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There’s so much choice and there are plenty of things to take into consideration, each affecting a range of operational factors such as the company finances, brand image, employee welfare etc.

So, break the process down into stages and see how the options line up against your criteria.

Once you have your shortlist, points for and against should be considered – set out your priorities and go with the vehicle that come closest to matching those needs.

Looks

Company cars have to fit in with the rest of your visible assets to properly represent your brand image, so maybe an executive car works best.

Executive models should be well designed, conservative and give off a professional image. There are many manufacturers of executive vehicles and generally people veer towards the German premiums such as BMW, Audi and Mercedes.

Don’t be afraid to consider some of the offerings from volume brands. There are some great models out there from the likes of Volkswagen as well as the Japanese and South Korean brands.

They all 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.

Don’t forget emissions: Is your company vehicle likely to be going in and out of low emission zones? What effect does the CO2 have on Benefit in Kind?

What cars are best for company car tax?

Of course the biggest downside is tax and or what HMRC sees as Benefit in Kind which you have to pay for any personal use – including driving to and from work.

The BIK rate is a percentage of its P11D price, based on how much CO2 it emits. The lower the car’s emissions, the lower the rate of BIK; for example, a zero emission car has a rate of 7% and a car with high emissions will attract a rate of 37%.

The P11D value comprises the car’s list price plus VAT, delivery and any options costing more than £100.

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.

Insurance costs

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 you can control, some you can’t.

You can help lower insurance costs by safely storing the vehicle, taking on a higher voluntary excess and other actions that mitigate common risks.

So, what do you go for?

Still top of the tree as far as the 2020 Business Motoring Motoring Awards go is the BMW 3-series which has retained its title as the Best Company Car for the second year running.

The BMW 3 series is the one everyone wants and it’s a premium model that falls within many budgets.

The 3-series has been going for 40-odd years now and it’s been creeping up in size – the latest model has gone over the 4.7-metre mark which is longer than the second generation 5-series.

But that’s the way of the automotive world, while everyone downsizes, the cars just get bigger.

The judges also like the fact that there’s a wide choice of engines and performance.

SMEs and user chooser will of course be more interested in the 190hp 320d which now weighs in at around £36,000 although you can expect to part with more once you start loading up the optional equipment.


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