Top carmakers' websites rated (continued)
14 November 2007
A manufacturer's site should be an effective interface between it and the business car world. David Motton investigates the top 20 to see who's doing the best job
The Mazda site is simple, but effective. The tax calculator is a list of models and tax bills, but it does the job. If we'd had a response to our email, the score could have been much higher.
Oh dear - no downloadable brochure or tax calculator. It's as if the web has passed Mercedes' fleet sales by. It's a shame, because otherwise the site is a good one, with clean, stylish design and easy navigation.
Slick design, a tax calculator that allows for employee contributions as well as optional extras and an excellent find-a-dealer service make this one of the sites to beat. A few more extras to keep fleet drivers returning and this offering from Nissan would be the finished article.
This is a very well thought-out website. Fleet drivers can subscribe to a quarterly magazine, or click through to the online version. There's also a handy car configurator and a sophisticated tax calculator too. If we'd had a reply to our email, Peugeot would have been a front-runner.
Cracking site let down slightly by a few niggling flaws. The tax calculator and dealer search are up with the best, and there are lots of useful extra features to keep you clicking. But the brochures are too hard to find and there's no sign of a number to call business sales.
This is how it should be done. The tax calculator even compares a Saab with other cars. The downloadable price list includes CO2 as you'd expect, but lists BIK % too. Subtle, classy design is the finishing touch.
Some useful extras, but why does Seat make it so hard to get in touch? And why no downloadable brochures?
The Skoda home page looks bright and appealing but some of the business sections are rather text heavy. The tax calculator is extremely basic, but there are some useful extra features.
A frustrating, mixed bag of a website. It's easy to find the business area, a contact number and even directions to your nearest dealer. But there's no email facility, the tax calculator is simplistic, and there's too much form-filling before you can be sent a brochure by email. Why not just download it?
Some good ideas, like a price list complete with the P11D and tax bandings. But there's too much clicking from page to page to find info you want, and you need to know the car's price and emissions before using the tax calculator, although at least it can take account of optional extras and capital contributions.
How long did it take Volkswagen to respond to our email enquiry? Just minutes - even though we contacted the manufacturer just before 6pm. With a more sophisticated tax calculator the German brand's online offering could have been one of the top contenders in this 20-site analysis.
Most improved: Volvo jumps 10 places on last year
It took Volvo 12 minutes to respond to our email, but that's not the only reason we rate this site. The quick reference guides for drivers, with CO2 and BIK % of each model, are well thought out, the downloadable brochure is easy to find and detailed, and the tax calculator is very clever.
|Fleet’s top 20 players rated|
|Rank||Up/down on ’06||Brand||Good||Bad||Score |
|1|| 1||BMW||Great all-rounder||No major flaws||88%|
|2|| 5||Saab||Cool design, easy to use||Nothing serious||86%|
|3|| 5||Audi||Useful extra features||Speed of email response||84%|
|4|| 10||Volvo||Quick reference guides||Signposting of business area||82%|
|5|| 8||Nissan||Excellent dealer search||Needs better extras||80%|
|6=|| 3||Honda||Owner reviews||No dedicated fleet number||78%|
|6=||-5||Volkswagen||Swift email response||Tax calculator||78%|
|8||-3||Citroen||All the essentials…||…but not much else||74%|
|9=||-4||Ford||Brilliant extras||Clunky navigation||72%|
|9=||-6||Peugeot||Find a dealer service||Still waiting for an email||72%|
|11=|| 5||Renault||Clever tax calculator||Too hard to find brochures||70%|
|11=||-2||Skoda||Good extras||Rather text heavy||70%|
|11=|| 7||Hyundai||Slick dealer search||So-so extras||70%|
|14||-10||Mazda ||Attractive design||Limited tax calculator||68%|
|15||-3||Toyota||Views from owners||No response to email||66%|
|16|| –||Fiat||Great to look at…||…but not so easy to use||64%|
|17||-8||Vauxhall||P11D price list||Fiddly navigation||56%|
|18||-3||Mercedes-Benz||Clean design||Limited features||54%|
|19|| –||Seat||SMR info||No downloadable brochure||52%|
|20|| –||Kia||Okay for consumers…||…hopeless for business||38%|