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Fleet cars: From the dependable to the off-road options

Every fleet manager has some niche company car needs. So what would suit the employee who needs a good little runner or the business with an off-road jobs?

On previous pages, we’ve looked at some of the key roles in most businesses and the company cars that might suit them.

What you drive as ‘the boss’, what your sales director visits key clients in, the vehicle every on-the-road salesperson needs, and how your delivery drivers get from A to B are all covered.

But what of the valued member of staff who wants a reliable small car via a salary sacrifice scheme? Or the employee who needs a workhorse to transport samples or equipment around? And then there are companies, such as landscape gardeners or tree surgeons, that need a handful of off-road vehicles.

Delving into the FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) range, we take a closer look at some models that could do the job…

Best for: Salary sacrifice / opt out

Employees who want to opt out or are part of a salary sacrifice scheme generally do low annual mileage, are looking to make cost savings and need low a CO2 figure.

They need a car which is dependable, proven and crucially, economical to run so that they limit their tax liabilities and running costs.

Fiat 500

Fiat 500

The iconic Fiat 500 has proven for more than a decade to be a car that offers characterful, reliable and economical motoring, and is the ideal choice for an employee who is opting out or joining a salary sacrifice scheme.

Usually, if an employee is opting out of a company car scheme, it is because they don’t do the mileage necessary to warrant a company car, and want something that will limit their monthly costs.

Thanks to its desirability and superb residual values, which mitigate the front-end price, the 500 can be sourced at very competitive monthly rates, ensuring an employee isn’t paying more out than the money they are getting from their employer.

For salary sacrifice to work properly so that the monthly benefit-in-kind tax costs are less than they would be in a company car scheme, the employee should have a low emission car and the 500 delivers on that front, with the vast majority of models under 100g/km.

Best for: Specific job needs

Many businesses need a car that is no-nonsense and does a job, can pack in lots of equipment, products and samples, run very high mileages and be extremely hardy and flexible too.

But being a brilliant workhorse is one thing – it also needs to reflect well on the values of the company and perform the dual roles of tough business vehicle in the week and a car fit for leisure and family at the weekend.

Fiat Tipo Station Wagon

550 litres of easily accessible boot space, a configurable Magic Cargo Space system for maximising load carrying ability and Flip&Fold rear seats that give a completely flat 1.8 metre cargo length ensure the Tipo Station Wagon is the perfect job need car for business need a load lugger that can take punishment and keep coming back for more.

These types of cars, with equipment, tools and samples being constantly taken in and out of the boot need to be hardy, and Tipo is cleverly designed with no boot lip, which means less damage and it is lower too, making access easier. It’s these sorts of details that matter in a job need car.

Equally important is cost, and the Tipo is one of the cheapest estates on the market in its sector, with prices starting from only £14,215. As always, there is a range of efficient petrol and diesel engines, too.

Best for: Off road workers / engineers

For many businesses pick-ups are very handy tools, but for small businesses and start-ups, a pick-up can be even more useful, because it can double as workhorse and company car: effectively two vehicles in one.

If your business requires transporting products or equipment, then the rear load bed can do that job, while the double cab and a four-wheel drive system lets you get everywhere an SUV can.

On top of that the benefit-in-kind tax position is much lower than that of a car, because it is a commercial vehicle.

Fiat Fullback

Fiat Fullback

The Fiat Fullback is a pick-up truck for business people and workers wanting something a little more special than just a sturdy workhorse. Of course, with selectable four-wheel drive, 3,100kg towing capacity, locking rear differential and low range gearbox the Fullback can do all the tough stuff.

But standard kit includes DAB radio, cruise control, air-con, hill-hold and LED daytime running lights, alongside a choice of 150 or 180 HP turbodiesel engines and six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission

Higher specification versions get electrically-adjusted and heated leather seats, privacy glass, dual-zone climate control, bi-xenon headlamps, a 6-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, lane departure warning and a softer suspension set-up designed to add a little extra comfort.

The Fullback Cross adds some smart design touches too, such as black sports bars, side steps, door mirrors and handles and alloy wheels for more on road presence.

Prices start at £26,383

Sponsored by FCA