According to government statistics, there were 5.5 million private UK companies in 2022. The vast majority are small businesses (0-49 employees), plus around 45,000 medium or large companies. With so much competition it’s hard to grow a brand, but there are ways to make a business stand out.
Social proof is a powerful way to do so. This method harnesses strategies such as testimonials, case studies, influencer collaborations, user-generated content, and industry recognition. Each of these methods can become a self-perpetuating way of boosting a company’s success.
Of course, one tried and trusted way of boosting a company’s and, by extension, an employee’s status and visibility is a company car.
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A company car is a great motivational perk for employees. Driving gives an employee a feeling of being valued by their company. It means they are more likely to positively engage and identify with the brand they represent which leads to greater staff retention and better morale.
Happy employees are more productive. And, for practical reasons, owning a company car can also improve employee productivity. Being able to drive from A to B, whether on a commute or travelling for business, means less time is lost to public transport cancellations, delays, and strikes. Turning up on time is good for productivity but also projects a professional image.
Few things reflect image and status as well as a car. Owning one that’s appropriate to a particular business sets the right tone. Companies need to make a good impression and a company car does just that, especially if sales reps and delegates use them. First impressions last and clients will be impressed, even if subconsciously when they see a luxury car such as a used BMW 1 Series or a Mercedes-Benz A Class pull into their car park.
A company vehicle can boost business, and advertise recruitment, in other ways. Fleet advertising is a simple, but effective form of mobile marketing. Installing vehicle livery for a one-off cost can turn company vehicles into mobile billboards that advertise a business. ‘Full wrap’ advertising covers the whole vehicle or a ‘partial wrap’ covers part of it.
Research shows that ROI on fleet advertising compares favourably to other forms of advertising media. In urban areas, fleet advertising can attract 30,000 pairs of eyes on a vehicle every day – and those eyes are attentive because driving is when people concentrate extra hard.
A company car is a benefit in kind. This is an employee benefit that’s not directly included in an employee’s salary but is still treated as taxable income. This means paychecks and paid by employers through PAYE.
The tax paid is based on factors such as the list price of the car, how often it’s available for use, and CO2 emissions. A car with high petrol consumption means higher taxation compared to an electric or hybrid car.
HMRC has a company car tax calculator which can work out tax liability. Keeping records of fuel or electricity used on company business can help when claiming tax relief ensuring that a company car can pay off in a lot of ways.