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Company Car?

Old 12-21-21, 12:01 PM
Juan Foote
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Company Car?

I am attempting to negotiate a company car for use next year. My review comes up in February and it is one of the items I want to bring to the table. I do not expect more than a COL increase ~3% in income.

We opened a new office in Dec of last year. It is a 33 mile/45 min drive one way from home. I like working there, as so far I am not expected to be there every day. For the most part do 3 days one week, 2 the next. The owner is asking me to be there every day, early in the morning so that we can build on the good that has come of the office being in place so far. It has helped immensely in stock control, timely paperwork and so forth...but anyway, am getting off track.

I have never had a take home company car. I don't know what to expect so much as who pays for gas, maint., things of that nature. For those of you experienced in such matters I would appreciate some illumination.
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Old 12-21-21, 01:55 PM
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I had take home company pickups and service vans for many years back in the day. They always came with a couple gas cards and a company credit card for service/repairs while out of town. This benefit is just as much for their benefit as it is for yours, as it reliably puts you where they want you to be. Be advised this benefit can become somewhat addictive and you need to weigh the benefit against any additional BS they might expect of you. For that reason I walked away from that employer in 2006 and never looked backed.
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Old 12-21-21, 02:00 PM
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Wow, the only company car I ever had was the small truck I drove from time to time when the owner threw the keys at me. I biked to work.
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Old 12-21-21, 02:04 PM
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If it's a salesman's ride It's going to have excellent fuel economy and no guts or options.
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Old 12-21-21, 02:25 PM
Juan Foote
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
If it's a salesman's ride It's going to have excellent fuel economy and no guts or options.

At least not yet, lol.

I am of the hopes that I can negotiate something for (another) Prius. We went to them some years ago now and where the gas cost is great, the maint. isn't and in particular the lack of (give a ****) some of the techs treat them with. Two of them we have are a bit newer and quite nice to drive.
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Old 12-21-21, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Zinger View Post
If it's a salesman's ride It's going to have excellent fuel economy and no guts or options.
Not necessarily. It can vary wildly by company/industry. I've had a company vehicle in some form for most of the last 20 years. In my industry (Commercial Building Automation/HVAC) almost all field technicians have a company vehicle that they are allowed to drive home but can only use for work purposes. This is of some personal benefit, but it is limited since you usually will need a second vehicle for personal use. Most sales and management staff are provided a company vehicle that is eligible for personal use at a marginal cost. In my experience, the technician vehicles are usually pretty stripped down. But, the sales and management people are usually issued pretty well optioned vehicles. This makes sense if you consider the fact that they are expected to entertain customers and such.

For example, as a participant in my company's vehicle plan I am issued a brand new F150 crew cab XLT with all the usual options every 5 years or 100k miles. I'm allowed unlimited personal use. They cover all fuel, maintenance, and repair costs. I pay about $120/month for this privilege. To me this is a HUGE benefit, especially since I average 50k-60k miles a year.
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Old 12-21-21, 04:18 PM
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You should also consider asking for a car allowance which can be an option for companies that don't want the accounting hassle. Often this is easier to negotiate especially if your company does not provide cars to a lot of staff.
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Old 12-21-21, 07:59 PM
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Does your employment involve driving as part of your job, such as between an office and customer's facilities? If its only from home to work and back you're probably out of luck, the IRS only considers that your daily drive and does not look at it as re-imbursable. If you have to drive to customer's sites then you can probably get mileage, but companies usually based that on the IRS re-imbursement rate which is insufficient when you calculate the cost of a car. Try and get a 'car allowance' as N2deep mentions above.
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Old 12-26-21, 09:56 PM
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A company car or car allowance can potentially result in taxable income to you. Check with a CPA who is familiar with your income and tax position.
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Old 12-27-21, 02:00 AM
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I've had only a couple of jobs where company cars were an option.

One was as a car salesman. We could use demo cars, but were expected to log some sort of actual demonstrations to prospective customers. I didn't want to bother with that so I never used their cars. The advantage, especially for top sales personnel, was they could use almost any vehicle on the lot as a demo, including base model sports cars and high end cars. But if your sales declined, so did access to anything other than low end cars.

The other was working for the federal government, which had a relatively hassle free fleet of decent cars and, in some cases, pickups. I usually drove to and from work, and took a fleet car or truck to worksites -- the truck if the destination was a construction site. We only had to log mileage, and used the government credit card for gas and basic maintenance. Vehicles were rotated pretty often so failures were rare, although I was stranded once by a new-ish car that just quit. A co-worker picked me up.

Some colleagues preferred to use their own vehicles and claim mileage reimbursement. That required more documentation so I didn't bother. To me the reimbursement wasn't enough to offset the wear and tear, or risk of collisions and insurance claims -- our territory covered a huge chunk of north central Texas and we traveled a lot.

However, using a fleet vehicle for overnight or extended stays had serious limitations. For awhile I lived in a rural area about a 50 mile round trip from the office, and couldn't park the fleet vehicle at home overnight between work trips, so I had to make the round trips and add a couple of hours of unpaid travel time. I could have timed my trips to start and end with the workday, but that cut two hours or more out of my actual work time, which cost productivity and would impact my performance reviews. So we basically were coerced into traveling on our own time.

And we got conflicting information from supervisors. One claimed I couldn't use the fleet vehicle for a quick trip to a grocery store or pharmacy to pick up a toothbrush, toothpaste, etc., when I had to leave town on zero notice and stay at least overnight. The prominent government labels on the vehicles could make us a target for consumer watchdog types (lots of local government and school district employees were caught using official vehicles for personal reasons), so I didn't take the chance. I think the hotel where I stayed offered toothbrushes and toothpaste anyway.

That's one reason some colleagues preferred to use their own vehicles, and when we traveled together they had the flexibility to stop wherever they liked to eat, shop for necessities for extended stays, take a spouse with them for extended stays, etc.
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Old 12-27-21, 05:26 AM
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Home to office miles are taxable.

If it is a small and family owned business, they might go for it. If your company is part of a corporation, I doubt it.

I've had company owned vehicles. I never liked all the paperwork (mileage logs)
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Old 12-27-21, 12:09 PM
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There really are a lot of different ways that companies use to keep track of cars, so the important thing is to really understand the details of your perq.

One company I worked for had pool cars so we were expected to use those for company business and log the mileage because it was billable.
But we could use our own cars and write expense reports for reimbursement.
So the people who did get company cars had a deal where the company would buy it and give it to you, but you had to expense the mileage used for company business, prove you had the right insurance and registration, and pay for your own gas and maintenance. Lots of people said they didn't really like the arrangement even though they got a better car than they would have bought on their own.
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