Nissan Leaf

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Model: Nissan Leaf N-Connecta 40kWh
Price: £30,490 (£25,990 inc. Govt grant)
P11D price/2018/19 charge: £30,435/13%
Drivetrain/power: Electric motor/148bhp
CO2/official range: 0g/km/217 miles
0-62mph/top speed: 7.9 seconds/90mph
Monthly BiK Bill high rate: £132
Monthly BiK Bill low rate: £66

It’s a sign of just how far ahead of the game Nissan is with electric cars that the second generation of the Leaf is on sale when most manufacturers are only just dabbling with electrified versions of their existing models.

Unlike many of its rivals, it’s been designed from the outset as an electric car. Of course, the fact you have to plug in means the Leaf won’t suit everyone, but if you can, and know you won’t be pressuring the car’s range too much, the tax benefits of Nissan’s compact hatch are plain to see.

The hi-tech cabin and whisper-quiet driving experience mean it feels like few other cars on the road. The Leaf’s low bills are a result of a fairly affordable price. While this N-Connecta version is still £26,000-plus after the £4,500 Government plug-in car grant, you get lots of kit, plus zero tailpipe emissions mean it’s cheap to tax as a business buyer, and you’ll be saving a lot of money on fuel.

Mitsubishi Outlander

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Model: Mitsubishi Outlander 2.0 3h Auto
Price: £34,805 (£32,305 inc. Govt grant)
P11D price/2018/19 charge: £34,750/13%
Engine/power: 2.0 4cyl petrol-elec/200bhp
CO2/official economy: 41g/km/166.1mpg
0-62mph/top speed: 11.0 secs/106mph
Monthly BiK Bill high rate: £151
Monthly BiK Bill low rate: £75

The Outlander PHEV popularised plug-in hybrid SUVs. Prices might have risen since it first appeared, but the model’s blend of a practical body and low running costs has ensured it continues to be a top company car choice.

That’s mainly due to low 41g/km CO2 emissions. You’re unlikely to match the weighted combined economy figure of 166mpg unless you plug into the mains religiously. Rely on the hybrid system to top up the batteries and the official 54.2mpg figure isn’t as impressive; but it’s still excellent for a heavy SUV, and that magic CO2 figure means low company car tax.

Lexus IS

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Model: Lexus IS 300h Executive Edition
Price: £32,895
P11D price/2018/19 charge: £32,710/21%
Engine/power: 2.5 4cyl petrol-elec/220bhp
CO2/official economy: 101g/km/65.7mpg
0-62mph/top speed: 8.4 seconds/125mph
Monthly BiK Bill high rate: £229
Monthly BiK Bill low rate: £114

Compact executive saloons are a staple of work car parks, and cost-conscious buyers can save plenty of money in Benefit-in-Kind tax by going for a hybrid such as the Lexus IS 300h instead of a diesel rival.

It’s an agile, comfortable cruiser and the 2.5-litre petrol unit is refined compared with diesel competitors. So it’s a shame the CVT gearbox isn’t the nicest option in this class. Rather than revelling in sharp handling, you’re more likely to be stretching the IS’s hybrid economy as far as possible, and its eco driving mode encourages you to do this. The electric motor means you can creep along in urban traffic in near-silence.

The biggest advantage is that this all combines to deliver CO2 emissions that are lower than in some superminis. The 101g/km figure means higher-rate earners pay only £229 to the Treasury every month.

Audi TT

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Model: Audi TT Roadster 1.8 TFSI Sport
Price: £28,550
P11D price/2018/19 charge: £27,965/29%
Engine/power: 1.8-litre 4cyl/178bhp
CO2/official economy: 142g/km/46.3mpg
0-62mph/top speed: 7.2 seconds/147mph
Monthly BiK Bill high rate: £270
Monthly BiK Bill low rate: £135

Open-top thrills are available at a reasonable cost to business users with the Audi TT Roadster. The Sport model with 1.8 TFSI power is the entry point to the range, but it’s fun to drive and looks great.

The TT Roadster is a two-seater, unlike the 2+2 coupé, but the roof folds away into a separate compartment so that it doesn’t eat into boot space. Plus, the cabin is fairly roomy for a sports car. Get the TT on the right road and it won’t fail to put a smile on your face, thanks to Audi’s advanced MQB platform, which delivers a good level of grip along with impressive agility.

The 1.8 TFSI engine has plenty of mid-range power, and it’s great fun using the slick six-speed box to keep the engine on song. It’s not the purest sports car out there, but in return it offers superb everyday usability to go along with its entertaining handling and affordable Benefit-in-Kind payments.

Jaguar XE

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Model: Jaguar XE 2.0d 180 Prestige auto
Price: £33,515
P11D price/2018/19 charge: £33,320/26%
Engine/power: 2.0-litre 4cyl/178bhp
CO2/official economy: 109g/km/67.3mpg
0-62mph/top speed: 7.8 seconds/140mph
Monthly BiK Bill high rate: £289
Monthly BiK Bill low rate: £144

Think about a typical company car and something like the Jaguar XE will come to mind: a junior executive saloon with a 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet. There’s a reason for that, as the XE is a great all-rounder: it’s good-looking, great fun to drive, economical, spacious and upmarket.

With this budget you could get into the more dynamic R-Sport model, but we’ve picked out the lower-spec Prestige car because in this trim, with Jag’s eight-speed automatic transmission, it highlights how affordable a premium car can be.

That gearbox is well suited to the economical engine, with smooth and quick shifts that make it a brilliant motorway cruiser, offering plenty of comfort and a good level of agility that few other saloons match. Quality isn’t quite as good as in some rivals, but this monthly price is impressively affordable, making the XE an enticing proposition.

Volvo XC40

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Model: Volvo XC40 D3 FWD R-Design Auto
Price: £32,720
P11D price/2018/19 charge: £32,150/32%
Engine/power: 2.0-litre 4cyl/148bhp
CO2/official economy: 132g/km/56.5mpg
0-62mph/top speed: 9.8 seconds/124mph
Monthly BiK Bill high rate: £332
Monthly BiK Bill low rate: £166

The Volvo XC40 is a great new contender in the small premium SUV sector. It’s not a revelation on the road, but it offers a fine blend of comfort and cruising refinement, allowing occupants to enjoy the classy cabin and excellent infotainment.

Best bet for company users is the D3 front-wheel-drive auto, because its claimed fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions of 132g/km will keep costs down. This engine is punchy and relatively refined, too, so there’s little compromise to be made here.

The R-Design model features loads of equipment, including the brand’s excellent portrait-orientated touchscreen sat-nav system and a digital dash.

On top of this, the XC40 strikes a nice balance between composure and comfort. It can get caught out on potholed streets, particularly at low speeds and on the optional larger wheels, but providedyou stick with the original rims, you’re likely to find the XC40 a pretty relaxing place to travel in.

Best company cars by price bracket