Selecting company cars for employee use is a big expense that requires some careful thought. The first consideration must be whether this is a perk for a titled position or if it is a necessity for completing regular business. You need to have a clear idea of who is using the car and for what purpose. No matter the use, your selected vehicle or vehicles should maximize your business efficiency while meeting your company needs.
What to Consider in Selecting a Company Car
Choosing the right company car should come down to several important aspects, including:
1. Choosing to buy or lease – Deciding whether to buy or to lease the vehicle can be a major issue for your business. Generally, you will be able to lease a more expensive vehicle than you can buy upfront. However, leases can become too expensive if you estimate that the vehicle will be driven more than about 15,000 miles each year since this will raise your lease premiums.
2. Fuel efficiency – Gas prices are constantly fluctuating, so although they may be lower than usual right now, they could skyrocket at any moment. If your company car will be used frequently, you will want to consider a vehicle that gets better gas mileage.
3. Overall costs – The initial purchase or rental price of the vehicle is not the only dollar amount going into the vehicle. Keep in mind that there will be costs associated with regular maintenance, surprise repairs, insurance premiums and other potential money losses.
4. Going green – With the unpredictability of gas prices, another option is to choose an electric or hybrid car. If you are planning to keep the car in the city, such as for door-to-door sales or for short business trips, this is an excellent option. You may even be eligible for tax credits based on low emissions.
5. Size – Make sure that the vehicle you choose is the right size for your needs. If the car will be used mainly as a perk for a top employee, a smaller business vehicle will be sufficient. However, if you are looking for something for hauling goods, a larger car or a van may be a better choice.
6. The availability – Classic cars, although more unique in appearance, are more prone to breaking down. Choose a sensible car that was produced recently in large quantities so that you can find replacement parts for repairs.
Top Business Car Options to Consider
Each of these vehicles won the business car awards for its category in 2016, making any of these options especially appropriate for your company car consideration.
1. Ford Fiesta – With a low purchase price and a combined 32 miles per gallon fuel economy, the Ford Fiesta is a perfect choice for small- and medium-sized businesses. You will appreciate the nimble handling of this sleek vehicle, as well as the leather-rimmed seats and the available smart connectivity. If you need several company cars, this one is both efficient and affordable.
2. BMW 1 Series – This line of hatchback vehicles from BMW is a sporty and versatile option for your business vehicle. For stronger hauling capabilities, it is available in a 6-cylinder engine that gets a combined 24 miles per gallon. This is one of the most affordable BMW options, giving you more budgetary room for upgrades or for fuel costs.
3. Mini Cooper 5-Door Hatchback – By stretching the normal Mini Cooper to a four-door option plus the hatchback, this vehicle offers the tight handling you would expect from this brand but with more cargo room. Keep in mind that most of these vehicles are manual drive, but the combined 31 miles per gallon fuel efficiency is another reason that this Mini Cooper offering is the subcompact company car that your business needs.
4. BMW 5 Series – As the leading choice for mid-size and larger businesses, the BMW 5 Series has dominated the market since its debut in 2010. Whether you prefer the 5 Series Touring, 5 Series Sedan or the 5 Series Gran Turismo, BMW is giving you a wide range of options for your company vehicle needs. Depending on the model, this BMW series offers you a combined efficiency of 20-27 miles per gallon, making it an excellent choice for short drives.
5. Tesla Model S – The electric power behind the Tesla Model S is responsible for the unbelievable 303 miles range. With a 60-100 kilowatt-per-hour battery, the luxurious Tesla Model S is available for sale or lease with an affordable payment plan. Although this car is a little more expensive upfront, its savings in fuel can help recoup much of that cost.
6. Mercedes-Benz V-Class – If you need a van-like option, the Mercedes-Benz V-Class provides the space and hauling capabilities to fit your requirements. The sturdy wheelbase and rounded outer shell gives you the power and the capacity for deliveries and for long trips at a combined fuel efficiency of around 30-40 miles per gallon, depending on the V-Class model.
7. Hyundai Tucson Eco – The combined fuel efficiency of 28 miles per gallon, the touchscreen audio, and the rearview camera and the front solar glass make the Hyundai Tucson a great option for a company car. With this vehicle, you will find quality and efficiency, both important aspects of any business car.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the best vehicle to choose as a company car. You must make the best decision based on your company’s needs, planned uses and budget. Choose the vehicle that meets your requirements and provides the most efficient and affordable options, and you will have the right company car.
David Moss is a Detroit based freelance automotive and tech writer. When he is not writing about the latest car technology, he spends his time hiking. You can follow him via Twitter @davidcmoss