Our Top Three Most Reliable Company Vehicles

It’s that time of year when many vehicle makers hold their breath as the results of the JD Power survey are revealed. Almost 18,000 drivers who, between them, have clocked up 360 million miles, have offered their opinions on 118 models of car registered between January 2009 and December 2010. Such a grass roots approach shines a light on the reality of owning any vehicle and is something that all financial controllers, fleet managers and employees should pay close attention to. After all, a vehicle praised for its reliability spends less time off the road being fixed – and that means money in the bank.

View the PDF version of this Infographic: ‘Our Top Three Most Reliable Company Vehicles’

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View the PDF version of this Infographic: ‘Our Top Three Most Reliable Company Vehicles’

Top Trumps!

Here are The Fuelcard Company’s recommendations for company vehicles based on the results from the JD Power survey 2012:

Toyota IQ

Position: 1st in the city car class, 6th overall

Why so good? Its pint-sized and idiosyncratic looks have won fans along with its use of decent materials and generous equipment levels. More importantly, Toyota’s service advisers have received a heart-felt thumbs-up.

Any niggles? Some grumbling about paint finish and steering issues. Also, with only three seats and a teeny-tiny boot, space can be an issue for numpties who didn’t bother to actually look at the car before signing the cheque…

Also consider: For those who need more space, the Volkswagen Fox came second in this class thanks to its practicality and sound mechanics.

Lexus IS

Position: 1st in the compact executive class, 9th overall

Why so good? No surprises here that the IS garnered the top spot yet again. Great build quality, excellent servicing and professional customer care are just some of the praises sung by owners.

Any niggles? Higher fuel consumption than some owners were expecting.

Also consider: Despite pricey running costs, drivers also love the Mercedes-Benz C-Class thanks to its luggage space (top marks for its sector) and plush interior. Both the BMW 3 Series and the Audi A4 figured high on the list but each had its own bugbears; with the latter scored down due to carpet, cupholder, wiper and tracking issues while the former was criticised for its floor mats and worries over engine lights.

Jaguar XF

Position: 1st in the executive car class, 2nd overall

Why so good? The big cat is loved for its classy and unique interior, its seats and the quietness of the cabin when eating up motorway miles. Perhaps more importantly, overall servicing experience was rated much higher than competitors Audi and BMW.

Any niggles? Fuel economy wasn’t the best in class and some owners grumbled about starting the engine.

Also consider: Only misgivings about the stereo and satellite navigation prevented the Mercedes E-Class from taking the crown while the Audi A6 was praised for its reliability. The surprise slip was the 5-Series that was usurped by a host of small issues from slipping floor mats through to shonky cupholders. But for fuel economy, it was the most highly regarded in its class.

The upshot

Knowing what actual owners have experienced over an extended period of time is vital; especially when reliability issues can keep an otherwise desirable car off the road. Perhaps lease companies should provide further reassurance to financial controllers and fleet managers; for instance, LeasePlan offers constant maintenance and repair monitoring for its LCV-leasing clients courtesy of its Uptime service.

When any fault is detected with the vehicle, the client is contacted immediately and a repair can be arranged on the spot. According to the lease company, it has meant over 60% in savings for its users because of the reduction in vehicle downtime. Perhaps one day, such vehicle monitoring will be offered as standard by all leasing companies.

For more ideas on budget control, please download our eGuide ‘Shipshape: How to keep an eye on your fleet servicing costs’