When it comes to running a successful business, one of the most important factors is budget management. For many businesses large and small, automotive costs represent a significant portion of the outgoings, and it is therefore crucial to ensure that a well-informed, economical approach is in place.

shutterstock_227900236From investing in the most fuel-efficient cars to encouraging economical driving practices, we have identified some of the best ways to ensure that your business is operating for success when it comes to choosing a company car.

Investing smart

Whether your company is part of a leasing plan or invests privately in company cars, opting for the right model is key. The engine has a significant impact on the fuel efficiency of any car, with diesel typically more economical than petrol. Fuel economy is also dependent on other factors, such as the shape and size of the car; smaller, more aerodynamic designs naturally require less gas to travel through the surrounding air. Finally, additional costs should also be taken into account, such as the cost of insuring your chosen model.

Fortunately, eco-friendly design is also high on the agenda for car manufacturers, with a wide choice available to suit all budgets. The Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi ecoFlex is one of the most economical cars on the UK market, with CO2 emissions of 85g/km and a very affordable price tag. For businesses in need of a more spacious car, the Skoda Octavia Greenline incorporates fuel-saving features, such as brake energy regeneration, without compromising on size. Plug-in hybrid models like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are also a great choice for companies looking to take advantage of the government’s £5,000 plug-in car grant.

High maintenance, low costs

Vehicle maintenance is equally important when it comes to minimising costs, and the best approaches vary according to company size and financial means.

For businesses investing in a lease agreement, it is crucial to check who is responsible for maintenance costs as per the agreement, and to opt for a plan that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, preferably covering the estimated mileage. If the lease agreement requires you to pay for excess wear and tear, ensure that the stipulations are reasonable in order to avoid unexpected costs at the lease end.

Replacing car parts can often mean short-term expenditure in return for long-term savings, and this is certainly a return on investment that every business needs. If you and your employees are responsible for maintaining company cars, pay particular attention to less well-known components such as the mass airflow sensor, which helps to regulate fuel injection, as well as spark plugs and air filters, to name a few. Such components significantly boost fuel efficiency when kept in good condition, and can be easily and cheaply purchased online at sites like Mister Auto.

Driving efficiently

Finally, a crucial factor is how the car is driven, and encouraging economical driving helps to keep fuel costs to a minimum. As fuel efficiency often goes hand-in-hand with reduced CO2 emissions, businesses may choose to implement a CO2 cap on company cars. Lower vehicle emissions also have positive implications for tax rates, so informing employees of the financial benefits is a great incentive. Businesses may also wish to invest in telematics technology, making it easier for employees to adopt economical driving habits.

By investing in a fuel-efficient automotive plan that best meets the needs of your business, you can greatly minimise costs while enhancing your company’s success.