Business Car Awards 2020
18 December 2020
We recognise and reward excellence in the fleet sector in our annual Business Car Awards. This year, the event took a different format, as we navigated around the coronavirus pandemic, and brought you the event on an interactive virtual platform. While the awards were presented in three separate video sections, guests were also able to comment on the noticeboards and get involved in discussions in the networking area. And the event sponsors, Europcar Mobility Group, the AA and VisionTrack, hosted booths in the showroom area.
The Supplier Awards
Best Leasing Company (fewer than 25,000 vehicles): Activa Contracts
Activa Contracts impressed judges with its commitment to customer service and attention to detail. The small team rose to the combined challenges of the implementation of WLTP for CO2 emissions, and zero tax for EVs, providing a level of support that was welcomed by customers.
Best Leasing Company (more than 25,000 vehicles): Arval
Arval has a strong record for customer service, a strong zero-emission car focus, and works to support the hydrogen vehicle infrastructure in the UK. It has adapted well to a shifting market, providing excellent support for customers as well as expert consultancy.
Best Daily Rental Company: Enterprise
Enterprise responded rapidly this year when circumstances changed, listening to customers and supporting them. Its daily rental and car club services are integrated, offering a suite of options for business travellers. It also has the UK's largest daily rental fleet.
Highly commended: Europcar Mobility Group
Customer Service Award: AA
A raft of glowing testimonials confirmed the AA's commitment to its customers. The company has forged partnerships with associations in the business sector, developing bespoke contracts, as well as adapting to provide extra support for essential workers during the coronavirus lockdown.
Highly commended: Licence Bureau
Best Green Initiative: Arval
Arval has taken a lead in exploring how the future might look with its focus on electric vehicles. Its target to double the market share of EVs on its own fleet, and develop specialist knowledge in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, have enabled its consultancy to offer advice as a result of first-hand experience.
Best Remarketing Company: Aston Barclay
It might not be the biggest remarketing group, but Aston Barclay's 'digital business with physical fulfilment' philosophy continues to lead the industry. Strong on innovation, the company pushes the boundaries of what was thought possible in the remarketing sector, and is winning new customers as a result.
Highly commended: BCA
Best Risk Management Company: eDriving
The company combines the best elements of driver safety, telematics, licence checking, driver monitoring, and collision reporting data with the latest smartphone-based telematics technology, micro-learning and behaviour change management techniques to help organisations see a total risk picture across their fleet. Testimonials from some household-name brands show it works.
Highly commended: Red Driver Training
Best Innovation: Adesa
Adesa claims its Intelligent Vehicle Inspection product is a game changer, using AI to streamline the process of buying and selling, empowering drivers to log inspections of end-of-contract company cars with fully costed damage reports while paying attention to fair wear and tear guidelines.
Best Telematics Product: VisionTrack
VisionTrack combines video with telematics and creates a proposition that's vital in ensuring that fleets aren't as vulnerable to fraudulent or exaggerated claims by third parties, which can increase incidents, claims, their cost and premiums.
Best Software Product: Enterprise
Enterprise Travel Direct is an online vehicle booking tool that delivers compliance and demand management. It was developed by Enterprise to allow customers to manage non-company car employees' business travel and to control reliance on grey fleet. Employee journeys are profiled against corporate policy and it directs the user to the most compliant choice.
Safety Award: eDriving
Mentor by eDriving is a smartphone-based driver safety programme that combines eDriving's continuous improvement methodology with smartphone telematics to provide an innovative product that not only identifies risk driving behaviour,
but also remediates it with in-app micro-training.
Highly commended: VisionTrack
Fleet Supplier of the Year: VisionTrack
Following last year's success when it scored a hat-trick, VisionTrack picked up its second trophy of the event, with judges liking the company's comprehensive approach to safety and compliance, as well as all the benefits that leads to for its fleet customers.
Highly commended: ARI
Car and Manufacturer Awards
Best Electric Car: Peugeot E-2008
The E-2008 is an electric version of a new model already available with petrol and diesel engines. It has just enough range to take occasional longer journeys in its stride, is affordable and has an upmarket feel.
Highly commended: Kia E-Niro
Best Plug-in Hybrid: Mercedes-Benz A 250e
With a longer EV range than any other plug-in hybrid in this price bracket, the Mercedes-Benz A 250e rewards drivers with just 6% BIK tax, and a high level of standard equipment.
Highly commended: Vauxhall Grandland X Hybrid
Best Small Car: Renault Clio
It might look familiar, but the latest Clio is entirely new. Its restructured range is simpler and the new model provides a more luxurious feel, with good equipment levels, while providing excellent value.
Highly commended: Peugeot 208
Best Lower-medium Car: Skoda Octavia
Judges liked the simplicity of the new Octavia, as well as its ability as a high-mileage workhorse. But it also made an impression through its attractive styling, strong equipment levels, and availability of hatchback and estate versions from launch.
Highly commended: Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf
Best Upper-medium Car: Skoda Superb
The Superb range underwent a refresh for 2020, and strengthened its credentials as a smooth and elegant large saloon or estate car with low running costs and strong desirability.
Highly commended: Peugeot 508
Best Value Car: Dacia Duster
The Dacia Duster looks good and ticks a lot of boxes for public sector fleets. Available with four-wheel drive for those who need to go off-road, Dacia also added LPG-converted Bi-Fuel variants in 2020, offering potential for fleets to further reduce costs.
Highly commended: Suzuki Swift
Driver's Choice: Land Rover Defender
It might not be sporty, but the highly anticipated launch of the new Defender, arguably 78 years in the making, has made it the vehicle that most drivers want to be seen in during 2020. Capable off-road, but now much more refined, and with a starring role in the new James Bond movie, the Defender comes out on top.
Best Compact SUV: Ford Puma
The Puma rewrites the rule book for compact SUVs, with smart packaging offering unrivalled practicality. It's also fun to drive, and uses fuel-efficient engines.
Highly commended: Peugeot 2008
Best Medium SUV: Ford Kuga
Teething troubles with the plug-in hybrid aside, the third-generation Kuga was introduced in 2020 and offers a compelling prospect for user choosers and fleets alike, with a car that's well equipped, practical, and has bags of driver appeal, as well as modest running costs.
Highly commended: Toyota C-HR
Best Premium Medium SUV: BMW X1
BMW's early and rapid deployment of RDE2-compliant engines, which have specific benefits for company car drivers, along with the all-round competence of the X1, made it the choice of our expert judging panel.
Highly commended: Range Rover Evoque
Best Premium Large SUV: Mercedes-Benz GLB
The GLB impressed with its ability to provide seven-seat practicality using the same platform as Mercedes-Benz's compact models. Available with a range of RDE2-compliant diesels, as well as petrol variants, it looks good on paper, and performs well in practice.
Highly commended: BMW X5
Best Premium Car: BMW 3 Series
Last year's category winner and New Company Car of the Year is still a favourite among its immediate rivals, offering a choice of RDE2-compliant diesels, or petrol engines, as well as a low total cost of ownership.
Highly commended: Audi A4
Best Executive Car: BMW 5 Series
The 5 Series has matured into a highly desirable package just ahead of its mid-life revision for this generation. It rewards drivers with a choice of RDE2-compliant diesels as well as attractive petrol alternatives.
Highly commended: Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Most Improved Manufacturer: Skoda
Skoda's submission highlighted perfectly the raft of improvements the fleet team has made in the past year, enhancing its digital technology to support fleet customers, as well as boosting its level of service. It has also added particular model derivatives that deliver better value for fleet users.
Highly commended: Groupe Renault
Green Fleet Manufacturer: Toyota and Lexus
Toyota pioneered the first full hybrid car in the Prius, and had been pioneering hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. While almost the entire car range is now hybrid, the focus on the environment runs throughout the business, with zero waste to landfill at factories and offices, and landscaping to support wildlife habitats. An environmental focus is part of the DNA.
Highly commended: Groupe PSA
Editor's Choice: Vauxhall
Taking action to reduce on-the-road prices on some Business Edition models, such as the new Grandland X Hybrid, ensures drivers get the full benefit in their company car tax liability, as well as employers' costs such as National Insurance contributions. Vauxhall remains a key player in the fleet sector.
Highly commended: DriveTech
Fleet Manager of the Year: Matthew Hammond, Altrad
Altrad has a mixed fleet of cars, LCVs and HGVs, as well as a number of grey fleet drivers, and has committed to replacing cars with hybrids and EVs. It has also invested heavily in telematics to target driver education to improve safety, as well as reduce accidents and vehicle downtime.
Green Fleet of the Year: Mitie, Simon King
Not only has Mitie accelerated its shift to electric vehicles from internal combustion engines, it also uses telematics to ensure its vehicles are being used as efficiently as possible. It operates a policy of electric first for vehicle replacement, and by the end of 2020 expects its small van and car fleet to be well in excess of 20% electric.
Highly commended: Gloucestershire Constabulary, Police Scotland
Fleet Manufacturer of the Year: Mercedes-Benz
Offering fleets early access to a wide range of RDE2-compliant diesels, as well as getting plug-in hybrid variants on the market in a crucial year, Mercedes-Benz has backed this up with a restructured fleet team set up to deliver increased true fleet sales. It's a worthy winner in 2020.
New Company Car of the Year: Ford Puma
The Puma takes Ford into a new era, with low overall operating costs, lively performance, and excellent practicality for a compact small car. It has a broad appeal, and we're sure many company car drivers would be happy to see it on their choice lists.