Best company cars 2019

Best Company Cars 2019 - header
10 Apr, 2019 3:45pm

Choosing a company car can be tricky, but our 2019 guide will help you find the best model on the market

The start of the new tax year is an important time for company car drivers. New rules have come into force for the 2019/2020 financial period, and that puts a renewed focus on which models make the best company vehicles. There are far more cars on sale than when we produced our guide last year, and many more have hybrid tech.

As before, we’ve split this rundown by price point, with five different brackets that will give company car drivers a wide choice no matter what their budget. In each category, we’ve also added our best alternative-fuel pick with help from our sister title These attract a lower rate of Benefit-in-Kind tax so should be cheaper for business users.

• Company car tax guide: all you need to know

However, we certainly haven’t forgotten petrol and diesel power. While there might have been a shift away from diesel, in some cases the less popular fuel still makes plenty of sense.

At the same time, petrol technology is ever more advanced, delivering strong performance and economy, so there are plenty of choices here, too. We’ll tell you six of the best in each price category.

What is BiK and what will it cost me?

Benefit in Kind (BiK) is a tax on benefits that employees receive in addition to their salary. With company cars, the bill is a percentage of their car’s P11D value, calculated according to its CO2 output; cars with lower emissions incur lower levels of tax. We spell this out with a monthly figure for higher and lower-rate taxpayers.

Car tax changes

The start of the new tax year always means big changes – and especially for company car drivers. However, for the 2019/2020 tax year that kicks off on 6 April the tweaks to the system are bigger than ever. Essentially, the changes stick with the

pattern that has been set in recent years; the thresholds for the CO2-related brackets are becoming stricter and every car will see a three-per-cent rise in the proportion of its value that company car drivers are taxed on.

The BiK tax rate is still capped at 37 per cent, but the point at which cars are liable for that charge is falling. Models that emit 180g/km or more incurred the full charge last year, but now it applies from 165g/km.

Things are a little different for diesel cars, though, because they will still be subject to a four-per-cent surcharge over the BiK level that their CO2 emissions would incur.

So a petrol-engined car with emissions of 108g/km incurs a 25 per cent BiK rate, but a diesel with the same emissions is in the 29 per cent bracket. Likewise, any diesel with emissions of more than 145g/km will incur the maximum 37 per cent rate of BiK tax. Perhaps the biggest surprise – given the ‘green’ agenda behind the system – is that even zero-emissions cars have a three per cent higher BiK rate of 16 per cent.

Ford Fiesta - front

This will change again when new rates are introduced for the 2020/21 tax year, though. Then, zero-emission cars or those with an electric range of more than 130 miles will have a two per cent BiK liability and any model with some electric range will incur lower rates; the longer the range, the lower the liability.

Meanwhile, emissions of 51-54g/km will bring a 15 per cent liability (19 per cent for diesels), while the maximum 37 per cent liability will apply to cars with emissions of 160g/km and above – or 140g/km for diesels.

Best company cars by price bracket