Soon to be a thing of the past
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IT doesn’t take a genius to notice a growing trend for more fuel efficient vehicles amongst company car drivers.

We say that with some confidence because none of us are and we noticed.

Recent research – read Is your business ready to give the green light to alternative fuel vehicles – shows that more than half of all businesses operating company vehicles are already running at least one alternative fuel vehicle (such as hybrids, plug-in hybrids or have plans to do so in the next three years. Reduced company car tax liabilities and lower fuel bills are proving a big draw for company car drivers.

Leasing provider Fleet Alliance has seen this drop in CO2 emissions across its fleet of the 25,000 vehicles it manages.

The average emissions rate has fallen from 123g/km in 2014 to just 115g/km. That represents a 6.5% reduction in average emissions in just four years.

This trend is likely to continue into the future with efficiency being a major factor when choosing a company car. According to managing director of Fleet Alliance, Martin Brown, “We expect this to fall still further in the second half of the year as more clients switch to greener cars, not only to cut their carbon footprints but to reduce their tax and fuel bills too.”

You can get all the same benefits of lower company car tax and fuel costs by running a more efficient vehicle. After all who wouldn’t want a car that reduces their tax bill and uses less fuel?

With this in mind we’ve “borrowed” some figures from Fleet Alliance to compile a list of their greenest, most popular choices for company car drivers over the last year. If you aren’t already reaping the rewards of a low-emission car then one of these should be on your shopping list for your next leased car.

10 company cars driving down CO2 emissions

1 VW Golf GTE – 40g/km

No surprise really. With an electric range of around 31 miles and a £2,500 plug-in vehicle grant there are plenty of reasons to drive the plug-in hybrid Golf GTE. The fact that underneath the hybrid technology it’s still a VW Golf is an added bonus.

2 Mitsubishi Outlander – 41g/km

Close behind the Golf GTE in terms of emissions the Outlander is the UK’s most popular PHEV. Spacious, well-equipped, excellent value for money, and economical, it’s easy to see why.

3 BMW 5 Series – 46g/km

Surprising entry at number three but even a big German saloon can save you money. The BMW  530e is a powerful and comfortable executive car with low VED rates and a 9% BIK tax rate.

4 BMW 2 Series – 48g/km

The BMW 2 Series Active Tourer is a plug-in hybrid with solid economy figures. An electric range of around 25 miles and 53mpg are certainly compelling reasons to drive one. It’s also roomy and immensely practical.

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
5 Volvo V60 – 48g/km

It’s a Volvo estate so you shouldn’t need to be told it will be spacious, well-equipped, well made, and safe as….well, as safe as a Volvo. With an electric range up to 31 miles and a range of modes to maximise efficiency the V60 hybrid is an excellent all-rounder.

6 Volvo XC90 – 49g/km

Ditto for the XC90. Bigger than the V60 – ok, substantially bigger – and enjoying a high driving position the Volvo XC90 is immensely popular. Add the hybrid technology and you quite quickly see why this is an obvious choice for many company car drivers.

7 Porsche Panamera – 56g/km

If you thought the 5 Series was a surprise then hang onto your hat! It’s true, you can drive an immensely powerful, beautifully engineered Porsche and still save money on your fuel bills. It’s also true the P11D price will affect your tax liability but for some that may be a small price to pay for the rewards of driving such a magnificent car.

BMW 530e
8 Mercedes C-Class – 59g/km

The C 350e is the ideal alternative for anyone not wanting to drive a BMW. You get similar levels of equipment and performance, similar reduction in running costs, and an equally pleasurable driving experience. It’s just wrapped up in a different package.

9 VW Passat – 59g/km

Available as both a saloon and estate the Passat GTE is a great alternative to the Volvo. While it’s clearly not quite as economical as the Golf GTE the extra room in the Passat is worth the difference.

10 BMW 3 Series – 63g/km

Again it’s a BMW but that just proves they are taking hybrid technology seriously. The 3 Series has been desirable for decades and the hybrid 330e, like the 530e, offers everything you would expect from a BMW for a fraction of the usual running cost.

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The fact that this list features three offerings from BMW, a brace of SUVs, and a Porsche should go some way to demonstrate the breadth of choice facing company car drivers.

The fact that most of them are German is purely a coincidence – or it may be because they are consistently the most popular brands when it comes to car choice. Not that it matters.

The point remains that there is a wide choice of low emission vehicles right across the range so finding one that meets your needs is not difficult.

The idea of driving a low-emission vehicle is usually sold on financial and environmental grounds. Obviously this make sense but looking at the list it should also be clear that going green doesn’t mean having to sacrifice performance, looks or practicality.

Next time you replace your company vehicle you really should consider a low-emission option. The polar bears will throw a party in your honour, and more to the point your wallet will breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Porsche Panamera hybrid 600x400px
Porsche Panamera Hybrid – the cake and eat it car: big on performance, low on CO2 emissions
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