Audi A6, Mercedes E220 top UK Exec Car List

April 24, 2006 ( - UK chief executives who are provided with an automobile as part of their compensation package most often end up with an Audi A6 or Mercedes E220, a new study found.

A Mercer Human Resource Consulting news release said that senior managers generally opt for the A6. The most popular cars for these employees in last year’s survey were the Mercedes 320 and BMW 5 Series.

This year, lower ranking staff who get company cars most often drove Audi A4, VW Passat and Vauxhall Vectra, according to the release.

The survey also found that company heads receive an average annual car allowance of £10,530, a 2% bump from last year. Senior managers get £8,450, up 3%, while the average allowance for middle/junior managers increased by 2% to £6,650. Meanwhile, sales representatives receive £6,450, a whopping 24% higher than last year’s allowance. Professionals continued to receive the lowest average allowance, at £5,280, despite a 15% increase.

“Company car allowances are one of the most expensive elements of an employee benefit package, so employers are generally trying to manage costs by keeping increases in line with inflation,” said David Wreford, UK Head of Human Capital Product Solutions at Mercer Human Resource Consulting, in the release. “However, the increase in sales representatives’ allowances suggests companies are under pressure to attract and retain this group of employees, due to demands for these skills.”

Across all employee groups, on average staff took between 10% and 20% below what they were entitled to in a lease, according to the study. “Many companies pass on any car lease savings to employees when the full entitlement is not used. Even where the company does not, employees still tend to take a lease below their entitlement because lower-cost cars tend to be more fuel and tax efficient and are more environmentally friendly,” said Wreford.

Forty-three percent of organizations allow employees to purchase the car at the end of the replacement period. Nearly eight in 10 companies (78%) offer employees the choice between a company car and a cash allowance, an increase of eight percentage points from last year.

These results are part of an international survey involving over 6,000 companies in 49 countries. Copies of Mercer’s 2006 International Car Policies Report cost €750 and are available from Client Services, Mercer Global Information Services, Geneva at +41 22 869 3000 or