In the 12 years since Jake Carby got his first company car, the range of vehicles available on the market has grown immensely – and with it his needs, balancing a busy career and a growing family. This year, Carby made the transition to its first EV company car.
“My company car is a means of getting me to and from work, but it’s also so much more than that,” says Carby, director of business development and marketing at The Brogan Group, an international scaffolding and access company. “In the 12 years my situation has constantly evolved and with it my considerations when choosing a new company car.
“Our son was just around the corner for my first company car, so choosing a van with a large trunk for the stroller and all the gear was handy,” says Carby of his own trip. “Recently, when our son was growing up, I moved into a spacious premium sedan. But it quickly became clear that the pragmatic choice for my new car was an electric vehicle.”
The ability to select a new vehicle to reflect a change in personal circumstances or even an evolution in your mindset and values is just one of the many benefits of owning a company car, says Dr. Dimitrios Tsivrikos, Consumer and Business Psychologist at the University of College London.
“For the driver, owning a company car offers a degree of flexibility when it comes to limiting the financial ties that come with the cost of owning and maintaining your own car,” says Tsivrikos. “It’s one less thing to think about. A company car also offers an employee a sense of control. By being able to make your choice, you feel supported by your employer. And that is a strong message.”
The choice of a specific company car is also an expression of his identity. “Being able to do that at work is critical because it means you’re being authentic,” he says. “And the ability to be authentic makes people happier and more productive.”
For example, choosing a new company car has increasingly become a way for both employers and employees to express their green credentials. According to the trade association British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, battery electric vehicles accounted for 21% of new cars ordered by its members in 2021.
Once Carby got over his initial caution — a journey into the unknown, as he puts it — the benefits of opting for an electric vehicle quickly began to add up. Lucky, for starters, is a greatly reduced fuel bill. “We have EV charging stations at work, which meant I probably only charged my car at home three or four times between April and September of this year, which saved me a lot of money.”
In addition, choosing a zero-emission or low-emission vehicle can result in significant savings on the tax you pay for owning a company car, says Emma Loveday, Senior Fleet Consultant at Volkswagen Financial Services UK. “Employees who opt for a zero-emission, all-electric vehicle pay 2% non-cash tax at least until the end of the 2024/2025 tax year. Significantly less than with a petrol or diesel vehicle,” she says. “Companies need to incentivize and educate their employees about both the financial and environmental benefits of owning electric vehicles.”
Loveday also says that for many, going electric is becoming more important and a status symbol than owning a premium brand vehicle that runs on fossil fuels. Consider the common benefits that all company car drivers cite — from the ability to drive a new car every three or four years to the convenience and peace of mind of putting vehicle maintenance and accident management in the hands of others, at no cost employees come into being – and you have a compelling package, she adds.
For employers, Tsivrikos says, a company car offering with a wide range of quality vehicles — which increasingly means multiple EV options — acts as a employability incentive for employees and sends a signal that effectively says, “I know you’re working hard, so don’t.” to support you in your work and private life.”
By choosing the right vehicle, you can also experience an oasis of calm between appointments. “It acts as a time broker, an extension of the office, and helps people manage their working lives more efficiently,” says Tsivrikos. “A company car can also help with the transition between work and private life.”
For Carby, who in his spare time coaches his son’s junior football team in north London, the right choice of company car certainly helps in achieving life goals at work and at play.
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