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BUSINESS Car Manager is launching the SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2016.

The search is on for the best cars in the sector, and the best company car programmes available, that suit the SME business sector.

Supported by Fleet Alliance, an award-winning supplier of company car leasing to SMEs, the SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2016 will crown category winners from Best Value SME Company Car to Best Green SME Company Car as well as the SME Company Car of the Year 2016.

Last year’s overall winner was the BMW 520d SE auto.

The awards will be judged independently by a panel of experts in the SME automotive sector led by chair Paul Hollick, who is chairman of the Institute of Car Fleet Management and commercial director of The Miles Consultancy.

“It’s critical that small businesses and SME firms running company cars get the expert help that they require. Our awards will highlight the best cars in sector and the best company car programmes and support programmes that will make the life of an SME director, charged with looking after the company car programme, so much easier,” said editorial director, Ralph Morton.

The SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2016 features seven categories:

  • Best Value SME Company Car
  • Best Compact SME Company Car
  • Best Large SME Company Car
  • Best Director’s SME Company Car
  • Best Green SME Company Car
  • Best SME Company Car Programme
  • Best SME After Sales Programme

From the category winners the judges will nominate their car of the year.

Entry to the Fleet Alliance supported awards is open to car manufacturers and is online only. Car manufacturers can nominate the car or cars that they think are best in sector for the category.

The SME Company Car of the Year Awards 2016 entry forms are on our special awards micro site. Click here to access the entry forms and criteria.

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The awards in detail

Best Value SME Company Car

A new award this year, we want to find the best value company car for SMEs. What do we mean by value? That winning combination of competitive P11D price, low benefit in kind, excellent running costs, and great specification. Does your brand have it?

Best Compact SME Company Car

When small businesses and SME firms look for staff company cars, they keep it simple. It’s either a compact car or a large car. So we want to find the best car that is sub 4.5m in length that combines fitness for business purpose while also doubling up as a suitable lifestyle car at the weekend. Qualifying cars must be efficient on benefit in kind company car tax, have excellent fuel-efficiency and have good running costs.

Last year’s winner was the SEAT Leon.

Best Large SME Company Car

If it’s not a small car, then managers of SME small fleets are looking for a larger car to suit technical or sales staff on the road or more senior personnel in the organisation. That means a car that is longer than 4.5m and conveys a level of seniority and aspiration. Must satisfy all the key attributes of being practical, desirable, good on company car tax and low on running costs.

Last year’s winner was the Mazda6.

Best Director’s SME Company Car

What sort of company car would a director of an SME want to run? It would need to be something prestigious, well specified but also not too heavy on benefit in kind company car tax or on running costs – especially if it’s for the FD!

Qualifying cars will cost more than £30,000 and are open to all body configurations – SUV, crossover, estate as well as more traditional saloon.

Last year’s winner was the BMW 520d SE auto.

Best Green SME Company Car

Green cars are increasingly gaining credence with SME small fleets thanks to low running costs, low benefit in kind taxation and the relaxed nature of the driving experience. And with the changing of the 100% write down allowance at the beginning of this tax year, those ultra low emission vehicles are really making their case for inclusion in any SME small fleet. But which is best – electric car, range extender, plug-in hybrid, or maybe hydrogen?

To qualify for this award, cars must have CO2 emissions that do not exceed 75g/km.

Last year’s winner was the BMW i3.

Best SME Company Car Programme

Small businesses and SME small fleets don’t have fulltime fleet managers. It’s usually part of the MD’s remit or falls to one of the other directors. So SMEs need help to run their company cars. Which company car programme does that best?

Which really delivers to SMEs in terms of consultancy, test drives, finance packages and external ‘fleet manager’ expertise that SMEs require?

Last year’s winner was the BMW Group Business Partnership programme.

Best SME After Sales Programme

Delivering the sale of a new company car to an SME is one thing; it’s quite another to support the car ‘in-life’ with servicing and operational support.

We’re looking for the best after sales programme that’s as capable of looking after two company cars as it is for 25+.

Last year’s winner was Hyundai’s After Sales Programme.



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