Calling Company Car drivers..

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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:54 pm

I know this might only apply to a select few, but hear me out..

As Company Car tax keeps rising (especially these last few years), I keep struggling to find something that is useful outside work (tow car, useful parts mover) but doesn't leave me with a tax bill that makes it cheaper to buy and run a "second" car.

Obviously one way of reducing car tax is go smaller, but if I try to reduce my tax bill much further, I'll be driving something that is no use to man or beast (or me) for work either. To this end, I've been looking at swapping over to something with 4/5 seats - namely a pickup...

I know a certain CNH of this parish had one in the past, but currently on paper, there's a short list of two - Nissan Navara (190 Tekna Auto) or the VW Amarok (3.0 Trendline Auto). I fully expect them to be agricultural compared to the current steed (Seat Leon FR) but the >50% saving on tax does make me wonder if it's worth looking into seriously? How bad can they be? Last "commercial" I drove any distance was a mid-90's Jeep Cherokee but found that more than acceptable to be honest.

One thing I have confirmed to myself is that whilst a car (current one) is quoted as being able to tow 1500kg, that doesn't mean it's all that happy doing so..

For reference, I do about 30k/year, most of that business and most of that on motorways.


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Post by scimmy_man » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:12 pm

who pays for the fuel?

a pickup will manage about 25-30mpg


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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:15 pm

I pay back private mileage by the mile. All fuel goes on a company fuel card, then we pay back private mileage at HMRC rates (15-20p or so).


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Post by efi_sprintgte » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:19 pm

I think you will find a modern commercial light years ahead of stuff that was available a few years ago.

The amarok is meant to be amazing to drive (for the type of vehicle it is) however the damn thing is huge! Didn’t Turbster have one?


I do question how great a motorway “hack” that type of vehicle would make?


Your point about tow limits is very valid, my 3 series limit is 1750kg only 250kg less then my freelanders was. However the freelander by comparison to the Beamer was like you were towing a empty trailer when you loaded up my rigs 1600kg.


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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:29 pm

Leon is rated at 1500kg and I had approx 1400kg on it yesterday. It was OK, but nowhere near as effortless as even the Jeep was with the same weight (unbraked - illegal, I know), and its 3000kg towing limit.

The Amarok is about 6 inches wider than the Octavia that I was going to replace the Leon with - Navara is barely an inch wider. The reason I narrowed it down to these two were they appear to be the most "car-like" to drive although the width of the Amarok does put me off a bit


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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:31 pm

efi_sprintgte wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:19 pm
I do question how great a motorway “hack” that type of vehicle would make?
Given the amount of cameras an Smart Motorways I use, you can't go quicker than 70mph now anyway - although the acceleration of the Navara and Amarok does suggest you can actually join from a slip road without taking your life into your own hands...


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Post by Lee » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:36 pm

A friend of mine had the Navara and did high mileages and it ate tyres (not a problem if you aren't paying for them) and it had to go back for a recall on the chassis. Something to do with snapping.


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Post by turbster » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:39 pm

Yes I had an Amarok until it went back last year. It was the 2.0 twin turbo 180hp Highline version and was nice to drive but as with all unloaded pick ups, the back end bounced around. I think the Nissan is a coil sprung rear end as opposed to the Amaroks leaf springs which could improve matters?

Good points were from towing and throwing things in the back.. finding parking spaces was difficult and shopping/anything valuable had to go on the back seat.

I had the choice of all the pick ups but went for a hybrid Merc C350e as the BIK is 11%, so not too much different to the commercial rates. I also looked at the Passat GTE estate and Outlander PHEV to get the low BIK.


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Post by turbster » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:40 pm

philhoward wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:31 pm
efi_sprintgte wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:19 pm
I do question how great a motorway “hack” that type of vehicle would make?
Given the amount of cameras an Smart Motorways I use, you can't go quicker than 70mph now anyway - although the acceleration of the Navara and Amarok does suggest you can actually join from a slip road without taking your life into your own hands...
The Amarok was actually pretty quick, so the 3.0 version with 50? more hp should fly :lol:


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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:50 pm

I looked at hybrid BIK values and they climb quite steep over the next 3 years...

Something with a ton payload is never going to be wonderful but I routinely carry 200kg as it which isn’t good in a normal estate either! Navara is coils at the back and the chassis doesn’t snap now apparently.


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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:54 pm

turbster wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:40 pm
philhoward wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:31 pm
efi_sprintgte wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:19 pm
I do question how great a motorway “hack” that type of vehicle would make?
Given the amount of cameras an Smart Motorways I use, you can't go quicker than 70mph now anyway - although the acceleration of the Navara and Amarok does suggest you can actually join from a slip road without taking your life into your own hands...
The Amarok was actually pretty quick, so the 3.0 version with 50? more hp should fly :lol:
I think it’s the 205hp/500Nm version I was looking at.


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Post by turbster » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:04 pm

philhoward wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:50 pm
I looked at hybrid BIK values and they climb quite steep over the next 3 years...
I chose to ignore that issue :lol: If I was choosing today I'd probably have another Amarok with a back on it.


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Post by philhoward » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:40 pm

The choice of hardtop etc is more baffling than the choice of vehicle :lol:


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Post by CNHSS1 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:01 pm

Been a few years since I had a pickup, but i have to say they are uber practical and pretty fun to drive at times. Before I bought the last BM I looked at an Amarok and they are nice but just too bloody big, park on both lines of a parking space and stick out behind!
The mitsi warrior/animal L200 thing or the smaller ford (not the latest Amarok equivalent) are well appointed and stylish inside and out. Also worth looking at Hilux as they have great resale albeit higher initial cost like the VW.
Pete Silcock has a Ssangyong, great price, very well appointed and great price and at the time one of the few that would take a 1 ton euro pallet striaght in the back!

I would go for a pickup over some naff tax sensible car.

Alternatively can you not 'opt out ' buy your own and rent it back to the firm? Not as cheap but then you get the vehicle that ticks all your boxes and is part funded by the firm ?


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Post by CNHSS1 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:04 pm

The pickup taxation loopholes are closing too, certainly much less than when i had one (tax man loved me then :mrgreen: ) but they are getting a bit cuter now. Also things like the back on them or open pickup bed can have an effect on things like toll road classification, insurance and whether classes as commercial or private car (this may have changed a little again now as was 3 years ago I last looked at it properly)


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