Owning a company car (Firma bil is the term in Danish) may well not be the perk that it once was but we are still pretty lucky when you think about it. We can drive as many miles as we like without having to worry about wear on the tires and depreciating resale amounts. We get a new model every few years and rarely have to drive a used car. We don’t even have to worry about things like road tax and insurance. Yes we are very lucky people on the whole especially if our company car is reliable.
You see when you have a company car the chances are that you cover a lot of distance as part of your job. If you didn’t then the extra taxes that come out of your wages really wouldn’t make a company car worth the price. So the car becomes almost part of you, it is your office and it is also where you spend almost all of you time. When it breaks down you are seriously inconvenienced. Your mobile telephone no longer has a hands free unit to sit in and charge and your Sat Nav has gone and all of the programmed in destinations have gone with it.
The good news is that the service center that has been charged with repairing your company car will generally lend you the courtesy car whilst your usual vehicle is being sorted out, but these tend to be rather small and not a lot of use on really long journeys. All of a sudden that back complaint that you had forgotten about is once again rearing its ugly head, because the little car that the garage has lent you is really uncomfortable to drive for any large amount of time.
So when you order your next company car you start thinking about more than whether it looks good and what extras you can have, you start thinking about how reliable it will be and how often it is likely to leave you bombing around in a Noddy car. In fact I am now at the stage when I spend more time researching the consumer polls that deal with customer satisfaction than I do looking at tax brackets and working out what the company car will cost me.
This is why I have recently started ordering a Toyota when it is time to renew my company car. They look the part and drive really well and whilst they might not have the prestige and showmanship of some of the other cars that are made available to me, they are as reliable mechanically as anything I have ever driven. They rarely break down even though I complete a lot of miles in a year, which means that I rarely have to try to work my way around the go cart that is falsely labeled a courtesy car.
So when I arrive at a meeting and spend some time with my fellow colleagues I always find it amazing how they will continually carry on going for the company car the shows off best to their neighbors how important they are at work. Because when I look in the car park of the venue there always seems to be a lot of little buzzy cars parked around my wonderful Toyota. So what is the point of having a fancy named company car of you never get to drive it?