What to look for when choosing a company car?
Choosing a company car is a major decision for any business which will want to balance up cost and efficiency against providing its employees with a vehicle which is suitable for all their needs.
There are a number of things which any fleet manager should look for when exploring leasing options, including some of the most important points below.
Motoring in general is not cheap; petrol prices, insurance, road tax and the car itself are all costly. When you multiply this by the number of staff who need to be provided with vehicles, then you can see why it is important to keep outgoings down to a manageable level.
Choosing a vehicle which has low emissions is an important part of your leasing decision as this will affect the amount of tax which needs to be paid.
Company car tax is payable on a certain percentage of the total P11d value of the car, with the percentage being determined by the motor’s emissions.
However, there are dispensations for low-emissions vehicles which are not 100 per cent electric, with a five per cent BIK band now in place for cars which emit below 75g/km CO2, up until 2015.
Company car tax is one of the main reasons why diesels are such a popular choice, as they are more energy-conscious and emit fewer emissions. They can be quite a bit more expensive than petrol models, so it is important to do your homework in this area.
Most company cars are supplied to those who spend plenty of time on the road, therefore it is important to pick out a vehicle which is efficient when it comes to petrol or diesel usage.
With fuel prices at sky-high levels, you will want to be able to achieve as high a miles-per-gallon figure as possible. This should be possible if hours are spent on the motorway, and cars with cruise control will prevent the temptation of heavy braking and acceleration.
For the same reasons as above, comfort is an important factor simply because of the amount of time you will spend in your company car. The old adage of my car is my office is likely to ring true if you are on the motorway all day, so providing a vehicle which is as comfortable as possible is likely to keep morale high among your staff.
This could include leather and electric seats and air conditioning – the latter of which will keep you cool in the middle of summer.
The standard equipment included with many modern-day cars is pretty impressive, and you should be able to pick up a car which has plenty of bells and whistles on it. Air conditioning, electric windows, front fog lights, traction control, folding seats, service indicators and auxiliary/MP3 facilities are all wanted items.
You might also want to pay more for a built-in satellite navigation system, which would save on providing staff with a TomTom, while some of the more executive vehicles can also be supplied with telephones and Bluetooth which will help you make your car your office.