CHOOSING company cars can be a complicated and drawn out process. There are so many variables to consider, each affecting a range of operational factors such as the company finances, brand image, employee welfare etc.
Sometimes it can seem like there is too much choice and coming to a decision is near impossible.
The easiest way to make your choice with company cars is to break the process down into stages and see how the options line up against your criteria. It is not that dissimilar to house hunting; you have to set out your priorities and go with the vehicle(s) that come closest to matching those needs.
This post will cover the main areas you’ll want to consider when choosing company cars. By considering these points, you’ll have a better idea of how the vehicles will fit into your company and align with its objectives.
In some business operations appearances can make or break livelihoods. Therefore company cars have to fit in with the rest of your visible assets to properly represent your brand image.
This is where executive cars may be a good choice for your company.
These cars are sleek, well designed, conservative and give off a professional image. There are many manufacturers of executive vehicles, but some of the best in terms of overall value come from German car manufacturers such as BMW, Audi and Volkswagen. They have good fuel efficiency, impressive safety records and require little maintenance.
However it may be that your company has a young, fresh and innovative brand image. In this case having highly polished executive vehicles may not be the most appropriate choice.
Car leasing companies are able to provide a huge range of vehicles; so you don’t necessarily need to get stuck down in the ordinary. You could choose anything from a sports car all the way through to an off road vehicle.
The fuel efficiency of a vehicle directly correlates with the on-going running costs and so should be carefully considered. This is a variable that can have a lasting impact on your overall company car expenses and bottom line profits.
If you just have one business car that is a bit of a guzzler then the fuel inefficiency may go unnoticed. But if you have multiple cars then the high fuel costs can scale pretty quickly.
Official miles per gallon stats aren’t always an accurate reflection of ‘real life’ motoring but they are relatively neutral for comparison purposes. Try looking at an independent source like this.
Road tax is another cost that can add up fairly quickly if you are running multiple company cars.
There are some vehicles which are now exempt from road tax. This depends on the levels of carbon dioxide emitted from the engine. With petrol and diesel cars you are allowed up to 100g/km of CO2 emissions before having to pay vehicle tax. As expected these cars are smaller and have less powerful engines so they may not be ideal for regular long term travelling.
Small cars are however ideal for travelling short to medium distances for business purposes.
Even if you don’t opt for cars that have zero road tax to pay, being conservative on the CO2 emissions is advisable. The bands of vehicle tax go from A-M and the difference between the top and bottom bracket is astounding.
Insurance is one of the highest costs across the board when it comes to motoring. There are various factors that affect the cost of premiums, some of which you can control and others which you cannot.
The value of a vehicle is a big driving factor as this goes against the amount of financial risk the insurer is taking on. So remember that even though the monthly premium for a high end vehicle may be affordable, the insurance costs that come with it may not.
As always you can do your bit to lower insurance costs by safely storing the vehicle, taking on a higher voluntary excess and other actions that mitigate common risks.
When leasing a vehicle there is the option to have maintenance included (sometimes this is essential).
Maintenance packages basically cover everything and anything that could go wrong with your vehicle during the lease. This includes repairs, tyre replacements, servicing, MOT, bodywork etc.
Whether you take maintenance or not is a question of how much risk you are willing to embrace.
Maintenance packages give fixed cost motoring which allows for manageable cash flow forecasting. You know from day 1 of the financial year how much your company cars are going to cost you.
Without maintenance you could be way below or above the fixed cost price depending on circumstances.
This post was written by Pete McAllister from Intelligent Car Leasing, a UK wide car leasing company that provides competitively priced deals for business and personal customers. Visit the website today to see the latest special offers and deals available.