Most drivers spend their time commuting, though it may not be the best driving experience in the world. It is a vital part of our culture however; there is even a set of towns known as “part of the commuter belt.” Lets dive into the phenomena of commuting and the types of car best suited for it.
The Company Car:
The 1960’s was especially known for the introduction of a specific commuter vehicle; the company car, given as part of the job package. As the name suggests the vehicle does need to have the approval of your company and are usually of the “city car” appearance, rather than something like an SUV. It’s part of something called an incentive package. Starting around World War II, when businesses were capped on how much they could pay employees, businesses have responded with incentives. They initially took the form of retirement and health insurance plans, but in the 60’s they also included a company car, and it’s a tool to attract talent still today.
According to the website mybusiness.com 71.3% of all businesses have a company car, while an additional 6.1% have a “car allowance,” for fuel and so on.
The company car comes in many forms starting with a fleet vehicle which you can take home with you overnight. The car is owned and maintained by an employer but you don’t have to put miles on your personal car getting to and from work.
Another common type of company car is when the company leases or buys a car for your use, pretty much without restriction. In this scenario, you typically make your own maintenance arrangements and pay for it yourself, but at least you don’t have a car payment to deal with. Not many people realize that you can sell the company car in the future. For this reason, it may be worthwhile using your own private vehicle on the weekend or whenever you aren’t at work.
Sometimes the company will pay for maintenance just to be sure you’re taking care of it. There are a few companies that also pay for gas, with the stipulation that you’re not charging them for personal use gas–on vacation for example. It’s a bit of gray area.
Non-Company Commuter Cars
For the rest of this post, I will assume that you don’t have a company car. If you commute more than 60 miles a day it pays to have your own vehicle, it is best to look for something fuel efficient and comfortable. It is not cost-effective for a couple to rely on one car if both of you commute, but it all depends on maintenance costs, insurance and how much you earn.
The top three priorities for a commuter car are fuel efficiency, comfort, and reliability.
Good cars for a commuter include the Nissan Leaf especially for those who require an eco-friendly car. It helps if your workplace has charging stations. The 40kWh charger allows for 149 mile range. Confusingly the e-Pedal system that they utilise is a mechanical system, but it gives, according to reports, effective braking.
An alternative would be the Chevrolet Sonic which has an abundant level of space allowing you to sit in comfort whether in the back or the front. Also adding to the driving enjoyment is Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay.
Hyandai Elantra has similar plus points in its upholstery with its sizable headroom and legroom, as does the Chevrolet Cruze which has the special upgrade of heated seats, which is so important when commuting on a cold day.
Maybe you will get a new car for the new year – keep life fresh?