The eight most popular company cars in Britain

Ford and Vauxhall dominate the list of the bestselling fleet cars, and two crossovers get a look in.

by Hilton Holloway
Last Updated: 15 Apr 2016

1. FORD FOCUS 55,329*

The Focus's combination of sensible running costs and fine driving dynamics make it popular with fleet managers and users alike. It established its reputation when it was launched in Europe in 1998, a dramatic leap into the future compared to the Escort which it replaced. Now a global model under Ford's 'One Ford' strategy, the original version of the Mk3 Focus did not quite have the refinement or chassis poise of previous models. That was fixed by a major under-skin overhaul 18 months ago.

FORD FOCUS 1.5 TDCI ECONETIC 5-DOOR

List price: £19,145

Power: 105 bhp

CO2 emissions: 88g/km

BIK: 13%

Fuel consumption: 83.1 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 11.9 seconds

Max speed: 116 mph

Engine: 1.5 four-cylinder turbo diesel


2. FORD FIESTA 52,601*

Perhaps on the petite side for a modern supermini, the Fiesta is another Ford that has travelled light years from its utilitarian roots. The current model is entering its seventh year but remains the UK's overall bestseller and for good reasons. It's endowed with a mix of sharp-handling and well-judged comfort at which Ford has been long master - an especially clever trick on the UK's poor roads. Modest dimensions mean it works well with Ford's pint-sized three-cylinder turbo petrol engine, too.

FORD FIESTA 1.0 ECOBOOST ZETEC 3-DOOR

List price: £14,295

Power: 100bhp

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

BIK: 14%

Fuel consumption: 65.7 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 11.2 seconds

Max speed: 112 mph

Engine: 1.0 three-cylinder turbo petrol


3. VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 49,280*

Despite the impact of 'Dieselgate' in the later months of 2015, the VW Golf grew its UK fleet sales total compared to 2014. The Mk7 Golf remains outstanding in its class for both overall refinement and big-car roominess, especially for front-seat passengers. A ground-up new model - with all-new engines modern enough to not be caught up in the diesel emissions scandal - when it was launched in 2012, the car has hardly dated in that time. It was also Europe's bestselling car in 2015.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF 1.6 TDI 110 MATCH 5-DOOR

List price: £22,300

Power: 110bhp

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

BIK: 17%

Fuel consumption: 74.3 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 10.7 seconds

Max speed: 119 mph

Engine: 1.6 four-cylinder turbo diesel


4. VAUXHALL ASTRA 35,039 (PREVIOUS GENERATION)*

The Astra's UK fleet sales total took a 10% tumble in 2015. This was mainly because this model was on run-out after a six-year production life, as well as Vauxhall being keen to promote the arrival of the all-new model (which has just been made European Car of the Year). This Astra is an unpretentious machine, notably less roomy than the Golf, but a perfectly competent all-round car. A huge network of Vauxhall dealerships and sensible servicing costs cement its appeal to fleet managers.

VAUXHALL ASTRA 1.6 CDTI 110 ECOFLEX TECH

List price: £13,605

Power: 108bhp

CO2 emissions: 100g/km

BIK: 14%

Fuel consumption: 67.3 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 11.6 seconds

Max speed: 113 mph

Engine: 1.6 four-cylinder turbo diesel


5. NISSAN QASHQAI 33,629*

Arguably the most successful British car of all time. The original 2007 model was a clever melding of family hatchback practicality with SUV looks and utility. Designed, engineered and manufactured in the UK, it was a massive smash hit. The second-generation model is, rightly, proving even more popular. It's spacious, easy and pleasant to drive and this 1.5-litre diesel engine is refined and economical. In the first two months of 2016, the Qashqai was the overall second bestselling car in Britain.

NISSAN QASHQAI 1.5 DCI 110 N-CONNECTA 2WD

List price: £23,675

Power: 110 bhp

CO2 emissions: 99g/km

BIK: 17%

Fuel consumption: 74.3 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 11.9 seconds

Max speed: 113 mph

Engine: 1.5 four-cylinder turbo diesel


6. VAUXHALL CORSA 33,098*

Like its Astra sister, the Corsa is not the most glamorous car in its market niche but it is a pleasant and practical one. It's also been a particular favourite in the UK for nearly 20 years. A massive re-engineering exercise in 2014 ensured that the current model is a significant improvement on its predecessors. General Motors Europe put significant efforts into improving engines and transmissions, with the small turbocharged petrol units a particular success.

VAUXHALL CORSA 1.0T SRI 3-DOOR

List price: £14,445

Power: 89 bhp

CO2 emissions: 98g/km

BIK: 14%

Fuel consumption: 65.7 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 11.9 seconds

Max speed: 112 mph

Engine: 1.0 three-cylinder turbo petrol


7. VAUXHALL INSIGNIA 31,085*

If anything demonstrates the shifting sands of the fleet UK market, it's the Vauxhall Insignia lying in 7th place. Once cars like this - big, spacious, motorway haulers - were among the most popular with corporate users. But a combination of downsizing, the increasing popularity of premium brands and the rise of SUV-like crossovers is putting the squeeze on the old-school Insignia. (Notably, the 9th and 10th bestselling fleet models are the Audi A3 and Mercedes C-Class).

VAUXHALL INSIGNIA 1.6 CDTI (136PS) ENERGY ECOFLEX 5DR

List price: £23,089

Power: 135 bhp

CO2 emissions:104g/km

BIK: 18%

Fuel consumption: 72 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 10.5 seconds

Max speed: 127 mph

Engine 2.0 four-cylinder turbo diesel


8. VAUXHALL MOKKA 27,618*

Vauxhall's baby crossover has been an unexpected success, both in fleet and private sales. The Mokka benefits from combining the fleet manager's desire for affordable and easy servicing with the contemporary appeal of being an increasingly fashionable niche. The car's list prices also undercut those of the Astra hatchback and, with slightly better residual values, it can work out as a more cost-effective purchase all round. But for all that, the Mokka is not as good a car as its Astra stablemate.

VAUXHALL MOKKA 1.4T 140 TECH LINE 2WD S/S

List price: £17,424

Power: 138 bhp

CO2 emissions: 145g/km

BIK: 24%

Fuel consumption: 45 mpg (combined cycle)

0-62 mph: 9.4 seconds

Max speed: 118 mph

Engine: 1.4 four-cylinder turbo petrol

*Fleet registrations per model in 2015 (source: SMMT)

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Subscribe

Get your essential reading delivered. Subscribe to Management Today