I’m not an expert in motoring like Jeremy Clarkson, and I can’t promise that the list in this article includes the best and worst company cars available. However, I can confidently say that I can give you a checklist of factors you should consider before spending your hard-earned business cash.
Lease or buy?
This is the most important factor you need to consider. It can be a good idea to lease a car if you don’t have the cash to buy one. Leasing can also be convenient as all costs are included in one fixed fee charged on a monthly basis.
These costs include things such as repairs, maintenance, tyres and roadside assistance. Also, you will not have the hassle of selling the car when you want to get rid of it.
However, the major problem with leasing is that if you decide not to buy the car at the end of the contract, you will have spent a lot of money, but the car won’t belong to you. If you want to buy the car at the end of the lease, you will end up spending more than you would have, had you chosen another option.
Be clear on why you want the car
For instance, if the car is for employees to get around in, then it may be a good idea to look for a small, efficient vehicle or one that has good gas mileage. There is no need to choose a big executive car which will cost you more when it comes to insurance, gas, and so on.
The best thing about small cars is that they are comfortable for long trips and often come with all extras like power windows and mirrors, air-conditioning, cruise control, and so on.
If the car is to be a delivery vehicle, then choose one of the many vans available. Once again, avoid choosing a big car as it will only cost you more. Some of the city cars such as Ford Fiesta, Fiat Pinto, and Opel/Vauxhall have a “van” version that is cheap and easier to park.
If your consultants or sales team are taking the cars out on client visits, keep in mind that the car could be the first thing a potential customer sees. It may even be a good idea to brand the vehicle with the logo of your company to enhance visibility.
If you want the car to motivate your staff or if you will use it for marketing purposes, then it may be good to look for an appealing car that is exciting and has character.
If you want a car that you will be using yourself as the CEO, then check your country’s VAT return policy before adding any extras. This is a way of maximizing the efficiency of your company’s expenses.
What I mean when I say that you go fishing is that you need to do thorough research. After coming up with a list of vehicles you want to buy, gather as much information as you can about each of them.
Check how often the car model is used as a company car, request quotes from the vehicle’s manufacturer and check user and press reviews.
Are Brussels or Detroit far away? What about some of those auto shows? Shows are important as they enable you to check different car models in the market without having to visit multiple dealers for each model you are considering. Also, shows regularly offer unbeatable deals!
Apart from helping you know about the popular choices in the market, checking the “top 10 company cars” will also help you find where you will get the best deals.
For example, in 2014 the Mercedes C-class was named as one of the top 5 company cars throughout Europe, making it well worth considering.
Even a cool design may not be enough…
Minis also scored highly. Even though it is a car full of character, Minis are used by many companies, diminishing its ability to stand out. Therefore, it may be a good idea to consider buying a Fiat 500 or a Kia Soul as these are better and cheaper alternatives.
Some of the brands such as Peugeot, Citroen, and Alfa Romeo have a poor reliability reputation. However, in most cases, such reports have proven to be false.
And if you decide to go for a lease, it may become no worry at all as all costs will be on the leasing company. Therefore, if a deal from one of the brands we just mentioned seems more interesting, do not put off your lease unnecessarily or overthink it.
Ensure that the car matches the image of your company
Whether employees or clients will use the car, ensure that it reflects your company’s image. For instance, if your business operates in the environmental sector, then it may not be a good idea to show up for an investors’ meeting driving a Hummer or Range Rover as this would make you look bad.
Some expensive cars such as the Tesla Model S don’t look extravagant even though they are costly. It is a luxury vehicle but also one of the most ecological vehicles in the whole world. It is also potentially autonomous.
Bonus point on electric cars: special charging stations make it easier to park
Check taxes and insurance
It can be challenging to understand taxes, and every country has its own regulations. Many specialized websites offer a wide range of helpful information. Pay close attention to CO2 emissions as cars that emit high levels have been the target of harsh regulations, and this is likely to continue.
Different countries have different insurance rules. However, some of the cars have extremely low-cost insurance compared to their competitors, for reasons that are often difficult to understand. Therefore, it is necessary that you consider the insurance information carefully as it can help you save some money. Try Money Expert to cut costs through insurance comparison.
Many leased cars have an option that allows insurance to be the responsibility of the vehicle’s manufacturer. It is an interesting alternative because it helps you avoid mountains of paperwork and it covers the entire continent. Note, however, that it can be quite costly.