- Parkers pick of tax-friendly open-topped cars
- Convertible company cars with low BIK tax
- Companies should reconsider cabrios with low CO2
When the summer finally arrives in the UK, there’s little better way to enjoy it than to drive along in an open-topped car.
In the past companies have baulked at including convertibles on their choice lists because of the traditional tax costs and CO2 emissions associated with open top cars. Today’s breed of models are safer and more secure, as well as featuring frugal engines which don’t cost a fortune to run.
So we think convertibles are due a comeback on company car choice lists.
Here's our top six convertible diesel models which offer an impressive combination of economy, style and performance while, importantly, keeping your fleet manager happy with low CO2 emissions and company car tax bills to match.
1. Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion Technology SE Cabriolet
As with every other Golf, the Cabriolet ticks most boxes, offering a refined drive, a selection of engines and a well thought-out interior along with quick and easy roof operation. On the other hand, it's not very exciting to drive and the Golf also has an awkward boot opening and limited rear seat legroom.
P11D price - £23,795
CO2 g/km - 117
MPG - 64.2
Monthly BIK tax (20%/40%) - £71/£142
2. Mercedes-Benz SLK 250CDI BlueEfficiency
Better to drive than previous versions, the new SLK also offers more efficient engines (including a diesel for the first time), and a bigger and more practical boot. On the downside it’s simply not as much fun to drive as a BMW Z4 or Porsche Boxster. Rear visibility is poor, too.
P11D price - £32,435
CO2 g/km - 132
MPG - 56.5
Monthly BIK tax (20%/40%) - £113/£227
3. Smart Fortwo Cabriolet 0.8 CDI Passion Stouch Auto
One of the smallest convertibles on the market today, the cheeky cabriolet version injects an extra dose of fun and feel-good factor in the summer thanks to the fold-down fabric roof. It certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but with prices starting from around £11,000 and CO2 emissions as low as 87g/km, the two-seater has a lot going for it.
P11D price - £12,920
CO2 g/km - 87
MPG - 85.6
Monthly BIK tax (20%/40%) - £28/£56
4. BMW 320d SE Convertible
Superbly refined and great to drive, the 3 Series features an elegant folding metal roof, seating for four people and a frugal diesel engine under the bonnet. Boot space is small, though, and it is pricey. Due to be replaced by the 4 Series next year.
P11D price - £36,000
CO2 g/km - 135
MPG - 55.4
Monthly BIK tax (20%/40%) - £132/£264
5. Peugeot 308 CC 1.6 e-HDI
Peugeot’s popular convertible comes with a 2.0 diesel engine coupled with a fuel-saving e-HDi Stop & Start system which helps keep CO2 emissions down. A stylish alternative to the Volkswagen Golf, one of the drawbacks for the 308 CC is that the roof will only fold when stationary, taking 24 seconds to open.
P11D price - £23,860
CO2 g/km - 128
MPG - 57
Monthly BIK tax (20%/40%) - £79.50/£159
6. Vauxhall Cascada 2.0 CDTi SE
The Audi A5 Cabriolet rival is competitively priced and offers comparatively low running costs and CO2 emissions. Vauxhall’s four-seater convertible comes with a choice of two trims - SE and Elite - the latter featuring leather trim, heated seats and front fog lamps. Launched early this year, Vauxhall hopes its sleek design and decent driving dynamics will be enough to win customers away from its German rivals.
P11D price - £25,320
CO2 g/km - 138
MPG - 54.3
Monthly BIK tax (20%/40%) - £92.83/£185.67