Fleet car

Not many of us have to wait until we're 40 to get our first company car. For reasons far too complicated to explain here, I did. Having kicked off in 1984 with a £250 Morris Marina (gorgeous in sun-faded red), worked my way through a Triumph Herald 13/60 convertible (written off by a moonlighting Chinese chauffeur in a Cadillac), made do with a 1 litre VW Polo (lean recession years) and then completed the century with a 1995 Saab 900S, I finally got my tax-inefficient wheels when I became MT editor in 2001.

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Since then, I've been tooling around in a five-door Saab 9-3 2.0 T SE in Sun Green (when did the sun last look green to you? - after consuming a bottle of Chartreuse the night before, probably). Anyway, I'm doing my bit for the future of the planet by sticking with this one, although I did buy it from my employer a while ago.

I made a terrible and costly error of judgment within weeks of purchasing it by colliding with a bollard in the street outside the office (I swear it moved), thus wiping out an already non-existent no-claims discount. Then it got pranged by an idiot from a door-lock company in the King's Road - a mess that has taken me months to sort out. That kind of aggro is looked after by your fleet manager if you keep the faith with company wheels.

But I'm not trading my Saab in. It has done only 55k miles and although it's thirsty and spews out far too much CO2, the amount of energy that goes into making a new car is huge. I actually borrowed a Smart the other day - wheels with vaguely eco pretensions - and it was one of the worst-sorted vehicles I'd ever driven. Me and the kid felt like Big Ears and Noddy kangarooing through Toytown. Parp, parp.

Anyway, here is our look at the world of fleet cars in 2007. The three letters you want after your machine's name are not GTI but ECO.

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