Buying a used business car
Story: admin | Posted 30 May 2007 | In SME Advice
By Matthew Tumbridge, editor of Used Car Expert
BUYING a used car for business makes sense for small companies.
Especially if it’s nearly new.
Without the buying power that comes from a larger fleet, obtaining worthwhile discounts on new cars from your local dealer is difficult. So buying used is a good option.
The phrase ‘used car’ can make an employer seem at best mean and at worst cavalier about staff safety. But with prudent acquisition there need be no compromise on quality or safety.
The importance of ensuring your business provides reliable, safe cars for staff cannot be understated, even it is a used business car.
Overlook aesthetics at your peril too; where company cars are used by a sales force, they are a part of the company image.
If staff have personal use of the vehicle, then a poor choice of car will have a surprisingly negative impact on morale.
Successfully buying used cars for business is all about striking a balance. Follow these seven steps and you will find that balance.
Soft top prices go through the (open) roof
Story: admin | Posted 30 May 2007 | In News
The late May bank holiday may have been a wet weather wash out.
But prices of soft top convertibles aren’t being left out to dry.
Leading auction company BCA says prices are rising.
This makes it a good time for small businesses to sell any convertibles they own – and take advantage of the higher prices.
“Values for convertibles are more seasonal than other models. Prices rise in line with the temperature,” commented Simon Henstock, network operations director, BCA.
“Average prices increased by £339 (2.4%) to £13,718 in the first three months of this year. It makes this a good time for selling a soft top.”
The best convertible for holding its price is the Ferrari F430, according to EurotaxGlass’s, the used price valuers.
Revised MINI Cooper D breaks 70mpg barrier
IT may be sporting. It may be chic. But the MINI range is also getting more economical.
The sporting Cooper diesel model will deliver 72.4mpg fuel economy. A 12.8% improvement on its former 64.2mpg figure.
The petrol version of the Cooper will also now return over 50mpg. A 6.9% improvement on its former 48.7mpg.
However, business car drivers will need to wait to August to benefit from the improvements.
The changes have been achieved through three key technologies:
- Brake Energy Regeneration: works by using an Intelligent Alternator Control (IAC) and an Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recycle previously lost energy – such as braking or descending a hill
- Auto Start-Stop Function: on manual MINIs this automatically switches the engine off when the vehicle is stationary and the driver puts the car into neutral.
- Switch Point Display: on manual MINIs indicates the most economical gear in which to drive.
Entire MINI range receives an economy boost thanks to new fuel-saving technology.
Business car managers can benefit from running more economical vehicles. For example, the Cooper D qualifies for a 100% first year writing down allowance. This helps cashflow. It also qualifies for VED tax band B.
Business car drivers also benefit from reduced benefit-in-kind tax – the Cooper D will have a 13% tax banding. That’s a 10% rating in the special low emission banding + 3% diesel surcharge.
New Golf GT Sport models
Story: admin | Posted 28 May 2007 | In News
Volkswagen has simplified its Golf range.
The sporting GT models – with supercharged and turbocharged 1.4-litre engines – and Sport turbodiesel models, will now be integrated in one range: GT Sport.
There will be the choice of 140PS or 170PS power outputs in either petrol or diesel engines.
The new models have a GT Sport grille, plus darkened light lenses, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The new GT Sport will be available in three- and five-door bodystyles.
The new VW Golf GT Sport range
- 140PS super- and turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol
- 170PS super- and turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol
- 140PS turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel
- 170PS turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel
- Six-speed manual or DSG auto gearboxes
- Three-door or five-door bodystyles
- On sale from late summer
- Refinement of the diesel engine
- Premium feel and legendary reliability
- Sharp handling
- Decent equipment levels including satnav
- Four-door or estate bodies only
- Limited engine and trim range
- Rear legroom is tight
- Tyre noise is intrusive with larger wheels
- Brilliantly responsive and revvy engine
- Accelerates easily from any gear
- Firm but pliant ride soaks up bumps
- Slick gearchange
- Sporty engine note at higher revs
- Nearly 40mpg potential
- Engine at low revs sounds rough
- Fuel consumption suffers if you push it
- Front wheels can ‘tramline’ on uneven surfaces
Honda Accord: the premium diesel
Story: admin | Posted 25 May 2007 | In Car Tests
Honda Accord 2.2 i-CTDi Sport 4dr
What is it?
A revelation when it was launched in 2002, the Accord is still a fine package with a premium feel and good looks. Rivals have narrowed the quality gap in recent years and the range is somewhat limited, but the 2.2-litre diesel remains one of the best diesels in the class.
What you need to Know?
|Tax Band when posted:|
|Engine:||2.2-litre turbo diesel|
|Power/torque:||140bhp / 251lb ft|
Monthly rental courtesy of HSBC DriverQuote. Based on 36-month/36,000-mile contract hire agreement with maintenance.
Business Car Manager Road Test RatingNot the newest or most exciting offering in the class, but the Accord does offer a premium drive at a mainstream price.
Story: admin | Posted 24 May 2007 | In Car Tests
Nissan Qashqai 2.0dCi Acenta 5dr
What is it?
Good question. It
The practical estate maker
Story: admin | Posted 23 May 2007 | In Car Tests
Volvo V70 D5 SE Sport
What is it?
VW Golf GT Sport: Golf gets quick and economical
Story: admin | Posted 22 May 2007 | In Car Tests
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 TSI GT Sport 170 3dr
What is it?
New take on hot hatch formula. Uses smaller, lighter engine for better economy, which is then supercharged and turbocharged for startlingly better performance.
What you need to Know?
|Tax Band when posted:|
|Monthly BiK:||68 (20%)/£136 (40%)|
|Engine:||super- & turbocharged 1.4-litre|
|Power/torque:||170PS / 240Nm|
Monthly rental courtesy of HSBC DriverQuote. Based on 36-month/30,000-mile contract hire agreement with maintenance.
Business Car Manager Road Test RatingCharacterful and inspiring new Golf that puts the fun back into driving.
Road fuel scale charge goes green
Story: admin | Posted 22 May 2007 | In News
The government has changed the way VAT is applied on the road fuel scale charge.
For accounting periods starting on or from 01 May 2007, the scale charge will be based on the CO2 emissions of the vehicle.
These are rated in 5g/km bands.
This move brings the road fuel scale charge into line with other CO2 taxes on business car motoring.
The VAT fuel scale charges are used to account for the fuel used by company business car drivers during private mileage.
The previous system accounted for the VAT on engine size. The new system uses a business car’s CO2 emissions to calculate the rate.
For example, the quarterly output tax on a vehicle with 160g/km CO2 emissions is £34.40:
Small business can escape Congestion Charge
Story: admin | Posted 21 May 2007 | In News
Small businesses requiring greener business car travel can now hire low-emission hybrid vehicles.
National Car Rental is supplying Toyota Prius hatchbacks to business customers around the capital.
Hybrids are exempt from London’s extended congestion zone area. The congestion charge is £8 per day.
The car can also be driven certain distances using electric power only. This produces zero emissions and very little noise.
“We have already supplied a fleet of Prius cars to one of our corporate customers,” commented Frank Reynolds, SME specialist, National.
“But we can now cater to the demands of business customers who want a greener rental option or wish to avoid congestion charges.”
What renting a Prius hybrid offers businesses