Ford B-MAX: an ideal company car?

  • Is the B-MAX EcoBoost an inexpensive company car?
  • We compare it against the 1.6-litre TDCi
  • Find out how to calculate your company car costs

Think ‘company car’ and you invariably think of a large family hatchback with washing machine white paintwork.

Reality is somewhat different. Any car can theoretically be chosen to run as a company car, including mini-people carriers like our Ford B-MAX.

As we’ve previously explored, the B-MAX is not only an appealing small car in its own right, with its sliding doors and folding seats, it doubles as a small delivery van.

Question is, which do you go for? I’ve compared the latest Titanium specification 1.0-litre EcoBoost, now up 5bhp to 123bhp, to the most frugal diesel 1.6-litre TDCi version.

Ford B-Max ECOnetic badge

For the uninitiated, figuring out company car costs is akin to a maths puzzle that you’d need Rachel Riley to assist with. In reality it’s not, but it’s fine to have her on hand to check your workings if she’s available.

First up you need the car’s P11D value. This is the car’s list price with the first registration fee and road tax subtracted. As neither car has high levels of CO2 emissions, both have free road tax for the first year meaning it’s just the £55 registration fee to deduct.

Factory fitted options have to be factored in to the P11D value too, which totals £575 for ‘Active City Stop’, heated front seats and ‘City Pack’. For the B-MAX EcoBoost this creates a figure of £18,715 and for the TDCi £19,415.

Now these figures have been established you can calculate how much Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) tax you would have to pay. For several years this has been based on CO2 emissions, but it’s not quite a level playing field.

Using the Parkers Company Car Text Explained feature, you’ll spot that diesels carry a three percent surcharge, so although the TDCi’s emissions are 104g/km, versus the EcoBoost’s 114g/km, it’s more expensive to tax.

In real terms, the EcoBoost’s BIK rate is 14 percent, the TDCi’s 15 percent. These rates are then multiplied by the P11D value giving figures of £2,620.10 and £2,912.25 respectively.

How much tax you’ll pay each year depends on your annual income. In my role as a staff writer, I’m in the 20 percent rate, but earn £32,010 or more and you’ll have to start paying 40 percent. If you’re in a good place earning over £150,000 you’ll have a 50 percent tax rate to contend with, but you probably won’t be looking at small Fords anyway.

Choosing the EcoBoost B-MAX would consequently cost me £524.02 per year, while opting for the TDCi would push this up to £582.45.

Budgeting monthly, as most of us do, would mean a cost of £43.67 for choosing petrol, £48.54 for the diesel.

While the EcoBoost trumps the TDCi on taxation, the diesel holds a winning hand in fuel efficiency terms, an important factor for non-business mileage.

Ford claims the B-MAX 1.6-litre TDCi can average 70.6mpg giving a theoretical range of 729 miles. On paper, the EcoBoost’s 57.1mpg looks impressive and would result in a 602-mile range. Ours hasn’t been that frugal though, averaging 37mpg under our stewardship, meaning just 390 miles between refills.

Even using Ford’s own claims, you would only need to cover 570 non-business miles per year in the B-MAX TDCi before the fuel-saving outweighed the annual tax bill.

As a company car, the diesel B-MAX is the way to go. That superior fuel economy could sway your fleet manager’s mind for company mileage too.

Remember, you can figure out your personal company car costs using the Parkers Company Car Tax Calculator. Who needs Rachel Riley anyway?

Total mileage: 7,638 miles Average mpg: 37.0 mpg