A small business often starts with the business owner using their own personal vehicle to run errands and take care of business-related transport needs. This works up to a point, as you can claim part of your running expenses against your business tax.
As you grow, this might not be the most efficient or cost-effective way to provide the transport your small business needs. Below we take a look at when you need a business car, and some suitable models that you might consider.
When Does Your Small Business Need To Own A Car?
When your personal car isn’t suitable or ideal for your business needs and you can demonstrate a regular cash flow in your business, it’s time to consider leasing a car that is perfect for your business needs.
For example, you may need to:
- delivery packages
- transport clients
- provide transport for sales staff
- offer a benefit to employees through use of a car
- provide staff transport if work hours are late at night or they live away from easy transport
- get documents or other items to clients faster.
Having a dedicated business vehicle can make it easier to track your costs, keeping business and personal expenses totally separate. Plus, the car you need for business is often very different from what you need personally, and a vehicle can be a great marketing tool for your business by building brand awareness in your local area.
Best Cars For Small Business
The best car for your business is the one that does the job you need it to do the most efficiently. It’s essential that buying a business car isn’t an emotional decision, but rather a highly pragmatic one.
This means that you’ll need to consider fuel & maintenance costs, insurance and resale value in order to make the choice that puts the least financial strain on your business.
1. Toyota Prius Hybrid
51 miles to the gallon, plenty of head and leg room, popular because of the spacious interior which is comfortable for passengers, low base price of $23,000.
2. Honda Fit
A fun, sporty car with a green reputation, this car has economy of around 33 miles to a gallon and a base price around $15,000. For carrying packages, the hatchback folds down and allows up to 30 delivery bags to be stacked inside. An electric model is expected soon, driving down the tax payable for this car too.
3. Volkswagen Transporter
The ideal blend of technology, fuel efficiency, and interior space this van is ideal for anyone running a suburban trade business. There’s enough room for the tools and stock you might need to carry, and when well maintained, the vehicle should last you a decade or more.
4. Fiat 500
When size and economy are essential and your car forms part of your marketing strategy, a car like the Fiat 500 makes sense. Branded well, the vehicle promotes your business and makes an impression on your clients, creating valuable public exposure for your brand.
If congestion tax is charged in your locality, the Fiat 500 is exempt too, making it a very attractive option for a business car.
5. Renault Zoe Hatchback
Electric cars are charged on the lowest 9% band for Benefit-In-Kind tax. While you can buy a Renault Zoe for 20,000 pounds, this figure doesn’t include the battery, which you need to lease or purchase separately. The advantage, of course, is that there are no fuel costs.
A full charge costs just a few pounds and can be done overnight, and the range of a full charge is around 149 miles with a standard battery pack, enough for most daily errands, or 250 miles if you opt for the ZOE Z.E 40.
Whatever your business needs, the most important factor in purchasing a car is ensuring that it effectively carries out the tasks you need on a daily basis, with maximum efficiency. A practical car will always be much cheaper in the long run than a car with flair that doesn’t quite fit your needs.