Business travel can be very demanding, often involving hectic schedules, long journeys between meetings and the need to stay in touch with HQ when away from the office. Train travel or other modes of public transport are not always the best, easiest or cheapest option, making it all the more important that top quality business cars can be relied upon to provide comfort, efficiency and a hassle-free driving experience.
Today’s cars are built with the business professional and the forthcoming change in company tax bands in mind, combining fuel economy with lower emissions – these are the five most popular vehicles with business users in the UK at the present time.
1. Vauxhall Insignia
Whether estate, hatchback or saloon, the handsome body shape of the Vauxhall Insignia is enhanced by its wealth of wonderful features. Now available with an impressively powerful 2-litre BiTurbo 192bhp diesel engine, the manual front-wheel drive hatchback version produces emissions as low as 129g/km of CO2. Besides benefiting from the low emissions, executives can also enjoy an economical 57.6mpg, making this an ideal business buy.
2. Mercedes Benz C-Class
As with the Mercedes Benz Sprinter range of vans, which set the standard for commercial vehicles, the C-Class coupé, estate and saloon provide a truly stunning driving experience. The smallest saloon can be supplied with a C 200 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY diesel engine delivering emissions as low as 125g/km. As with most top cars, interiors include access to today’s most sophisticated technology – or executive toys, depending on your point of view. Bluetooth connectivity, for example, means the office is only a voice command away.
3. Ford Mondeo
Although perhaps better known as a family car, the Mondeo has excellent dynamics and handles exceptionally well, making it ideal for a long business trip. Diesel engines being a personal preference, CO2 emission rates can be as low as 114 g/km on the Mondeo Zetec Business Edition. When bought for use as a company car, this Mondeo model falls into the ‘benefit in kind’ slot at very reasonable rates for taxpayers at all levels, and the modest C bracket for road tax.
4. BMW 3 Series
Always a winner, emission rates as low as 99 g/km whilst achieving 62.8mpg demonstrate that the technology behind the BMW 116d ES model is firmly focused on being eco-friendly. Low running costs make the BMW range of nine models, including a hybrid, very attractive as a business car and it’s deliberately aimed at the executive market, with options for Bluetooth headsets, a Universal DVD System and cordless handsets available for some models.
5. Hyundai i40
Don’t be surprised by this recommendation – Hyundai has worked hard to improve the image of the brand, resulting in some great design features including a 2-litre diesel engine delivering 62.8mpg and producing just 119g/km CO2. An attractive business proposition as this makes it eligible for free road tax during the first 12 months.
Future of business cars
Having looked at some of the shapes being proposed for cars of the future, there’s no doubt that streamlining the bodywork and making it all sleek and shiny is high on the agenda for imaginative designers. What’s most likely, though, is that the hybrid car will catch on big time, so the business car of the future will be as economical as possible, without sacrificing style or comfort, even as it helps to save the planet.