Contributed article in our business series. Enjoy! – Kimberly
A company car is a common accessory for executives, senior managers and specialised staff. Many employees regard a company car as a perk, although there are fewer tax advantages to running a company car these days, so it doesn’t always pay to have one.
Company cars are usually provided on a lease arrangement from VW Edinburgh or similar. The company pays the lease and running costs; all you have to do is put fuel in the vehicle and make sure it is looked after. At the end of an agreed term – typically two or three years – the vehicle is returned and replaced with a new one. It’s a low stress way of owning a nice, reliable vehicle, which you can use for work and pleasure. Aside from the tax disadvantages, what’s not to like?
Project the Right Image
Most people don’t consider the image they are projecting when they choose a company car, but they really should. Your vehicle is often the first thing clients and people see when you roll up in a parking lot. The vehicle you drive is a projection of you and your company’s brand. If it sends out the wrong message, your clients might (wrongly) make certain assumptions about you – and the company. Here is a quick guide to company cars – and what they say about you.
Do you drive a luxury car? If so, you are not alone. Most executives drive luxury, high-end vehicles. Most of them are also men. Say what you like about men who drive luxury cars, but the fact remains, if you have a well-paid job, what other type of car are you going to drive? If you are a finance director for a Fortune 100 company, it would look a bit off if you showed up for a board meeting in a battered old SUV.
Flashy sports cars are in a bracket all of their own. Younger drivers love sports cars, but their job doesn’t pay enough for them to be able to afford one. Young male drivers with a sports car as their company vehicles are typically high-fliers in the tech sector. They love all the gadgets that come with a sporty car; they also love the adrenaline rush of driving a sports car at full throttle down the freeway late at night. One thing to bear in mind if you drive a flashy car is that clients will think you are a bit flash. You might get away with it if you are a dot.com billionaire or a creative type, but it could hurt your professional image in more traditional sectors.
Do you choose to drive an eco-car? If so, this is definitely great for your image. Clients will see you as a person who “cares” about the environment. It also shows the company takes Corporate Social Responsibility seriously, which is good for your image.
First impressions count for a lot, so make the right one with your company car.by