As a former company car driver, the customer was experiencing a personal car arrangement for the first time. As company car tax for this vehicle was far more expensive, which is now common for most vehicles, a car allowance was the most practical route forwards.
What we have been discussing recently is that company car vs car allowance, is now a hotly contested debate. The Government are becoming increasingly punitive with rules, regulations and taxations on a company, which they believe will see more “eco” choices being taken.
That being said, with the grants being reduced, and removed in most cases, a company car policy which will include an alternative vehicle is now more unlikely. Why will a company pay more per month for a vehicle which has little benefit for them in terms of monthly cost, maintenance and fuel usage? With the economy being a little constrained, we are not going to see the electric dreams just yet.
As a company car driver, the customer was used to certain provisions being included within the arrangement – the car, the maintenance, the insurance and business fuel. Moving over to a car allowance and personal contract hire means that drivers need to carefully consider their options. As there are no P11d or fuel restrictions some drivers do get a little bit like the kid in the sweet shop, thereby entering into an arrangement for a car/contract which is not suitable for their needs and requirements.
When are a driver is researching online, the “headline” rentals on any deal need to be carefully considered, in that:
· What mileage are they based on? Some deals will show the cost for 5,000 and 8,000 miles, which is often too little for many drivers;
· What Initial Rental does the deal state? Some headline rentals will show enhanced spread initial rentals of 9 and 12 – if you see a 12/s initial rental on a £300 per month car, you will be paying £3600 in month 1!
· What term is the deal based on? It is often cheaper to take the vehicle over a longer period of time and so many deals show 48 and even 60 month arrangements.
If you are looking for a “no deposit” (we say a no initial rental) arrangement over 36 months and with 30,000 miles per annum, some of the deals you may see will not be appropriate for your needs and requirements.
As contract hire is a fixed term arrangement, you cannot just give the car back if you don’t enjoy it anymore; you would have to go through a process known as early termination which would involve paying half of the remaining rentals.
As you are responsible for the vehicle, not the company, this is a liability you must incur. With personal leasing you cannot include car insurance in almost all arrangements (there are a select few who may allow it) and fuel must be paid for by you. Before you select a vehicle, it is practical to get car insurance quotes, as some company car users may not have insured a car personally for some time. On the fuel-side, speak to your employer about their policy. If you receive a car allowance, they will base this on your anticipated mileage and so you won’t be entitled to anything further.
One element which you can include is “maintenance”. In our industry we offer two clear choices:
1. Driver-maintained contract – this is one which the customer (the driver) agrees to maintain the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. This will involve servicing, maintaining the vehicle and changing the tyres due to fair wear and tear or for punctures (and any breakdown recovery); or
2. Funder-maintained contract – this is one which the funder agrees to include the cost for all servicing, maintaining the vehicle and changing the tyres due to fair wear and tear (and sometimes punctures). Additionally, the provision may include the cost of breakdown recovery.
When you are deciding between driver and funder maintained, there is no right or wrong answer. This about entering into an arrangement which best meets your requirements.
Try not to push your budget in order to get a better car (or remove funder maintenance to get a better car) as the 24/36/48 months is a long period of time. We would suggest you use the car’s service intervals to help you determine the running costs/whole life costs involved.
In terms of the car shown here, the Mercedes-Benz C CLASS SALOON C300 AMG Line 4dr 9G-Tronic (Petrol), this is based on the following configuration:
· Selenite Grey Metallic Paint
· Artico leather/Dinamica – Black
· Gloss black/aluminium interior trim
· 18″ AMG 5 twin spoke alloy wheels in tremolite grey
As standard the car includes agility sports suspensions, 18” alloys, artico leather, green tinted glass, rain sensing wipers, adaptive brake assist, brake callipers with Mercedes lettering, hill start assist, AMG floormats, Bluetooth, active park assist, attention assist, collision prevention assist, reversing camera, 10.23” display screen, navigation system, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, DAB radio, AMG body styling, twin exhaust pipes, LED headlights and daytime running lights, climate control, 3 spoke flat bottomed steering wheel, lighting pack, mirror pack, seat comfort pack, storage pack, heated front seats, alarm system, immobiliser, sports seats and crash sensor. In terms of additional specification, consider privacy glass and the 19” alloys for a perfect car.
On the technical side, company car and business users can note the P11d at £39,510.00 and CO2 at 148g/km. The 1991CC 9 speed auto engine delivers 43.5 combined MPG, 258ps and 0-62 time of 5.9 seconds. Service intervals are set at 15,500 miles for a petrol C-Class.
Find the best deals online for leasing a Mercedes C Class @CarLease UK – or check out more Mercedes reviews below.