It's that time again when I have to choose a new company car and I've spent this afternoon poring over the list sent through from the office. 145 cars - 10 brands, 15 models, umpteen different specs. Once upon a time the choice was limited to colour - the make and model being strictly dictated by paygrade but since the Government started taxing users it's been recognised that it's something drivers should have a say in. I lose about £3500 out of my tax-free allowance each year because of my car, so it's not cheap and I also have to pay for any private mileage at 14p per mile, so it's not quite the "perk" a lot of folk think it is.
So what do I look for?
I drive around 1000 miles a week so that seat had better be comfy and supportive. I also don't want to be thrown around like a clown on custard at every roundabout, so the 4x4s and "Crossovers" are out.
No, not so I can go speeding (6 points is 6 too many thank you) but so I can cruise at 70 on the motorway without the engine screaming for hundreds of miles and giving me a splitting headache.
I have to be able to get the wife's disability scooter in the back, plus all the paraphernalia from work. If the work junk isn't stored in the car, it's all over the house.
OK, this isn't a deal breaker really as it'll be serviced like clockwork and got rid of at 120,000 miles. Most cars are bullet-proof nowadays up to those mileages. With the exception of Citroens, Fiats and Skodas.
Pretty much a "must" is an aux-in socket for my iPod. I have no idea how I got by before without this. Dual zone climate control is good for when Mrs swl needs a flow of cool, fresh air for her emphysema but I don't want to freeze to death. Cruise control is good for those interminable Average Speed zones which crop up all the time and the long haul up the M6 through Cumbria with speed cops on every flyover. Satnav is nice so I won't have a box and wires all over the dashboard and I've got kinda used to auto windscreen wipers and headlights.
So, I've narrowed my list down to:
i) Ford Mondeo Estate 2.0 Tdci 163 Zetec
ii) Seat Exeo Diesel Sports Tourer 2.0 Tdi 143 CrS
iii) Vauxhall Insignia Sports Tourer 2.0 cdti 160 Exclusiv Nav
I took the shortlist through to the wife, ready to point out the pros and cons of each but she forestalled me by saying "What colour will it be?"
|Subject: Choosing a car|
Posted Nov 29, 2011 by Nick
This is a reply to this Posting.
If you were this side of the pond, I could lend some assistance and advice. But as I know nothing about the 'stuff' over there, how models differ from same-named products here, I can only suggest ...
"You can have any colour you want, so long as it's black" is what Henry Ford was reputed to have said. And indeed, he did seem correct more often than not.
Sorry, swl, but your shortlist is completely wrong.
Please type out all one-hundred-and-forty-five options and I'll indicate where you've made errors of judgement.
Yeah... there are no Subarus on that list.
Nah - Subarus are for boy racers or farmers.
I'm neither a boy racer nor a farmer.
Well, the Seat's been discounted because it's no bigger than the car I have now & I could do with more space so a Hyundai i40 has been added to the list. Checking out the tax implications, the Hyundai will cost me £48 a month against the £75 & £80 of the Ford & Vauxhall.
Might take the wife & her scooter round some showrooms tomorrow.
Is there a Ford Transit on the list?
Last time I had one, perceived benefit = €42 per month with all fuel for private use included.
I made circa £300 a month running running trips to the dump and removal facilities for mates (cheap) and people I didn't know so well (more expensive). Just sayin'.
If you can get the 120bhp version, the cab's comfy as hell, it drives like a thoroughbred with a rocket up it's back-passage and there's enough room in the back for any activity you can possibly imagine.
It won't look so cute on the driveway, but the neighbours will all still love you. Just make sure you charge them a mid-range figure for services-rendered.
er no - no Transit
Apparently one of the guys at my company was sacked when they discovered he was using his company car to deliver pizzas for Dominos in the evenings and at weekends.
Tell, me, was he foolish enough to put the pizza delivery light-bar on the roof?
No, I think it was the sheer smell that gave the game away.
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