In the 12 years since Jake Carby took delivery of his first company car, the range of vehicles available in the market has grown immensely – and so have his needs, juggling a busy career and a growing family. This year, Carby has made the transition to his first EV company car.
“My company car is a means to get me to and from work, but it’s also so much more than that,” says Carby, who is head of business development and marketing for Brogan Group, an international scaffolding and access contractor. “Over 12 years, my situation has constantly evolved, which means my considerations when choosing a new company car changed too.
“For my first company car, we were about to have our son, so my choice of an MPV with a big boot for the pram and all the gear was a practical one,” says Carby of his own journey. “More recently, with our son growing up, I moved on to a spacious, premium saloon. But it soon became clear that the pragmatic choice for my new car was an electric vehicle.”
The ability to choose a new vehicle to reflect a change in personal circumstances, or even in how your mindset and values have evolved, is just one of the many benefits of company car ownership, says Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer and business psychologist at University College London.
“To the driver, company car ownership brings a level of flexibility when it comes to limiting the financial binds associated 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 empowering you to make your choice, you feel supported by your employer. And that’s a powerful message.”
Choosing a certain company car, he adds, is also a way of expressing your identity. “Being able to do this at work is vital, because it means you’re being authentic,” he says. “And the ability to be authentic makes for happier, more productive people.”
For example, choosing a new company car has increasingly become a way of expressing your green credentials, for both employers and employees alike. According to trade body the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association, during 2021, battery electric vehicles made up 21% of new cars ordered by its members.
For Carby, having overcome an initial cautiousness – a journey into the unknown, he says – the benefits of plumping for an EV quickly began adding up. Happiness, for starters, is a greatly reduced fuel bill. “We have EV charging points at work, which meant between April and September this year I probably only charged my car three or four times at home, saving me a lot of money.”
On top of that, choosing a zero- or low-emission vehicle can provide significant savings on the amount of tax you pay for owning a company car, says Emma Loveday, a senior fleet consultant at Volkswagen Financial Services UK. “Employees opting for a zero-emission, fully electric vehicle will be paying 2% Benefit in Kind tax until at least the end of the 2024/2025 tax year. Considerably less than for a petrol or diesel vehicle,” she says. “Businesses need to incentivise and educate their staff on both the financial as well as the environmental benefits of EV ownership.”
Loveday also says that going electric is becoming more important and more of a status symbol for many than owning a premium brand vehicle powered by fossil fuels. Factor in the usual benefits that all company car drivers cite – from being able 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 someone else’s hands, at no cost to the employee – and you have a compelling package, she adds.
For employers, says Tsivrikos, a company car offering with a wide choice of quality vehicles – which increasingly means several EV options – acts as an employment incentive for staff, sending a signal that effectively says: “I know you work hard, so let me assist you in your work and your personal life.”
Choosing the right vehicle also allows you to experience an oasis of calm as you head between appointments. “It acts as a time facilitator, an extension of the office, helping to make people more efficient in their working life,” says Tsivrikos. “A company car can help with the transition between your business life and your private life as well.”
For Carby, who in his spare time is a coach for his son’s junior football team in north London, making the right choice of company car is certainly helping achieve life goals, at work and at play.
Looking for a company car that takes both business and leisure in its stride? To learn about the CUPRA Born EV, Formentor e-Hybrid and Leon e-Hybrid, visit the website