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The UK's five favourite fleet cars

  • Our list of the best-selling company cars
  • Just three manufacturers span the top five
  • We've picked the best version of each for fleet drivers

Who is the undisputed champion of the company car world right now? According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Ford topped the charts once again in May 2011 with the new Focus, followed by the excellent Fiesta.

We've taken the five best-selling fleet cars from the organisation's most recent survey and exploded their statistics, picking our recommended derivative so you can be fully armed when the time comes to choose your next company car.

1. Ford Focus

 

Why buy?
Ford's Focus has traditionally been seen as the perfect all-rounder. It doesn't do one specific thing better than the competition, but just does everything very well indeed. A strong range of engines is available, including an excellent 1.6-litre petrol engine dubbed ‘Ecoboost'. However, as you'll see below, our choice is the 1.6-litre diesel instead. Thanks to its low emissions and P11D value it represents great value for the company car driver.

Parkers company car choice: 1.6 TDCi Edge 5dr

Typical mpg: 67

Emissions/BIK liability: 109g/km and 13%

P11D value: £16,940

Cost for 20% tax payer: £440

Also consider: VW Golf/Vauxhall Astra/Kia Cee'd

 

2. Ford Fiesta 

 

Why buy?
The latest iteration of Fiesta is an impressive machine. It's great to drive and is absolutely rammed with kit: you get Bluetooth, MP3 playback and even a clever system to prevent filling the car up with incorrect fuel. Our choice isn't the most frugal of the Fiestas, but thanks to a low P11D value and emissions the monthly cost for the company car driver is more favourable than ECOnetic versions.

Parkers company car choice: 1.4 TDCi (70bhp) Studio 3dr

Typical mpg: 68

Emissions/BIK liability: 107g/km and 13%

P11D value: £11,890

Cost for 20% tax payer: £309

Also consider: Vauxhall Corsa/Renault Clio/Mazda2

 

3. Vauxhall Astra

 

Why buy?
For a long time now the Astra has been the thorn in the side of Ford's Focus, stealing sales left, right and centre. In the fleet arena it performs especially well, and never more so than with the latest derivative. The new car is a much more refined design, both in aesthetic and engineering terms. Once again, although an ‘eco' choice is available, the lowly 1.4-litre petrol engine manages the lowest monthly company car tax bill.

Parkers company car choice: 1.4i 16v Expression (87bhp) 5dr

Typical MPG: 51

Emissions/BIK liability: 129g/km and 15%

P11D value: £13,940

Cost for 20% tax payer: £418

Also consider: Ford Focus/Mazda3/Kia Cee'd

 

4. Vauxhall Insignia

 

Why buy?
The biggest car in our top five, the Insignia is Vauxhall's replacement for the Vectra. It's comfortable, excellent on motorways and represents great value for money in terms of running costs. It's spacious too; the hatchback-style boot means loading larger items into the boot is easier than it would be in a saloon-style car.

Parkers company car choice: 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX Exclusiv (160bhp) (start stop) 5dr

Typical mpg: 57.6

Emissions/BIK liability: 115g/km and 13%

P11D value: £33,745

Cost for 20% tax payer: £591

Also consider: Ford Mondeo/VW Passat/Toyota Avensis

 

5. VW Golf

 

Why buy?
Although the design doesn't seem to have moved on much for several years, the latest iteration of Golf is more refined and solid than ever before. Its upmarket interior and excellent range of engines mean it's a strong competitor in the hatchback sector, while BlueMotion technology is finding its way onto more and more diesel VWs, meaning decreases in both emissions and fuel consumption.

Parkers company car choice: 1.6 TDi S 3dr

Typical mpg: 62

Emissions/BIK liability: 113g/km and 13%

P11D value: £17,045

Cost for 20% tax payer: £443

Also consider: Ford Focus/Vauxhall Astra/Kia Cee'd 

To work out how much tax you'll have to pay on your company car, click here.