MERCEDES-BENZ and BMW have landed the principal gongs in the first SME Company Car of the Year Awards, presented by Business Car Manager in association with MAGMA Automotive Services.
Best Overall Car for Small and Medium Enterprise was the new Mercedes E300 BlueTEC Hybrid G-Tronic Plus, but German rival BMW was named champion SME manufacturer for winning the most categories.
Editor Ralph Morton said: “The new Mercedes hybrid was a clear winner in the voting. It was the only car that received a top rating from all our judges.
“It’s not hard to see why. There’s the prestige of driving the three-pointed star but without the company car tax burden. At 12 per cent, the E 300’s company car tax banding is better than the newly launched compact A-Class.
“As for BMW, the company has been consistently at the forefront of the SME company car market, thanks to the excellence of its cars allied to low benefit in kind company car tax, and its Business Partnership Programme offering tailored support to small businesses and SMEs. As an all-round package for SMEs, there is no better.”
Peugeot’s 208 5 Door 1.4 e-HDi Access+ 70 EGC Stop and Start model was voted the Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME to buy, while the E-Class hybrid took the Best Company Car for SME Directors title.
Audi got into the mix with its A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE 105PS model being named the Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME Company Car Driver while the best for SME Business Owners was the Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 Dynamic 190hp 4WD.
Other awards were the 320d EfficientDynamics BluePerformance as Best Company Car for SME drivers, Citroen for its finance and service package, Vauxhall for its company car programme and the BMW 3 Series range as readers’ choice for the Best Company Car for SMEs.
Judging panel chairman Phil Orford, who heads the Forum of Private Business, said: “The results should be a good starting point for any business car buyer or fleet manager looking to make a purchase in 2013.
“It could be a bumper year for company car sales this year too, thanks to the Chancellor’s 10 fold increase to the Capital Allowance budget which came in to effect on January 01. So there’s never been a better time for businesses to buy, and there are certainly some great cars to choose from as these awards show.”