The UK's HMRC rules defining how much a company car may cost both the company that owns it, the driver who 'benefits' from its use, are now well established - and have been since 2019. Plug-in hybrid electrification is god, and electric range king.
But opting for any old PHEV executive option is no longer enough to guarantee a low benefit in kind tax liability, with some cars in the class offering big enough batteries to qualify for BIK taxation at just five per cent of their list price, and others as much as fourteen-. If you're looking to buy the right electrified executive option, you clearly need to know which are the cars that may be worth a higher monthly contract hire rental, and which aren't.
Below, then, is our list of not just the most tax-efficient PHEV execs on the market in 2023, but also the best to drive and own. Both petrol- and diesel-fuelled hybrid options are included - and likewise various kinds of body styles from SUVs to saloons and estates. Almost nothing listed here will weigh down your annual P60 certificate with more than an eight per cent BIK score.
PHEV efficiency comes in all shapes and sizes these days; and some manufacturers have become specialists at catering to the UK's particular company car tax system, while others continue to engineer to different priorities. So if you're looking for do-it-yourself pay rise delivered by a company car with just the right price and amount of electrification, but you're also not quite ready switch all the way into an EV fleet car, read on.
Pros: outstanding electric-only range, five per cent BIK qualification, SUV cabin space and versatility
Cons: it's expensive, weight of the hybrid system adversely affects ride and handling
Mercedes has thrown an awful lot of investment at its plug-in hybrid models over the last five years, and now sits in an enviable position among its rivals, with several models that qualify for an eight per cent BIK classification: but only one that does better still.
The leader of its pack is the electrified GLC mid-sized SUV, which was facelifted at the end of 2022. Having had a much bigger drive battery fitted, it's now a car capable of a lab-test 83 miles of WLTP 'equivalent all-electric range' (the figure that HMRC uses to calculate BIK liability). Only the ultra-niche Polestar 1 has so far ever offered more; and only one other car in this list gets into the same five per cent tax bracket.
The Mercedes GLC PHEV can be had in either petrol- or diesel-electric form, but it's the latter that gets the lowest CO2 emissions rating and associated WLTP fuel-efficiency claim: in the GLC 300de's case, the latter's in excess of 700mpg (although reproducing that in daily use, as any plug-in hybrid owner knows, will very much depend on lots of short-range use, and regular charging).