BMW X1: Could it work as a company car?

  • Would our X1 make a viable company car?
  • We work out how much it would cost in tax
  • Other X1 models would make a better choice

Just as Gareth did recently with the Honda CR-V, let’s crunch the numbers and find out if our BMW X1 would make sense as a company car.

How to work it out:

Company car tax can be fiendishly complicated to work out – for our helpful guide, click here.

Firstly we need the car’s P11d value – that’s the list price plus delivery fees and VAT (more info here). Because our car is a four-wheel drive xDrive version in top M Sport spec, that’s a rather pricey £32,660.

Particularly bad news in our test car’s case is that the P11d value also factors in optional extras (apart from ones that cost less than £100). Our X1 has quite a few; £8,750 worth to be precise. So added together that’s a P11d value of £41,410.

Next we need to work out which BIK (Benefit in Kind) band our X1 slots into. That’s calculated based on the car’s CO2 emissions – the more greenhouse gases come out of your car’s exhaust, the more tax you’ll pay.

BMW X1 M Sport driving

Our automatic four-wheel drive X1 xDrive 20d M Sport emits 143g/km of CO2. That would put it in the 21 percent BIK band, except all diesel cars are subject to a three percent surcharge so that bumps it up to the 24 percent category.

The upshot of this is that our X1 would be taxed at a rate based on 24 percent of £41,410 – or £9,938 in other words.

How much?

Final step is to work out how much you’d pay a month. If you earn less than £35,000 a year you’d pay 20 percent of £9,938 and more than that you’d pay 40 percent. If you’re lucky enough to earn more than £150,000 a year you’d pay 50 percent.

So, a 20 percent taxpayer running an X1 in the exact same spec as our long-termer would be subject to £1,988 a year in company car tax, or £166 a month.

That’s rather a lot. For comparison, Gareth’s CR-V long-termer works out at £45 a month. Without those pricey options the X1 works out to £131 a month, which is still plenty.

 BMW X1

Which X1 makes the best company car?

So clearly the xDrive M Sport isn’t the pick of the X1 range for company car buyers. But which derivative is?

Since CO2 is important, we should avoid the four-wheel drive xDrive derivatives as they’re thirstier on fuel and heavier on emissions.

A rear-drive sDrive model it is then, and if low emissions is really what you’re after then the appropriately named X1 20d EfficientDynamics is the pick of the bunch.

Various energy-saving measures mean it emits a tidy 119g/km of CO2 and averages a claimed 62.8mpg.

Plus it uses a similar version of the excellent 20d diesel engine that features in our test car, albeit with a bit less power to keep emissions down.

Most company car drivers would probably prefer to opt for the Business edition, which adds sat-nav and heated leather seats.

That has a P11d value of £28,105 and sits in the 18 percent BIK band, so it works out at £84 a month for a 20 percent taxpayer.

You can work out how much your car would cost you in company car tax by using the easy (and free) Parkers company car tax calculator.