Top 5 alternative fuel cars

  • Our five favourite alternative fuel cars
  • Lower CO2 emissions mean low tax
  • Range and monthly costs vary wildly

If you’re considering another company car it’s likely you’ll have thought about something with low CO2 emissions. With that in mind, we’d suggest you take a look at the selection of cars on sale right now which use alternative fuel types.

Often capable of lower emissions and better fuel economy than regular petrol and diesel cars, such machines usually feature electronic assistance of some description.

In this feature we’ve laid out our favourites and explained why you’d choose one, how much it’ll cost you per month* and how far the manufacturer claims you’ll be able to go without stopping. Do bear in mind that the range on real roads is likely to be significantly less, since the car companies work out fuel economy figures in laboratory environments and not under real-world conditions.

Toyota Prius plug-in

Why buy?

The Prius is probably the most well-known ‘eco’ car. When it was launched initially it became a bit of a statement for those wishing to portray their green intentions. The plug-in version manages some pretty impressive fuel economy and emissions, making it a strong proposition for the company car driver.

P11d value: £33,190

CO2 emissions: 49g/km

Benefit-in-Kind liability: 5%

Monthly tax bill*: £55

Range: 1,331 miles

Vauxhall Ampera Earth

Why buy?

The Ampera is a range extender, which means it’s an electric car with a small conventional petrol engine there as a back-up if the electricity in the batteries runs out. You’ll get around 50 miles of electric range, meaning the average driver can get to and from work without using any petrol at all. Vauxhall's sister company Chevrolet offers the Volt, which is pretty much the same thing but with a different badge on it.

P11d value: £34,940

CO2 emissions: 27g/km

Benefit-in-Kind liability: 5%

Monthly tax bill*: £58

Range: 1,823 miles

Citroen DS5 Hybrid4 DSign

Why buy?

A diesel hybrid makes a lot of sense. You get all the advantages of a diesel car – lower CO2 emissions, better fuel economy – plus the extra help an electric motor provides too. Citroen’s DS5 Hybrid4 melds those attributes with a stylish, equipment-laden car to provide a winning combination for company car drivers.

P11d value: £27,545

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

Benefit-in-Kind liability: 13%

Monthly tax bill*: £119

Range: 909 miles

Nissan Leaf

Why buy?

The Leaf is probably the most viable all-electric solution you can currently get. It drives just like a car, albeit significantly quieter and with a more responsive throttle. The interior isn’t too compromised by the bulk of the batteries and the 100-mile range means most people’s average commute is easily covered.

P11d value: £30,935

CO2 emissions: n/a

Benefit-in-Kind liability: n/a

Monthly tax bill*: n/a

Range: 100 miles

Honda Insight HE

Why buy?

The Insight is often over-looked in favour of the more popular Prius, but does boast some neat touches of its own. It’ll actually tell you how green you’re driving, and of course it’ll be as reliable as every other Honda. Thanks to petrol power it’s also 3% cheaper to tax than diesel offerings.

P11d value: £19,480

CO2 emissions: 96g/km

Benefit-in-Kind liability: 10%

Monthly tax bill*: £32

Range: 606 miles


*Company car tax is quoted on the 40% pay scale for the 2012/13 tax year and includes no optional extras.