Picking the best company car is a tricky business. You need a car that’s comfortable, looks good and is well-suited for long journeys, but it also has to be cost-effective and efficient to run. Plus you have to negotiate your way through government’s rules on taxing company cars.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of some ideal cars than balance good value with driving experience.
A note about tax…
In the UK, the government will tax a company car as ‘benefits in kind’ (BiK). The rate of tax is calculated as a percentage of the car’s market value, and is reduced if the car has low CO2 emissions. And if your employer pays for your fuel, you still have to the fuel tax. With that in mind, it’s important to consider not just the value of the car, but its CO2 emissions and fuel efficiency as well.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the best cars you can choose as your company car!
For low cost: Skoda Citigo
Model: Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 SE L Greentech
Monthly BiK Bill £42-83
If cost is your number one priority, then the Skoda Citigo is one of the cheapest company cars you can get your hands on – in terms of purchasing and taxing it. If you can cope with the small size and a 1.0 litre engine, the Citigo offers great value and a surprisingly comfortable ride – even on the motorway.
For a small car with a premium feel: Mini Cooper
Model: Mini Cooper 1.5 Classic 5dr
Monthly BiK Bill £85-169
For the image conscious who want to drive a premium car without breaking the bank, look no further. It certainly packs a punch with a 1.5 litre engine and a 6 speed gearbox, but the basic model is a little lacking in features. Choose your optional extras wisely to keep the tax bill from creeping up.
For an executive saloon under £20K: Vauxhall Insignia
Model: Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport 1.5 Turbo Design
Monthly BiK Bill £95-191
A roomy car that feels great on the motorway, is packed with features and comes in just shy of £20,000. The 1.5 litre petrol engine puts out a respectable 138bhp, which is more than adequate thanks to the Insignia’s lightweight body. You also get air-con, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and keyless start all thrown in as standard.
Impractical but fun: Mazda MX-5
Model: Mazda MX-5 1.5 SE-L Nav+
Monthly BiK Bill £110-219
It only has two seats and minimal boot space once you have the top down, but if you’re unconcerned with practicality then the MX-5 is the car for you! Who says a company car has to be all business and no fun?
For a little over £20,000 you get a nippy convertible than can reach 60mph in just over 8 seconds and spits out 130bhp – yet the emissions are relatively low at 143g/km and the BiK rate starts at a very reasonable £110 per month.
For a Family SUV: Skoda Karoq
Model: Skoda Karoq 1.5 TSI SE
Monthly BiK Bill £108-216
If your company car doubles up as the family taxi, you can do a lot worse than this well equipped mid-size SUV. The 1.5 litre model with the SE trim comes in at under £25,000 and is packed with all sorts of features – including climate control, cruise control, parking sensors, collision warning, auto-braking and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto.
For an executive saloon under £35K: BMW 3 Series
Model: BMW 320d SE
Monthly BiK Bill £172-345
The 3 Series is an incredibly popular choice as a company car, and for good reason: even in its standard trim you get adaptive LED lights, auto braking, sat-nav, digital dash, cruise control, parking sensors and a reversing camera. And we haven’t even mentioned the refined driving experience yet, with a punchy 2 litre turbo diesel engine delivering 187bhp.
For a plug-in hybrid: Toyota Prius
Model: Toyota Prius Plug-in Business Edition Plus
Monthly BiK Bill £84-169
Prius has become all but synonymous with hybrid vehicles. As a plug-in hybrid, you get the best of both worlds. It has zero emissions at low speeds, while the petrol engine can give you a bit of extra muscle when you need it. The Prius is also incredibly cheap to run and attracts the same low BiK rate as a fully electric car.
It’s not the best-equipped on this list, and the large battery pack means you only get two rear seats, but it’s still hard to beat in terms of value and fuel-efficiency.
If money is no object: Mercedes S-Class
Model: Mercedes S 350 d AMG Line L
Monthly BiK Bill £476-952
If you want a car that reflects your status, we recommend the S-Class with a 282bhp, 3.0 litre diesel engine. And if you’re going to get a top of the line Merc, you might as well go all-in and opt for the AMG Line L trim. The higher BiK rate isn’t to be sniffed at (at £952 per month), but you get a truly thrilling driving experience with all the luxury and features you could ask for.
For a fully electric: Jaguar I-Pace
Model: Jaguar I-Pace EV400 S
Monthly BiK Bill £172-344
The Jaguar I-Pace was the Auto Express 2018 Car of the Year. If you’re not put off by charging times or range anxiety, you’ll find surprisingly nimble car that packs 395bhp thanks to its pair of electric motors, and can fly up to 60mph in a mere 4.8 seconds.
Say what you want about electric vehicles – they are fast. Despite it’s bulky frame, the I-Pace can reach speeds of 124mph. And thanks to the fully electric motor, the BiK rate starts at a very palatable £172 – not bad at all for a car that costs over 60 grand!
Facts & figures from Auto Express.