THE choice of vehicles for SMEs has never been more extensive – and the choice of drivetrain so wide, which makes the SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2018 sponsored by Fleet Alliance such a vital benchmark.
There’s electric; plug-in hybrid; hybrid; petrol; or euro 6 diesel; while not forgetting hydrogen fuel cell technology. It’s a broad mix with changing attitudes to fuel choice making the market fast-moving and fluid.
If that’s not enough, the government seems to be constantly changing the company car tax system too. What was once considered a low tax car is now… well, simply not. Past certainties are no guide to present day realities especially as new capital allowance tax breaks come into play April 2018.
So what does an SME business car manager do faced with all this?
Turn to the SME Company Car of the Year Awards that’s what, to highlight the best company cars available to them, the best company car programmes to provide the fleet management assistance they require and in addition, the in-life support back-up once the car has been leased or purchased.
All must possess that winning combination of competitive P11D price, low benefit in kind taxation, excellent running costs, and great specification.
The judges are completely independent and are experts in the SME field. Judges will be given clear instructions and criteria – such as company car tax and whole life costs as well as the free form entries – to judge and rank each entry.
We will publish the shortlist in November. The winners will be announced at the SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2018 lunch in January 2018.
The categories are straightforward – in the way an SME assesses the market.
So, car manufacturers:
- Is your car ready to be the SME Company Car of the Year 2018?
- Is your SME programme the best there is?
- Have you got what it takes to be a winner in the SME sector?
SME Company Car of the Year Award Categories.
There are seven categories detailed below open to car manufacturers. There is no limit to the number of entries you can make. Cars must be on sale by 1 October 2017 to qualify for the awards.
Having picked their category winners, judges will then pick their SME Company Car of the Year 2018 from the category winners
Best Value SME Company Car
This year the car must have a list price below £20,000 and have CO2 emissions below the new capital allowance/leasing tax break of 110g/km
Best Compact SME Company Car
We want to find the best car that is sub 4.5m in length that combines fitness for business purpose while also doubling up as a suitable lifestyle car at the weekend.
Best Large SME Company Car
A car that is longer than 4.5m and conveys a level of seniority and aspiration for SME business drivers.
Best Director’s SME Company Car
It needs to be something prestigious, well specified but also not too heavy on benefit in kind company car tax or on running costs – especially if it’s for the FD!
Best Green SME Company Car
With the changes to benefit in kind percentage tax bands and the changing of the 100% write down threshold to 50g/km, those sub 50g ultra low emission vehicles are really making their case for inclusion in any SME small fleet.
Best SME Company Car Programme
SMEs without fleet managers need help to run their company cars. Which company car programme does that best?
Best SME After Sales Programme
We’re looking for the best after sales programme that’s as capable of looking after two company cars as it is for 25+.
Manufacturers: put your best SME cars and programmes forward and let our independent judges decide.
Get the recognition you deserve for the best products in the SME business and small fleet market.
SME Company Car of the Year Winners 2017
- The overall SME Company Car of the Year was Vauxhall Astra
- Category winners were:
- Best Value SME Company Car: Vauxhall Astra Hatchback New 1.6 CDTi Design 110PS S/S ecoFLEX
- Best Compact SME Company Car: Mini Hatch 1.5 Cooper D 5 door
- Best Large SME Company Car: Audi A4 Saloon 2.0 TDI ultra Sport 150PS
- Best Director’s SME Company Car: Jaguar F-Pace 2.0 R-Sport 180PS AWD Auto
- Best Green SME Company Car: BMW i3 94Ah with Range Extender Auto
- Best SME Company Car Programme: Vauxhall
- Best SME After Sales Programme: Hyundai