A company car is so much more than just a means of “getting from A to B.” A company car is a statement about your business. It’s also going to have a major impact on your image and profitability and there’s also finances and, of course, employee welfare to consider.
In short, it’s not an easy decision to make but the easiest way to make that choice is to break down the process into stages. Consider it almost like looking for a house – make a list of your priorities and your needs and go into every viewing with an open mind.
What business are you in? The answer should have perhaps the greatest impact on what car you choose. If you run a taxi company, for example, the Mercedes-Benz Vito Taxi might be a fine choice, but if you run a sales firm and are driving from client to client then showing up in a taxi cab might give off the wrong impression. Note what other drivers in your sector are using and think practically about what you will actually be using your company car for.
If the reputation of your business is something that you hold dear, then you might want to consider ‘going electric’ with your company car. Electric cars are far from the punchlines they once were and with the UK government making a strong investment in electric infrastructure over the next few years, there has never been a better time to buy an electric car. Just think of how good it will look to the clients that you’re thinking about the environment as well as your bottom line!
One thing you really want to consider if you care about your profit margins is how much the company car you opt for is actually worth. Will it hold its value and what will maintenance costs be like? Chances are that you will end up selling it on at some point down the road, so resale value is certainly something you want to keep in the back of your mind.
Fuel economy and road tax
Neither of these points are particularly sexy and exciting but they are important nonetheless. Take note of how economical your company car might be, because if you are lumbered with a gas guzzler then you’ll certainly end up regretting it. Road tax will also add up if you’re using multiple vehicles, so consider investing in cars that are exempt from road tax. Indeed, this is another reason to consider going electric, or at least hybrid. Insurance is another thing you’ll want to take into account and this can be mitigated somewhat by taking on a high voluntary excess.
Finally, you don’t want to end up with an ugly car. Because whilst looks might not be important to you they will almost certainly be important to your clients!