New company car kit to consider for 2015

  • We pick our five favourite new features
  • Safety and connectivity systems included
  • It's worth doing some research to see if some cars offer the systems as standard

It's staggering when you think about how far technology has come over the past few years, cars can now drive themselves, make calls for you, stop if they sense an accident and slot neatly into a tight parking space at your local multi-storey.

The only downside is that with so many advanced systems to choose from, the options list when it comes to picking your next company car can be pretty daunting. 

Parkers is here to help, we’ve picked five new features we think are worthy of consideration when spec’ing up your next company car.

Apple CarPlay/MirrorLink

What is it?

A new connectivity system which will mirror the screen on your smartphone onto the cars multimedia interface allowing you to access a range of apps and features while on the move.

Why have it?

Smartphones are becoming an important tool in today’s modern world and integrating your phone into your car could be a useful asset enabling you to keep up to date with all the latest in the office or with your clients.  

The systems work differently depending on the car you buy, the revised A-Class for example needs you only to plug-in your smartphone via the USB port to work while others may need you to connect via Bluetooth or download an app to your phone.

You can access key functions on your phone like calls, text messages, Google Maps, social media, Outlook emails and calendar and Spotify - they have to be present on your phone to be accessible though. Gaming apps on your phone will not appear for driver distraction reasons and you won’t be able to read incoming texts via the screen either, although some systems will read them out to you.

Adaptive cruise control

What is it?

Although adaptive cruise control has been around for a few years now, it’s a useful system that can often be overlooked on the options list. It works like a normal cruise control system where you set the speed you want and then cleverly adapts in response to the road in front of you, slowing down and accelerating back up to speed again with the traffic.

Why have it?

If a great deal of your commute to work involves motorway, cruise control can help make your journey more relaxing and safer too, plus depending on your driving style, can be more economical.

Prices vary however some higher trim models may offer the system as standard so it’s worth checking the equipment lists.

Emergency services notification

What is it?

If you're involved in an accident the car will notify the emergency services for you and feed your exact location to them using the car's GPS, making recovery much quicker. This feature usually forms part of a larger package which can include WiFi services and online car diagnostics.

Why have it?

You can’t put a price on safety and this system could potentially save your life if the worst was to happen. Prices will vary significantly depending on the car you choose however there are some firms, like BMW, who offer Emergency Call system as standard.

Adaptive lights

What is it?

Advancements in headlight technology have been vast and there are plenty of options to choose from, some offering automatic high beam, some with cornering function and front fog lights, others which adapt to the road in front. Automatic lights which turn on when it gets dark are usually standard these days however the type of light you can opt for varies from Xenon to halogen to LED.

Why have it?

Safety is a big draw here, not only do lights which adapt to your surroundings increase your visibility of the road at night, they also prevent dazzling other road users. Depending on the style and type of lights you go for, as options go they can be pretty pricey.

We think cornering lights and automatic high beams offer the best in terms of safety and LED lights are fast becoming regular features on standard specifications so make sure you check the individual trims.

Parking Assist systems

What is it? The system will detect a parking space and steer the car into the spot for you – all you need to do is work the pedals. Most systems offer parallel parking, while others can also manoeuvre into perpendicular spaces (also known as bay parking).  

Why have it?

For lots of us, parking can be the trickiest part of driving a car day-to-day, especially when you need to squeeze into a tight space at a multi-storey.

Sensors and cameras can be incredibly useful, but to make parking a complete doddle opting for a parking assistant system in your options list is definitely the way forward. Installing the system could also help you avoid costly repair bills which are usually inevitable in car parks at some point during your time with the car.

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