Due to some arcane tax rules in Great Britain, it's financially beneficial for many companies to provide cars to employees. As a result, a disproportionate number of sales in the UK are to company fleets. Thus, publications like Fleet News get a lot of attention from company fleet managers when they evaluate cars and hand out awards. In the latest list of top vehicles for 2008, Fleet News selected the MINI as the best small car. The MINI D, in particular, combined with BMW's EfficientDynamics package, even qualifies in the lowest emissions band so drivers will be exempt from London's congestion charge. The MINI D hatchback is rated at 104g/km for CO2 emissions while the longer Clubman scores 109g/km. Now if we could just convince BMW to federalize the MINI D and bring it to America.
Small emissions once again make MINI a big winner
Fleet News has become the latest media outlet to nominate MINI as a green winner. In the publication's 20th Annual Awards ceremony, MINI was named Best Small Car 2008 thanks to the introduction of new fuel-saving technologies and amazingly strong residual values.
Cost-conscious, practical and desirable motoring topped the awards criteria. The Fleet News panel* cited the new Clubman model as key to the appeal of MINI for business car drivers, with one judge claiming: "There is no other car in the sector that drivers would like to have more."
MINI's new range of Hatch and Clubman models shot to prominence in 2007 thanks to technologies based on BMW's EfficientDynamics systems. With carbon emissions-based taxation a key factor in this week's Budget announcement, many MINI owners could now actually find themselves in a stronger financial position.
Emitting just 104 and 109g/km C02 respectively, the MINI Cooper D Hatch and Clubman models will be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty as of 01 April 2009 under the Budget ruling. This follows earlier news from Transport for London that from October 2008, cars emitting less than 120g/km C02 will be exempt from congestion charging.
Company car tax thresholds have also been revised and the Cooper D derivatives are again winners, thanks to the income tax rate cut and reduced 13 per cent taxation on diesel cars emitting less than 120g/km C02.
The Fleet News Environmental Award was claimed by BMW Group. This award recognises the fleet industry's commitment to reducing its impact on the environment. EfficientDynamics developments, available across BMW and MINI products, positioned BMW Group as the clear winner in a hard-fought category.
22 BMW derivatives and 5 MINI models now emit less than 140g/km C02. From April 2009 every one of these sub-140g/km cars will fall in to VED band E or lower, meaning owners will then pay a maximum of £115 for their annual road fund licence.