Company car drivers are a picky lot. It’s no longer good enough to have the latest medium-to-large family car offering to drive on work time – a bit of luxury is a priority too.
But with the Benefit In Kind (BiK) tax system, it’s tough to find something that offers the right blend of luxury, price, tax burden and non-conformity that makes for a compelling and interesting company hack. We’ve put together a short list of alternatives that should please your pay packet and fleet manager.
The stylish: Peugeot RCZ
A low-slung, stylish, two-door coupe might not be the first choice for a company car, but let’s take a look at the facts.
The HDI diesel model shows a combined fuel economy of 53mpg and a range of over 600 miles – and in fact the car we had on test recently returned much better than that. The 139g/km CO2 rating puts it in the 23% BiK bracket, costing you just over £100/£200 per month depending on your taxable income band (20% or 40%).
The RCZ’s boot is shallow, but plenty big enough for window samples and, so long as you’re not planning on many private miles with your family in tow, is pleasantly accommodating and comfortable. It’s good to drive with 163hp helping you cover the back roads quickly, and the 236lb-ft shove makes it a good overtaking tool too.
Peugeot RCZ 2.0 HDI 163 GT
Taxable value: 23% / £6,018
Annual tax (20/40%) : £1,204 / £2,407
The intrepid: Fiat Panda
The Panda, according to Fiat boss Olivier Francois, is the official car of doing whatever the hell you like. In 4×4 Cross form, it can do whatever you like and wherever it is you want to do it too.
With the diddy 0.9 litre, 85hp petrol TwinAir powering it, the Panda Cross has official CO2 figures of 114g/km. This deposits it in the 15% BIK band, which will set you back just £477 annually for 20% taxpayers.
FIAT Panda 0.9 TwinAir 4×4 Cross
Taxable value: 15% / £2,384
Annual tax (20/40%): £477 / £953
The courier: Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Maybe you need a little more space than the Panda offers though. In fact, you might need double the space – and the Outlander PHEV surely sets some kind of interior volume to company car tax ratio record here.
Electric vehicles are heavily incentivised by the Benefit in Kind scheme, sitting in a 5% bracket. The Outlander qualifies, by virtue of being able to drive 31 miles on its battery alone. It might not be the cheapest car here to actually buy – £33k is a bit of a whack – but the monthly tax bill of less than £30 is pretty attractive.
If you somehow need yet more space, the Outlander PHEV is rated to tow 1.5 tonnes too.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV GX3H
Taxable value: 5% / £1,662
Annual tax (20/40%): £332 / £665
The accountant: Volkswagen Scirocco
There’s a reason that the Golf is a popular fleet choice, and no reason that the Scirocco shouldn’t be just as popular. Though not quite the looker that the Peugeot RCZ is, the Scirocco knocks spots off the Golf in the aesthetic department – and just about every other department too.
The 181hp GT TDI model will spring from 0-60mph in less than eight seconds, but the new range of Euro 6 compliant diesel engines mean that this attractive little coupe-hatch shows over 60mpg combined on official tests. Equivalent to 115g/km, the Scirocco sits in the 19% BIK bracket, just 1% above the Golf GTD.
Volkswagen Scirocco GT 2.0 TDI
Taxable value: 19% / £4,934
Annual tax (20/40%): £987 / £1,974
The boss: Porsche Panamera
Okay, so you’re going to need a particularly understanding fleet manager for this one, because at £84,456 some questions are going to be asked. Unless you’re his boss.
Still, what applies to the Outlander PHEV also applies to the Panamera. It may use a 3.0.-litre V6 petrol engine, but it can run entirely on its battery pack for sufficient distance to qualify for the lowest 5% BiK rate. Despite the huge purchase cost, this amounts to a £140 monthly bill – because, let’s face it, you won’t be in the 20% tax bracket if you can wangle a Panamera from the company…
Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid
Taxable value: 5%/£4,220
Annual tax (20/40%): £844/£1,688
The spendthrift: Skoda Superb
On the face of it, the Superb is exactly the kind of car you could get as a company hack and, for the most part, the range is ideal. We tested the estate last year and it performed, well, superbly.
But there’s a black sheep in every family, and in the Superb’s family it’s the 3.6 V6 4×4 model. An excellent and inexpensive (ish) stealthy performance car it may be, but it spits out enough carbon that you can knit an F1 car out of the exhaust emissions. This throws it straight into the top 35% BiK group and faces you a bill of £350 a month just for the privilege of having it parked outside your house. Ouch.
Skoda Superb 3.6 V6 4×4 L&K
Taxable value: 35% / £10,488
Annual tax (20/40%): £2,098 / £4,195
Twist your fleet manager’s arm…
Use the carwow configurator to see how much money you could save on your next set of company wheels. Just choose your car, add any options and wait for the UK’s top dealers to give you their best prices.