Focus now a company car favourite
30 January 2004

The government’s benefit-in-kind emissions taxation is making company drivers choose smaller cars.

Lex Vehicle Leasing released its figures for 2003 this week. The UK’s leading contract hire provider’s stats are the best indictor of company car driver's leasing habits.

The company’s 2003 purchasing list suggests that the government’s carbon dioxide taxation is producing the desired effect. Fleet drivers are downsizing, with larger cars losing out to smaller, more efficient vehicles, and with petrol giving up ground to diesel powerplants.

Specifically, Ford’s market-leading C segment Focus replaces the Mondeo as the most popular choice. VW’s Golf and Vauxhall’s Astra make it three small hatches in the top five.

The big losers are just that by comparison. BMW’s 3 series (pictured), the second-most popular company car in 2001, is now a distant fifth in the running. Volkswagen’s Passat, formerly fifth in 2001, slips to ninth in the list. Audi’s A4 drops out of the top ten completely.

The fleet proliferation of diesel-powered cars has also shot up, due to their qualification for lower CO2 tax brackets. Last year they matched petrol-engined variants car for car, rising from just a quarter of cars purchased three years ago. Fleet and business registrations accounted for the majority of new cars on the road last year, with a combined share of 51.3% of the market.

Our Verdict

Ford Focus 2011-2014

Can the Ford Focus capture the hearts and minds of hatchback buyers?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals
  • Hyundai Kona
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Hyundai's funky-looking Kona crossover with a peppy three-cylinder engine makes all the right noises for the car to be a success in a crowded segment
  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    The Citroen C3 Aircross has got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer