Best value small family company cars

  • We pit the Ford Focus against the Astra, Qashqai and Golf
  • Find out which is best for value
  • Monthly tax costs, kit highlights and MPG figures included

Getting the balance right between equipment and cost is a hard task to get just right these days. With technology advancing at such a rate, the amount of kit your company car has can make a huge difference to your everyday life behind the wheel.  

To help you choose your next company car, Parkers has compared the best-selling small family cars to find out which really offer the best value for money for business users.

The Ford Focus may be Britain’s best-selling company car but does that mean it’s automatically the best value? We pit it against the Vauxhall Astra, Nissan Qashqai and Volkswagen Golf to find out.

Vauxhall Astra

Despite being one of the oldest hatchbacks you can currently buy, Vauxhall Astra sales are still very high and the introduction of a new ‘Whisper’ diesel engine last year helped drive sales even further thanks to the low tax and running costs on offer.  

The cheapest in our list here, one of the Astra's best weapons is the excellent value for money it offers. We’ve chosen Techline trim as it's especially catered with business users in mind offering Bluetooth, sat-nav, cruise control, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, air-con, DAB radio, USB connection and seven speakers as standard.

The absence of parking sensors is a little disappointing but they can be added for £450 for front and rear which will increase your monthly tax bill by just over a pound a month.

Pick of the range: Vauxhall Astra 1.6CDTi TechLine

P11D: £18,855

CO2 emissions: 97g/km

2014/15 BIK Tax band:  15 percent

Monthly tax cost*: £47.14

Combined MPG: 76mpg

Power: 108bhp

Kit highlights:  sat-nav, DAB Radio, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloy wheels, air-con, cruise control.


Volkswagen Golf

Now in its seventh-generation, the Volkswagen Golf continues to be a firm favourite on company user chooser lists thanks to its combination of low running costs, practical features and excellent build quality.

The Golf BlueMotion offers the lowest CO2 emissions of the bunch at 85g/km and the highest fuel economy too at 88mpg which helps keep monthly tax costs low despite this Golf being the most expensive in our list.

There is a down side though and that is standard kit with only air-con, Bluetooth, DAB Radio, and 15-inch alloy wheels among the highlights from the standard specification list. Options aren’t cheap to buy either with sat-nav costing £750, cruise control an additional £245 and adding front and rear parking sensors will set you back another £450.

Pick of the range: Volkswagen Golf 1.6TDI BlueMotion 5dr

P11D: £21,615

CO2 emissions: 85g/km

2014/15 BIK Tax band:  14 percent

Monthly tax cost*: £50.44

Combined MPG: 88mpg

Power: 108bhp

Kit highlights:  air-con, Bluetooth, DAB Radio, 15-inch alloy wheels.


Ford Focus

Revised late last year, the Ford Focus is a car that needs very little introduction, the biggest selling company car here in the UK now not only features that famous grille design but also includes a revised interior with a new centre console system.

Nearing the top end of the trim levels, we would opt for Titanium which comes excellently equipped for the price tag with cruise control, Active City Stop (emergency braking system), 16-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors, climate control, DAB Radio and Bluetooth.

Also standard is the all-new SYNC 2 technology package which enables you to use voice commands to control the multimedia system. If you want sat-nav though, you’ll need to pay £250 as an optional extra.

The Focus’s new 1.5-litre diesel engine offers some impressive stats to its name too including CO2 emissions of only 98g/km and an official combined fuel consumption figure of 74mpg. Not only that but the 118bhp on offer combined with the 270Nm of Torque means the car can sprint from 0-62mph in just over 10 seconds making it the quickest in our list too.

Pick of the range: Ford Focus 1.5TDCI Titanium hatchback

P11D: £20,940

CO2 emissions: 98g/km

2014/15 BIK Tax band:  15 percent

Monthly tax cost*: £52.35

Combined MPG: 74mpg

Power: 118bhp

Kit highlights:  16-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, voice control system, dual zone climate control, DAB Radio, cruise control, keyless start.


Nissan Qashqai

The Nissan Qashqai has been one of the surprise hits of the past few years and is largely responsible for reigniting the crossover segment here in the UK. Its fashionable appeal combined with its practical features and low running costs have made it a big hit with company car drivers too.

A new model was launched last year and brought with it a revised interior, more interior space and tweaked engine performance.

We’ve picked the 1.5dCi diesel engine accompanied by Acenta trim, which is expected to be the most popular combination for company car drivers. Running costs are low thanks to an official combined fuel economy figure of 74mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km.

As standard the car features dual-zone automatic air-conditioning, automatic headlights and wipers, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth, cruise control and LED daytime running lights.

We would also consider adding the Vision Pack for £495 which includes rear parking sensors plus some additional safety kit including a traffic signal recognition system, a lane departure warning system, high beam assist which automatically switches the headlights from high beam to avoid dazzling other drivers and Front Collision Avoidance which sounds an alert if there’s an obstacle close ahead and it appears you’re leaving your braking late.

Pick of the range: Nissan Qashqai 1.5dCi Acenta

P11D: £21,545

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

2014/15 BIK Tax band:  15 percent

Monthly tax cost*: £53.86

Combined MPG: 74mpg

Power: 108bhp

Kit highlights:  dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloys, Bluetooth, cruise control

And the winner is.....

Despite being the oldest car in the group the Vauxhall Astra's low p11d price, standard sat-nav and excellent green credentials make it the all-round best package when it comes to value for money. 

*Monthly tax costs are based on a 20 percent tax payer and the current 2014/15 rates.