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What's so special about 130g/km?

  • Find out why your fleet manager wants lower CO2 cars
  • Updated to include changes made in Budget 2013
  • Five surprise cars that duck below the 130g/km threshold

Has your fleet manager been trying to persuade you to choose a company car with lower emissions?

They aren't trying to convert drivers to greener habits, but are trying to save their company money. Cars with lower CO2 emissions help maximise the amount of cash your company is paid back by the government.

From April 2009, new corporation tax rules mean that the 'writing down allowance' - a statutory tax deduction for depreciation - is now linked to a car's CO2 emissions, and companies will be better off with lower emission cars.

This system was revised in the 2013 Budget, with lower emission thresholds to qualify for the two main groups.

The allowance for cars with CO2 emissions of 131g/km and higher is 8 percent of the car's value, while for those with emissions between 96g/km and 130g/km it is 18 percent.

Additionally, electric cars and vehicles with CO2 emissions of 95g/km or less benefit from a 100 percent first year write down allowance.

If your company chooses to lease the cars rather than buy them outright then a car with emissions up to 130g/km can have 100 percent of the cost deducted against taxable profits, above 130g/km it can only offset 85 percent.

The good news for drivers is that many car manufacturers are aware of this advantage of lower emission vehicles and have been broadening the range of models offered below this threshold.

Five surprise cars that duck the 130g/km threshold:

1. Audi A6 2.0 TDI SE

Parkers says:

A big car with low emissions, the A6 demonstrates the advances that have been made by car companies in recent years. With stop-start and energy recuperation technology, direct injection and optimised engine parts, the A6 brings economy motoring to the executive sector. Not as good to drive as the BMW 5 Series, and the same-again styling means it doesn’t stand out on the road, but the A6 offers space, strong build quality, a decent level of standard equipment and strong residual values thanks to its brand appeal.

CO2: 129g/km

MPG: 57.6

Fuel: diesel 

2. Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Technology

Parkers says:

It may be a Golf in fancy clothing, but the Scirocco is more than the sum of its parts. Sleek looks, proven mechanicals and strong residual values make this a strong contender for those company car drivers who can choose their set of wheels. Good choice of petrol and diesel engines and all are well equipped, especially the new R Line models. Boot space and rear seat accommodation are compromised, though.

CO2: 118g/km

MPG: 62.8

Fuel: diesel

3. Range Rover Evoque Coupe eD4 Pure

Parkers says:

Sleek, stylish, desirable…. the Evoque has got it all. Whether it’s a Coupe or a five-door the Evoque stands out on the road thanks to its concept car looks, while its raised ride height and four-wheel drive hardware (front-wheel drive versions are also available) make it a practical proposition. On a par with rivals such as the Audi Q5 on interior space and boot room, the Evoque trumps them all with its looks, build and equipment.

CO2: 129g/km

MPG: 57.6

Fuel: diesel

4. Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI Coupe Executive SE

Parkers says:

Finally, Mercedes-Benz has a credible rival to the Audi A5 and BMW 3-Series Coupe. Based on the C-Class saloon and sharing its engines and technology, the Coupe brings sharper styling and a lower profile. Inside it’s the same as the saloon, too, although the rear seat accommodation is compromised with the coupe design. Plus points include a decent boot, comfortable ride and a wide choice of engines, all offering low emissions and decent fuel economy. Well-equipped as standard, this is a great choice for a user-chooser.

CO2: 109g/km

MPG: 68.9

Fuel: diesel

5. Mazda6 2.0 SE 5dr

Parkers says:

A super-stylish rival to the Mondeo, the new Mazda6 has some clever technology under the skin to provide low emissions and high fuel economy. Called SKYACTIV, it blends lightweight architecture with ultra-efficient engines to return excellent fuel economy. Even some petrol-engined models fall below the 130g/km limit, which is impressive. Factor in impressive comfort levels and low levels of noise intrusion into the cabin and you have a smart, safe, comfortable and well-made car in which to munch up the miles.

CO2: 129g/km

MPG: 51.4

Fuel: petrol