCF since the implementation at Business & Decision, which gives me a discount on my TGV journeys.

I could also afford to use it to pay for my taxi rides, to rent an e-scooter and to purchase an e-bike and skateboard, as well my rental costs.”

Pierre has the following to say about using the Olympus app: “The app supports me in my choice of sustainable mobility.

Moreover, I can also contribute the cost of spare parts and repairs for my bike and skateboard.”

What does the future look like for Business & Decision in terms of mobility?

Tine: “Keep aiming for electric cars. Keep explaining what the mobility budget entails, what options are available and, above all, all the benefits. And keep doing what we have already started!”

Thank you for the pleasant chat, Tine and Pierre!

Are you also implementing the legal mobility budget?

Webinar: legal mobility budget with Silverfin

Since March 2019, employers have been given the possibility to introduce a mobility budget. This gives their employees the opportunity to exchange their company car for a mobility budget, based on three pillars. An environmentally friendly car, sustainable means of transport and/or money. The regulation surrounding this statutory mobility budget will change from 1 January 2022 and will contain a number of interesting changes. This is for both employers and employees.

Today, only 4% of Belgian employees opt for this formula, nevertheless 50% of this group indicate that they are interested in a mobility budget. An interesting fact, but we see that many employers still have a lot of questions. On the one hand about regulation, on the other hand about practical implementation.

What will you discover?

✅ What the legal mobility budget is and how you calculate it.

✅ What interesting changes apply since 1 January 2022.

✅ How to easily set up the legal mobility budget based on the Silverfin case.

✅ How to save costs and time thanks to digitization.

✅ How employees can easily choose how they come to work.

✅ How our application makes smart mobility choices and always recommends the cheapest way to travel.

Who will speak?

Bert Van Molle – Sales Manager at Olympus Mobility

Koen Van De Putte – Managing Director at Olympus Mobility

Lisa Messiaen – Comp & Ben specialist at Silverfin