Business owners up and down the UK are looking for ways to reduce their expenditure on all manner of things, including transport. After all, it can cost a lot of money to pay employees for their mileage and provide a fleet of company cars.
Among the best ways for firms to reduce the amount they spend on vehicles each year is to choose models that are economical to run, as this could save money in more ways than one.
But where do you start if you want to find the most economical cars on the roads? Here’s a brief guide to help get you on the right track.
While the manufacturer’s specifications can tell you a lot about the capabilities of a car, what you really need to know is how it performs in everyday life. No number of official figures will tell you how much fuel it actually takes to drive around a busy town centre for half an hour, so spend some time reading reviews by people who own the models you’re looking at.
It’s also worth looking through the biggest car magazines, too, and seeing which autos the motoring experts really rate. There are annual awards handed out across all kinds of categories, with most ceremonies including a prize for green vehicles.
Checking out all of these sources can give you a good indication of where to begin your search for your next company car.
Look for eco features
Automakers have cottoned on to the fact that many drivers would prefer to get behind the wheel of an environmentally-friendly motor if they have the choice. As a result, many of the largest manufacturers (including BMW, Mercedes and VW) have introduced features designed to improve their vehicles’ fuel economy and reduce CO2 emissions, without impacting on the performance of the car.
While it may cost a little more for the models that are equipped with this technology, it could pay off in the long run, especially if you can reduce your expenditure on fuel and even cut the cost of your annual road tax because the car in question has low CO2 emissions.
For example, if you choose a BMW with EfficientDynamics on a contract hire deal, you could find the entire cost of the leasing contract is deductable against taxable profit if the car has CO2 output of less than 160 g/km.
Ask about fuel consumption
As a general rule, diesel and hybrid cars have better fuel consumption than petrol models, and as the price disparity at the pumps between petrol and diesel has narrowed in recent years, you may decide opting for a diesel-powered vehicle is the better choice.
Check the manufacturer’s specifications to see what fuel consumption you can expect and ask the leasing company or dealer you’re talking to about whether this is an accurate figure.
Of course, driving habits will play a part in how much fuel is used, so it could be worth sending all your employees who have company cars on a course to teach them a few eco-friendly habits that can reduce their emissions and fuel consumption when they’re behind the wheel.
Once you have all the information about a car’s green credentials, you’ll need to weigh up the cost savings you think you can make over the vehicle’s lifetime – or the length of your leasing contract – to decide whether paying a little more for eco-friendly technology is worth it in the long run and will ultimately benefit your bottom line.