Tips for Buying a Business Car

A business woman driving a white business car with packages in the passenger's seat.From proving handy for deliveries to providing reliable transportation between work locations, there are some noteworthy benefits to investing in a company-owned vehicle. However, just like any major purchase, there are some key items to consider before signing over the check. Since there are many potential issues and complicated procedures that can cause some hefty company setbacks, let’s review some tips for buying a business car.

Reasons to Buy a Business Car

Beyond providing transportation for you workers or services, there are some other notable benefits to buying a business car. Two of the top reasons company’s purchase a work vehicle include:

  • Tax Advantages: There are numerous ways to claim tax benefits on your company vehicle, such as deductions relating to mileage, car insurance, and other expenses.
  • No Effect on Personal Insurance: A business car won’t affect your personal auto insurance, and any accidents that occur relating to business use will only impact the business’s policy.

For these reasons, business owners and employees consider a company car as an employment benefit and a way to draw in or retain talent.

Should You Buy or Lease Your Business Car?

Purchasing a car likely requires a loan, which you’ll have to pay back even if your car’s value sinks below the residual loan amount. That’s means an auto accident can leave you with an extra expenditure. However, if you lease, the vehicle’s wear and tear may lower the cost of the lease. Also, upfront costs for both options vary: You’ll need an initial down payment if you’re purchasing but only the first month’s payment and security deposit if you’re leasing. While both options allow you to deduct mileage expenses from your taxes, qualifying for a depreciation tax deduction requires you to own the vehicle.

What to Consider When Buying a Business Car

First, determine how your car will be used. Will it be used to travel to sales meetings across state lines or to deliver pizzas locally? This helps you understand the type of commercial auto insurance you’ll need and whether additional liability coverage is required. Other car-hunting considerations include:

  • Business Promotion: If you’re intending to dress and paint your vehicle to promote your business, make sure the car is in good condition as to not give a poor first impression.
  • Tech Features: Consider features such as telematics for better fleet management, GPS, automatic emergency braking, or cell phone blocking tech to prevent distracted driving.
  • Fuel Economy: Whether cross-country or strictly local use, business vehicles take on a lot of miles. Ensure your vehicle has high fuel efficiency.

While taking these factors into account, you should also perform a cost-benefit analysis. You should look beyond the purchase price and carefully consider whether borrowing money to pay for the car is worth the interest on the loan.

Register and Insure Your Company Car

Vehicle registration varies by state, and the requirements are based on the vehicle’s weight. While the dealer will likely take care of the registration for you, it’s recommended you read up on your state’s registration requirements. The car needs to be registered within a month of purchase, and it requires proof of auto insurance. You should invest in commercial vehicle insurance, but as different policies provide different levels of protection, you’ll want to call your insurance agent to make sure you have appropriate coverage.

Buying a business car can seem like a complicated process, but performing a bit of research before signing on the dotted line can save your company from a costly mistake. It’s also crucial you have the right amount of coverage for your vehicle to protect you from property damage and medical costs should an accident occur. At TJ Woods Insurance, our agents can match you with the right commercial auto insurance to ensure your business remains safe. Contact us today if you require protection for your new business car.