Monday, 12 October 2015 GMT
Author: Staveley Head
A company car is one of the best incentives a company can offer. But you shouldn’t just commit to the first car you see. Take a while to look at the bigger picture. If you have a high private mileage you could consider asking for an allowance, which is a popular option within larger companies.
And don’t forget not all companies will cover the car for private use, this means you could be left paying for road tax, maintenance and car insurance. There are many implications to having a company car and it can be expensive, but by thinking tactfully you may be able to have a company car and save money too.
A company car should be swanky, comfortable, reliable and spacious whilst still providing value for money. Here are 10 great company cars that are both swanky and practical.
BMW 3 Series
This car has it all and is a popular choice. The 3-series offers low company car tax, practicality and a stylish design. The dashboard is well designed and the boot is spacious. If you’re looking to save the BMW 3 Series Saloon ED Plus Auto could be for you with just a 17% BIK (‘benefit in kind’) rate.
Ford is known as the mid market brand in line with VW and Vauxhall, although recent years have seen the Mondeo shift to compete with the likes of Audi and BMW. This is a great car for business and personal use. It is comfortable, smooth to drive and cost effective with low company car tax and great fuel efficiency.
If you’re looking for something a little different the Qashqai is a great option. From its exterior 4x4 design to its practical interiors it’s both cool and sophisticated. As a company car it offers plenty of space and low tax rates. The Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Visia is a good car for saving money, but it doesn’t offer some of the advanced features that the premium models do.
Available as a plug in hybrid or diesel this compact saloon is great for comfort. It comes equipped with plenty of compartments for storing those essential work items and has plenty of mod cons. Features such as the optional seven-speed gear box, and sat nav gear preselect all assist in making the driver’s journey an easy ride. And most surprising of all is the 5% BIK rate the Estate Sport Auto offers.
For those searching for a classic looking car, the British built Jaguar XF could be for you. Although a replacement is likely, the XF has been a best seller for Jaguar for many years. There are plenty of reasons why – it is reliable, spacious and comfortable – as most Jaguars are. The only downfall is that the XF’s BIK and fuel efficiency costs are slightly higher than some of the cars mentioned.
The Audi A4 has been chosen over the A5 and A6 as it has the lowest BIK rate and is the most fuel efficient. Even though this is one of Audi’s smaller estates it is practical for both business and leisure. To drive it is slick with the 2.0 litre diesels providing great fuel economy.
The twin engine hybrid SUV has a first year BIK rate of 5% and like most Volvo’s, it is practical. The XC90 is the only car in our 10 that caters for up 7 people, and when the back seats aren’t being used they can be folded down to create extra space.
The updated Fiat 500 model is a great choice for those searching for a city car with personality. Most models can be personalised to make your car unique. The interiors are retro but with modern touches such as the infotainment system. But when it comes to company cars the diesel engine could save you money with low CO2 emissions and a low BIK.
This is a popular car due to its practical size, spacious interior and easy to use infotainment system. As with most Renaults the car is well made and affordable to run. The 90hp diesel version Clio has a low BIK rate of 16% and is a great choice for those travelling around cities and towns.
There are various versions of the A3 but the most efficient and practical seems to be the sportback. The car has a wonderful design and spacious interiors. The 5 door sportback is the best option if you plan on having more than 2 people in the car, as the 3 door does not leave much space for rear seating. And the great news is that the Sportback BIK starts at 16%, the same as a Renault Clio.
There are many more company cars to choose from and some great tools to help with making your decision such as the ‘next green car’ costs and tax tool. Or the governments ‘company car and car fuel benefit calculator’.