LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Against a tough economic backdrop of weak growth in 2013, small businesses are choosing more fuel and cost efficient cars but wasting valuable working capital to make their purchases.
While top honours went to Mercedes and BMW in the Business Car Manager SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2012 (www.businesscarmanager.co.uk), the online motoring magazine also found that SMEs may not be using the most efficient methods to purchase their business cars.
With almost 1.5 million SMEs using cars for business use, accounting for 49% of all new business car registrations, 55% are using cash or loans to buy them, according to recent research by MAGMA Automotive.
At a time when small businesses are struggling with cashflow, tight margins and longer payment terms, they may be using up valuable working capital to make expensive purchases.
Chairman of the judges, Phil Orford, the CEO of the Forum of Private Business, said: “It could be a bumper year for company car sales this year, thanks to the Chancellor’s 10 fold increase to the Capital Allowance budget which came in to effect on 1 January. So there’s never been a better time for businesses to buy, and there’s certainly some great car to choose from as these awards show. However, it is vital they investigate the most appropriate way to purchase their car and not tie up essential finances that could be used to improve their business.”
Business Car Manager editor Ralph Morton added: “The new Mercedes hybrid was a clear winner. There’s the prestige of driving the three-pointed star but without the company car tax burden. At 12%, 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.”
Mercedes was named Best Overall Company Car for SMEs for its all-new Mercedes E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid G-Tronic Plus. BMW was named Champion SME manufacturer for winning most categories in the Business Car Manager SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2012.
Other winners were:
- Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME to buy: Peugeot 208 5 Door 1.4 e-HDi Access+ 70 EGC Stop and Start
- Most Cost-Efficient Car for an SME Company Car Driver: Audi A1 Sportback 1.6 TDI SE 105PS
- Best Company Car for SME Directors: Mercedes E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid G-Tronic Plus
- Best Company Car for SME Business Owners: Range Rover Evoque 2.2 SD4 Dynamic 190hp 4WD
- Best Company Car for SME drivers: BMW 320d EfficientDynamics
- Best Finance and Service Package for SMEs: Citroen
- Best SME Company Car Programme: Vauxhall
- Best Company Car for SMEs Readers' Award: BMW 3 Series range