BusinessCar's 2009 fleet website review (continued)
25 November 2008
We've examined the biggest fleet sellers' websites again, and this year we've a new winner, reports David Motton
If you like blue and artistic white space, you'll like this site. If not, it may leave you cold. Still, Mazda replied to our email in just over an hour, and there's a tax calculator allowing comparison between different models. But there's little extra to keep you coming back.
Merc's site is up with the best. It needs to expand the range of downloadable brochures, and others replied to our email more swiftly. But the tax calculator is clever, there's a freephone number for business customers and even a TWITTER feed.
MUST TRY HARDER
Mini needs more content to back up the style. We looked in vain for a price list (one 'link' leads to the car builder tool) and the downloadable brochures are too specific, so it's hard to compare models. The tax calc only gives results for one year too.
Animations Pixar would be proud of make this site look great, but ease of navigation sometimes suffers. There's too much clicking to get to what you want, and finding your way isn't intuitive. However, the new tax calculator is good, and we had a reply to our email in under an hour.
A clean-looking site where ease of use comes first. Price and spec sheets are simple to find, and the tax calc gives results for three years and allows comparison between cars. Shame the dealer finder doesn't give directions.
Renault's into Twitter but isn't as keen on email - we're still waiting for a reply to ours. However, its tax calc allows users to work backwards from their Budget to a shortlist of cars and there's a freephone number for fleet folk.
Seat's site now looks better and works well. The downloadable brochure gives P11D for the whole range, the tax calc allows comparisons between models and there's a fleet freephone number.
BEST OF THE BEST
If you like green, you'll like this. All you need is a few clicks away. It's good to see P11D price lists and a top-notch tax calculator. We even had a reply to our email on a Sunday!
Another site that's improved. You can now download fleet-specific guides to each model with P11D values and whole-life costs. We had a reply to our email in just over an hour and there's a long list of useful extras. However, the PDF of BIK bills is no substitute for a proper tax calculator.
It's good to find a P11D price list on Vauxhall's site - plenty of other brands would do well to follow suit. The tax calc works well but would be better still if users could compare models and if results were given for more than one year. Otherwise this is a useful and well thought out site.
VW is one of few brands to post a downloadable P11D price list, and the list of other useful extras is long. However, it's surprising that the tax calculator is a less sophisticated tool than you'll find on Seat or Skoda's sister sites. A quicker email response would have helped put VW among the front-runners.
There's not a lot wrong with Volvo's online offering - it just needs a little extra polish. The tax calculator is one of few that gives figures for rival products, and the downloadable price and specification guides are comprehensive. We waited a while for a response to our email, however.