Business owners should consider investing in a company car, especially if their companies are expanding. However, it’s hard to decide which vehicle is best.
Hundreds of options are available, and it helps to narrow things down before buying.
Why Have a Business Vehicle?
Using your personal vehicle for business can cost you money and add stress to your commute.
There are various tax advantages to having a dedicated business car. Any accidents or damage are covered through commercial insurance and do not affect your personal coverage. You can also arrange for other employees to drive the vehicle without worry.
Here are six considerations for choosing your company car.
Your car’s size can impact what you can and can’t do with it, so it’s necessary to choose one that accommodates your needs.
Compact cars have up to 109 cubic feet of interior space. These vehicles are great for traveling to meetings in a city, where it’s harder to park a larger model. They are also cost-effective and produce fewer emissions.
Examples include the Honda Civic, Mazda3, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen GTI.
- Easy to Park: They can fit in compact spaces.
- Fuel-efficient: They save your company money.
- Lower emissions: They are better for the environment.
- Low cost: You can save on your car budget.
- Easy to maneuver: Simple for any employee to drive.
- Fewer seats: They can’t accommodate more than a couple of employees.
- Slower speeds: They can’t travel as fast as other cars.
- Not as smooth: Smaller cars generally have rougher rides than larger ones.
- More vulnerable: There will be more damage if a compact car is in an accident.
If you want flexibility and a lower bill, a compact car might be right for you.
A midsize car is a great option for many businesses, as it’s roomier than a compact car but smaller than a full-size. Their interiors range from 110 to 120 cubic feet.
The Kia K5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy and Chevrolet Malibu are examples of midsize vehicles.
- Safe: Midsized cars are known for their safety, holding up better than compact vehicles in a crash while providing more navigability than a full-size vehicle.
- Easily insured: Insurance companies are likely to insure midsize cars since they are generally reliable.
- Luxurious: Most luxury vehicles are midsize, and many non-luxury manufacturers are adding special features not found in other sizes.
- Fuel cost: The cost of fuel for a midsize car is more than for a compact one.
- Low capacity: Most midsize vehicles can only have four passengers.
- Storage: Sedans can’t hold as much equipment as a full-size vehicle.
A midsize might be right for your business if you want a reliable car that can comfortably fit a few employees.
The Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima, GMC Yukon and RAM 1500 all qualify as full-size vehicles.
They have at least 120 cubic feet of interior space, while full-size station wagons have at least 150.
- Storage: Full-size vehicles have the maximum storage capacity without adding a trailer. Full-size trucks can also accommodate truck beds that provide significant storage for tools, materials and more.
- Capacity: Many models fit up to eight passengers.
- Hauling: Full-size cars can handle larger trailers and campers than other vehicles.
- Parking: Larger vehicles are harder to park, especially in busy municipalities.
- Gas mileage: You’ll spend more on gas with a full-size vehicle.
- Cost: Full-size cars are generally expensive compared to other vehicles.
Consider a full-size model if you want your car to hold the most people or equipment.
You need to choose a work car that fits the environment you or your employees will drive it in. If your community or travel destinations are mountainous or get icy, you’ll likely need a four-wheel or all-wheel drive car that can handle the conditions.
All-wheel drive automatically adjusts the gears, while you can manually do so with four-wheel drive. A front-wheel drive vehicle should work well in mild climates.
Front-wheel drive vehicles are generally cheaper than four-wheel or all-wheel drivetrains.
Another thing to consider is whether your business vehicle should have an automatic or manual transmission.
An automatic transmission that controls the gears is best for a wide range of drivers. You could purchase a manual vehicle if you only have one or two employees who will drive it and know how.
Manual vehicles are often cheaper than their automatic counterparts. However, fewer drivers are learning to operate them, making a purchase potentially useless.
You can normally determine whether or not you want a new or used car with just a few facts.
- Used cars are less expensive than new models.
- New models are less likely to need maintenance.
- Used vehicles don’t depreciate as fast.
- New cars have better safety features.
- Used models are cheaper to insure.
A vehicle’s paint job could be a large influence if you’re looking to add designs to your business vehicle.
You can choose a color that goes with your logo or business niche. Brighter colors, like oranges, greens and reds, stand out more on the street. Blues, grays and whites blend in with the surrounding traffic.
If you want to add a skin to your vehicle, choose a lighter color that you can build on.
The type of interior you have is just as important as your car’s appearance. Lighter colors are more likely to show stains, while darker ones can seem less impressive.
Many people see leather seats as superior, but cloth upholstery is often more practical. Cloth doesn’t get as hot or cold, and leather seats can get sticky in heat or humidity. Leather is often more vulnerable to scratches or scrapes than cloth. However, it’s easier to wipe away messes.
One of the most important decisions you can make when getting a business car is whether you want to purchase the vehicle or lease it.
Advantages of Leasing
A lease is advantageous for self-employed business owners as you can often count the payments as tax deductions.
Leasing ensures high-quality vehicles you can switch out once you finish the term. The monthly payments are often cheaper than they would be with a car loan.
Advantages of Owning
However, there are also advantages to owning your business vehicles. The monthly lease payments may be cheaper, but the long-term cost will be more.
You will eventually pay off your car, while leasing means you’ll always have a payment. You can also make whatever modifications you’d like, while leased vehicles have limits.
Choosing the Best Vehicle for Your Business
There are many advantages to having a business vehicle. Learn about your options to make the best choice for your company.