What can i have?
What car is best for you?
Subject to local Trust restrictions, we are able to provide any vehicle currently in production at the time of order.
Our quote process allows you to refine your search based on what you need and what you can afford, so you don’t have to worry about knowing anything about cars or what makes and models would best suit you, let our system do the work for you.
With thousands of cars and specifications available in the UK and included within our Scheme, what car is best for you?
This will all depend on many factors; Budget is usually the most important factor and this may not just be the car payments, the ongoing cost of fuel can be important too. But what else should you consider ? Where you live for instance, city driving and rural driving are completely different, what will you use the vehicle for ? Lots of short trips ? Motorway driving ? Do you have a big family ? Do you have a dog ? All of these will help play a part in choosing the right vehicle for you.
Ok, so let's start with budget...
All of our quotes are fully inclusive of all costs and represent your total monthly cost for the car to your employer and the HMRC. We offer unlimited no obligation quotes via our website and we are available to discuss your requirements to make sure you can find the right car for your budget. You will be liable to purchase all fuel for both business and private use. Fuel prices can vary so the fuel economy of the car may be important for your ongoing costs. We will detail the urban cycle mileage or battery range for each car during the quote process. This figure is a manufacturer guide and may differ to real world conditions but this will allow you to compare economy against different vehicles.
Car benefit tax is subject to change by the HMRC, we do however detail the likely future costs of car benefit tax for the quoted car where the HMRC have disclosed what the charges will be.
It’s tempting to stretch yourself as far as you can when setting a budget for a new car, and monthly repayments can be tantalisingly low – even for upmarket models. Be sure to bear in mind, however, that running costs are easily dismissed at this stage. Luckily the scheme has been designed that you don’t have to worry about insurance, depreciation, deposits, balloon payments and other issues that most drivers that purchase or finance vehicles have to consider, but excessive fuel consumption and changes in car benefit tax can make a difference. As a company-car driver, CO2 emissions will also affect how much Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax you pay, be sure to take this into consideration, your quote will detail the tax for the current financial year and also future years so please make sure you understand this.
What fuel should your new car run on?
Look at your options
Most manufacturers offer petrol and diesel engines as well as hybrid and electric models. Hybrid and electric vehicles can be an excellent choice to lease, with low car benefit tax and increasingly competitive pricing, they can actually be the most affordable and environmentally friendly option.
If you want the affordability of a combustion engine, then petrol is the best choice if you do short commutes and town or city driving. This fuel type is ideal for those that travel less than 100 miles during the week, with a few occasional journeys up to 150 miles.
It’s also worth mentioning that most petrol stations offer unleaded fuel, which is combined with bioethanol, which makes the petrol more environmentally friendly. If you choose to use it then premium unleaded is more than sufficient for the majority of cars, while super unleaded is best for performance cars.
Fuel efficiency has been refined over many years for petrol, and servicing and maintenance is straight forward, so if you want the lowest upfront cost, and simplicity in how you refuel, and you don’t mind the standard tax and fuel costs that come with it, then petrol might be the right choice for you.
If you spend a large portion of your time driving on motorways and you regularly do long distances, then diesel may be a consideration.
Diesel however is the most environmentally damaging of all fuel types and as such the tax on these cars are the most expensive and leasing costs are also the highest, making any saving in fuel obsolete
Diesel works best for drivers who maintain speeds of over 50mph for periods of 30 to 50 minutes at a time, and who regularly do journeys of over 100 miles.
Historically, diesel has boasted better fuel economy figures, and these remain true for long distance drivers. However, in general, diesel is a less eco-friendly option, due to what it emits beyond CO2, such as carbon soot, nitrogen oxides and particulates, which are said to make it 15-18% more harmful than petrol. However, many manufactures have created filters and technology to reduce or in some cases potentially remove this disparity.
If you’re looking to be environmentally friendly but can’t quite make the jump to a purely electric car, then a hybrid may be the answer. Hybrid cars essentially combine an electric motor with a combustion engine. Hybrids are at their best when being driven in urban settings. Plug-ins and range extenders especially suit city life as they have a lot more capability to be driven solely on electric power. When the speed climbs above a certain level or the battery begins to run out of energy, the car automatically switches to the conventional engine to power the wheels and charge the batteries Conventional Hybrid - These cars use the electric motor to supplement the engine for improved acceleration, while regenerative braking helps charge the batteries. Although offering lower running costs and emissions than most diesel and petrol engine cars, conventional hybrids can only be driven for a short amount of time on electric power alone.
A mild hybrid is essentially a conventional petrol or diesel car, with a small battery and additional technology that helps to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, but that does not use its electric motor to move the car.
The hybrid system is used for coasting, braking, and to assist with pulling away, providing small efficiency improvements beyond a standard petrol or diesel engine.
Mild hybrids typically have a small battery and a 48-volt electric generator, which assists the engine during hard acceleration. It will also harvest energy from braking, and store this in the battery for later use.
If you want the convenience and familiarity of petrol or diesel, but can afford the small extra cost for a mild hybrid alternative, then these become an attractive choice, to add an element of extra efficiency and fuel saving to an otherwise standard car.
Self-charging hybrid (or full hybrid)
A self-charging hybrid (also called a full hybrid, or standard hybrid) primarily uses its petrol (or diesel) engine, with the electric motor taking over when it's possible and more efficient to do so, such as at very low speeds.
As such the range of a self-charging hybrid is generally limited to only a mile or two, but at the times that it does switch to electric – at low speeds and idling – there can be significant fuel saving and efficiencies created.
This is ideal for those with a varied usage pattern. It doesn’t need to be charged via a plug, which means no time waiting for a car to charge (which can take considerable time) and with this it also means that any charging barriers are removed (for example, if you can’t easily charge from home etc.). While at the same time they consume less fuel, and emit less CO2.
A plug-in hybrid has a petrol or diesel engine with a small battery pack and electric motor. They are able to drive short distances (usually up to 35 miles) on pure electric power, until the battery is depleted, at which point it changes to the conventional engine.
PHEVs are great for drivers who mostly do short journeys, but need a car that can also cover high mileages from time to time. They can be a great first step into the world of electrified cars, and have the potential to save you a lot of money in fuel, but only if you’re able to charge them easily.
The clear advantage of running a PHEV is that it will have lower CO2 emissions and better fuel economy than a conventional combustion engine car, or self-charging hybrid. And the benefits are best if you are able to do shorter journeys using all or mostly electric power, which is possible if you are able to charge up the car’s battery regularly.
On average it costs 12p per mile to drive a petrol-engine, which drops to just 5p per mile for trips done using electric power (if you charge up at home at a rate of 14p per kilowatt hour). Therefore, if you’re a regular driver, the cost savings add up when driving electric.
You’ll also benefit from a lower rate of road tax (VED) and lower car benefit tax. With many cities looking to impose Congestion Charges and Ultra Low Emission Zones, these cars are ideally suited for avoiding these charges.
Another advantage of a PHEV is that it removes ‘range anxiety’ associated with some all-electric vehicles. If you run out of battery charge, you’ll always have a combustion engine to rely on
A downside of driving a PHEV is that it has poorer fuel economy than a conventionally-powered alternative when driven using the engine rather than the electric motor. This is because you’ll be driving the additional weight of an electric battery pack at the time.
Is a Hybrid/ Plugin Hybrid right for Me?
Hybrids offer both lower tax costs and running cost improvements. Legislation is only going to get tighter and performance will keep improving. There's also the fuel savings - which potentially could cost you nothing if you only use the electric range. One of the perks to driving on electric power is that you’ve got 100 percent of the car’s torque from zero revs, meaning instant reaction when you push the accelerator. There’s also very little engine noise to be heard. It’s important to make sure a hybrid fits into your lifestyle. If most of your journeys involve long motorway distances it’s unlikely you’ll see the cost advantages mentioned above. If you do opt for a plug-in remember that you’ll need to allow a fair few hours for charging each day if you’re planning on making the most of the battery power.
All-electric is more expensive to buy outright (as the battery comes at a very high cost), but charging costs are low, leasing costs have reduced considerably and car benefit tax is minimal even on the most expensive versions.
Lower range all-electric cars – that mainly suit local driving – are now much more affordable, as well as offering superb value in running costs. While longer range all-electric cars can be out of budget for many, but for those who can afford them (and who can charge them at home easily) they offer remarkably low running costs, with the ability to go the distance with confidence, and offer impressive performance too.
A range extender is an uncommon addition to some electric vehicles. It’s a fuel-based auxiliary power unit that extends the range of an electric vehicle by driving an electric generator that charges the vehicle's battery (and as such it’s not a separate internal combustion engine like a PHEV). Or in other words a range extender is an option on some all-electrics, to add a little petrol tank, as back-up support should you want it.
A classic example of this is the BMW i3, which offers the option of a petrol-powered range extender. When they were first released in 2014, their use was much higher than expected, as early drivers perhaps didn’t charge their car enough (which also commonly happened with PHEVs) but in recent years figures show that the range extender is hardly used at all, as those who drive electric have learned to charge their vehicles correctly.
What BODY STYLE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
City cars are generally the smallest types you’ll encounter. Designed to work in tight streets, their bodies are typified by very short bumpers, wheels pushed out to the very edges of the chassis and as large a cabin as can be squeezed onto the frame. Common examples include the Volkswagen Up, Hyundai i10 and Peugeot 108.
Their obvious advantage is that, thanks to their diminutive exterior dimensions, they’re very easy to drive in the city. Parking is straightforward because it’s easy to see where the corners of the car are and manoeuvring is easy thanks to steering that’s usually light. The only downside is the limited space – you won’t be carrying much in a city car.
Superminis are halfway between larger family hatchbacks and smaller city cars. They’re very common in the UK with the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo being among the best-selling cars. These cars typically seat four occupants easier than a city car and can often hold a little more luggage, too.
Many superminis turn their compact size into a selling point – setting the car up to feel light and agile on the move. Quite a lot of premium manufacturers now make upmarket superminis such as the Audi A1 and Mini Hatchback for buyers that want the luxury without the size. Like city cars, they struggle as your cargo needs increase.
A hatchback – sometimes called family hatchback – is the largest option before you move up to a saloon car. Crucially, for a car to qualify as a hatchback, its boot lid and rear windscreen must be one unit that moves together. Some well-known hatches include the Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf and Mercedes A-Class.
The only disadvantage of a hatchback is that, for family use, you might have to make the decision between having comfortable passenger space or enough storage. Models including the Honda Civic, however, offer a decent amount of both.
If you’re looking for something a bit more practical than a standard hatchback but don’t fancy a saloon or estate, a mini-MPV might be for you. These range from the likes of the Nissan Note to more premium rivals such as the Mercedes B-Class – a considerable gap in terms of size and price.
The slightly raised driving position, easy access and hip-height seat bases mean they’re popular with older drivers and those transporting young children. The downside to some buyers is the increased cost over a hatchback and the fact that taller mini-MPVs often look a bit more awkward than their regular car counterparts.
MPVs are practical vehicles that appeal to family buyers who need even more space. Larger models including the Ford Galaxy often have seven seats, usually with the rear rows folding flat into the floor to create a van-like load bay. A car-like driving experience and more affordable running costs than many equivalent SUVs make MPVs the ultimate large family transporters.
The same criticisms of mini-MPVs can apply to MPVs – they’re more expensive than the cars they’re based on and often don’t look as appealing. Even those with smaller families can benefit from an MPV – for example, if your children are especially good at making friends, the extra seats can make after-school parties easy to handle.
Saloons come in all shapes and sizes and, in the UK, tend to be offered by premium brands such as Audi and Mercedes. Saloons are often described as ‘three-box’ cars – meaning they have an engine bay (box 1), a cabin (box 2) and a separate boot (box 3), compared to a hatchback’s two boxes.
Models range from the Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 compact executive saloons, to full-size luxury saloons, such as the Mercedes S-Class. Their longer wheelbases traditionally make saloons more comfortable than hatches, and offer more legroom in the cabin. Some saloons struggle to offer the same boot space as some large hatchbacks thanks to their more awkward boot shape.
Estate cars are usually based on saloons or hatchbacks and tend to be a little longer than the cars on which they’re based. Where a saloon’s rear window ends at the cabin, an estate’s extends to the bootlid increasing cargo room. Volvo’s V60 and Audi’s A6 Avant are perfect examples of the breed.
The obvious advantage is the increased boot space over an equivalent saloon but, for some fans, the longer roof afforded by estates makes them more desirable than other options. There are few downsides to estates beyond the fact that some models might look better as saloons.
The biggest issue with saloons is they don’t offer the desirability of coupes, but no two-door car can match the practicality of a saloon. As a result, many premium manufacturers now make four-door coupes – either saloons with a more curved roofline, or coupes with a longer wheelbase and an extra pair of doors squeezed in.
Common cars in this segment include the Mercedes CLS, Audi A7 and BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe. The lower look and more streamlined roofline means four-door coupes tend to look more exciting than saloons, but the extra seats make them much more useable everyday. The downside is that the lower roof means headroom can be compromised – especially in the rear.
Crossovers tend to be hatchbacks with the chunky styling of an SUV and a raised ride height. Unlike their larger 4×4 counterparts, they often lack heavy off-roading gear – making them more fuel efficient and better to drive on the road. Common cars from this segment include the Nissan Juke, Citroen C4 Cactus and Jeep Renegade.
Like MPVs, crossovers have higher ride heights and the seat bases are closer to your hips making entry easier for elderly people and parents with child seats. Unlike big SUVs and 4x4s, however, their hatchback-based running gear means they’re often surprisingly efficient. In fact, the only downside is they’re not quite as efficient as the hatches they’re descended from.
There isn’t a concrete distinction between SUVs and crossovers but, in general, SUVs tend to be bigger and offer more power and cargo capacity. Well known examples include the Mercedes GLE, Nissan X-Trail and Kia Sorento – the latter two, like some SUVs, offer seven seats for even more practicality.
Unlike rugged 4x4s that compromise the driving experience for extra off-road ability, SUVs still tend to be road-biased. This means many are comfortable and stable at motorway speeds and have controls light enough to make city driving easy. They can’t match true 4x4s off-road and their larger size means they’re not quite as good as saloons on it but, as a means to get the best of both worlds, SUVs are a great choice.
SUV-Coupes are essentially less practical versions of SUVs. You get the high driving position and chunky styling, but with a tapered coupe-like roofline. These cars aim to offer the desirability of coupes with the practicality and imposing stance of an SUV. Common cars include the BMW X6 and Mercedes GLE Coupe.
Naturally, they offer many of the advantages SUVs do – the large cargo area, the raised driving position and the limited off-road ability. While it’s subjective, many buyers like the combination of coupe style and SUV image, too. Their downside is that some dislike the way they look and that regular SUVs will always offer more interior space.
4x4 and Off Roaders
If you live somewhere out in the country or regularly need to go properly off-road, only a true 4×4 will cut it. The very toughest – including the Land Rover Discovery and Toyota Land Cruiser – bolt their off-road components to a giant ‘ladder’ frame running underneath the car making them almost unstoppable.
These models are the only way to go if you’re planning seriously off-road excursions. Equally, their large bodies mean they’re often very practical and can accommodate plenty of passengers. Their off-road ability does mean they can be somewhat less agile and stable than SUVs on road, however, and their massive weight often means fuel bills are high.
Essentially, a coupe is a two-door version of a saloon with a hard roof. The Mercedes E-Class Coupe and Audi TT are excellent examples of the class. The former is more luxurious and the latter is towards the sportier end of the spectrum. Some have a rear bench but this is often only suitable for very small people for very short trips.
Naturally, a smaller body and fewer doors means less interior space, so practicality suffers compared to a hatchback or saloon. In addition to being smaller, the added desirability of many coupes means manufacturers can often charge more for them than the more practical cars they’re typically based on.
Simply put, a cabriolet or convertible is a coupe that’s had its roof removed and replaced with a retractable fabric or metal cover. These cars offer the desirability and sporty character of coupes with the added dimension of a removable roof. Typical cars in the class include the Audi A5 Cabriolet and BMW 4 Series Convertible.
Unsurprisingly, the benefits of a cabriolet mean you get an attractive car that’s great to drive but also one that’s even more fun when the sun comes out. They have the same limited practicality as coupes but this is exacerbated by the need to store the roof when it’s retracted.
WORK OUT WHAT YOU REALLY NEED
If you’ve got a rough idea of the size and shape of car you’re after, think carefully about what you use it for. If you have small children, a crossover SUV is a good bet, as the raised ride height makes getting kids and their seats into the car much easier. If you’re keen on DIY, carrying capacity may be important – but look out for cars that have easy-to-fold rear seats that lie flat when dropped. If you need your car to have certain features, such as sat-nav, parking sensors and leather seats, try to go for a trim level that includes them all together, as this is usually better value than adding items individually as options. Specifying a new car’s options car can be a tricky business; but we have designed our website to help make these decisions easier. We have broken down all of the standard features of the car and what is included in packs, as well as all of the individual accessories grouped by type. We also include technical information for each vehicle such as power and performance figures, as well as fuel economy and CO2 emissions data. So whether you prioritise performance, economy, levels of equipment or a combination of all three, our technical specifications gives you all the information you need at your fingertips.
HAVE A TEST DRIVE
Make a shortlist of cars and test-drive them. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to two or three models, it’s time to pick up the phone and book some test-drives. If you know what engine and specification you want your car to have, try to test a model that’s as similar as possible. This is well worth doing; while it may mean you’ll have to wait for the dealer to get the right car delivered, different engine and gearbox combinations can completely alter the way a car drives, as can options like sports suspension and large alloy wheels. If you’re after sat-nav or in-car tech features like Bluetooth phone connectivity, check how well these work, as some systems are far superior to others. If you want a car for the family, take your partner and children along with you to see how they like the car. They may spot problems that you hadn’t considered, such as poor interior storage space or uncomfortable rear seats. It’s also a good idea to bring along any bulky items – such as children’s buggies or golf clubs – that you regularly carry, to see how well these fit in the boot. On the test drive, be sure to drive along a variety of roads, from dual carriageways to twisty back roads. This will help you make a fuller assessment of the way the car handles. Some dealers may let you borrow a car over the weekend, and this can be helpful – though make sure you don’t become too attached to it, as maintaining a clear, objective approach is key. Our in-depth guide to test drives has more information. The key focus of any test drive, obviously, is the car itself – so don’t let the salesman distract you with small talk!