We haven’t just switched to electric company cars – we’ve moved to Tesla
Originally, I was looking to buy a Porsche, but a friend of mine introduced me to Tesla. I had vaguely heard of the brand at the time, but I liked the idea of a car which had the performance of a sportscar but could also sit the whole family and was good for the environment. My friend said that if I went for a test drive, I would be certain to buy one after. He was right and I bought one of the very last of the original Model S in May 2016.
I have had a personal interest in going green for several years. This was traditionally a little half-hearted with recycling and solar panels. After buying a Tesla, I joined Tesla Owners UK and the community discussion there is often not only about the cars, but also about sustainability. These conversations have highlighted to me that I need to move to a more sustainable lifestyle – not only in my personal life, but also within my business.
I chose Tesla initially because it was the only electric vehicle that was capable to travel long distances, which is a requirement for my business. It was also the right budget and specification. In addition to this, Tesla is seen as a high-tech car and is admired by my employees and gives the right impression to my customers and suppliers. We haven’t just switched to electric company cars – we’ve moved to Tesla!
I own a software company and we have a mixture of employees. Some have a company car for their job role, and we have now migrated them all from their previous diesel cars to Tesla. For these employees, compared to the Kia Optimas they were previously driving, they have immediately gained a pay rise of approximately £1,500 per annum due to the Benefit in Kind tax saving.
In addition to this, we also operate a salary sacrifice scheme which run for us by a leasing company. This allows any member of staff to take a car and pay for it from their own wage. One employee chose a Tesla Model 3, and this worked out cheaper per month after tax and fuel than the Skoda Fabia he was running previously! He has had a major vehicle upgrade for no more overall cost to him.
We have made major use of the 100% First Year Allowance on all our Teslas. This means that on the day that we have purchased each Model 3, we can deduct the total purchase price from our taxable profits and therefore reduce our tax bill by over £8,000. This effectively pays for the initial deposit and all of the first year’s repayments.
I have personally owned a Model 3, Model X and also a Model S P100D. I am thankful to have my Tesla every day I get into it. I used my Model S as a wedding car for my son’s wedding. It was a great way to arrive in style! I love the smoothness of the drive and the instant performance when you need it. On long motorway drives, I let Autopilot take the strain and long journeys are now so much more relaxing. You get so used to the silence to the point that on the rare occasion when I have to go in an old petrol or diesel car, the noise really drives me mad. I love that I never need to waste the 20 minutes every week to refuel. My Tesla gets a full battery every day on my home charger.
When I’m out and about on longer road trips, range anxiety is never an issue. Nowadays, the Supercharger network has grown so much that there are plenty of choices of where to stop (I have my favourite stops of course!). Every Supercharger is located where a charging break can coincide with a food stop, which is essential. I don’t want myself or my team stopping “just to charge”. Over the years, I’ve met many Tesla owners at Superchargers – many are people I know from the Tesla owner discussion groups, and it’s always great to meet them in real life.
For my job, I regularly will drive to meetings right across the country. I’m based in Yorkshire, but I have been as far north as Aberdeen and as far south as Cornwall and pretty much everywhere else in between. I have also been abroad in my Tesla. Myself, my family and our two dogs in tow went to the middle of France. The trip was 850 miles door to door, including the Eurotunnel. Planning journeys just doesn’t really happen. I simply get in, put my destination into the cars sat nav and then just let it plan my route and stops for me. It’s simple and straightforward.
The Tesla app is just brilliant. The ability to get up in the morning, look out the window and see the car is icy and just hit a button on the phone so that the car starts warming up and defrosting whilst I’m in the shower – It’s just amazing! The app also allows me to book a service in a few clicks, and much of the work can be done by Mobile Service Technicians without visiting the Tesla centre. This reduces “downtime” for my team as the car can be worked on wherever they happen to be.
I constantly recommend Tesla to other businesses looking for company cars. It ticks all the boxes being highly tax efficient for both the company and the employee. By driving electric vehicles, it shows our customers how much we value sustainability. On top of this, staff retention and satisfaction are more important than ever, so offering high performance and comfortable company vehicles shows our employees that they are valued. Finally, using Tesla means that I can now say my company is taking the right steps to becoming carbon neutral.