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The start point for the best source of fleet information

Web masters

Date: 26 October 2017

Dave Motton puts the UK's top 20 fleet manufacturer websites to the test.

The average adult now spends more time online than sleeping, according to figures from Ofcom.

So for any manufacturer keen to communicate clearly and effectively with company car drivers and fleet managers, a compelling website is vital. 

It makes our annual survey of manufacturer websites more important than ever. As in previous years, we've looked over the top 20 sites, judged by each brand's fleet sales volume. 

Spending more time online doesn't mean fleet decision-makers have time to waste. So we're looking for sites that make it easy to find fleet-specific content, with clear signposting and straightforward navigation. The easier the site is on the eye, the better, but we're not interested in design flourishes that compromise ease of use.

As useful as it is to research online, at some point you may want to visit a dealer. So it's important to be able to find details of local franchisees quickly, especially if the dealer finder tool includes useful extra features such as independent reviews of the dealer's sales and servicing departments.

For larger fleets, it may be more appropriate to deal with a central business sales team, so the easier it is to them, the better. Ideally, we're looking for an 0800 number for the fleet team, plus individual details with direct email addresses and phone numbers, together with a clear sense of each person's area of responsibility.

Not every query will be within office hours, so we also assessed how quickly emails receive a response.

If a site is informative and well designed, it should be a while before you need to fire off an email. In our book, basic information such as P11D pricing should be simple to find and presented in a format that's easy to digest. 

More people now visit websites using their smartphones and tablets, rather than desktop computers, so we're looking for sites that render well on mobile devices, and still offer access to fleet-specific tools and content.

Sometimes an app works better than a conventional website, especially offline. There's some credit for mobile-to-car connectivity apps, but we're really looking for a useful business tool such as a mileage tracker app.

The core of any website for business drivers and fleet decision-makers is a good tax calculator. As usual, we've relied on Carmen Data for expert analysis, making sure the calculators are thorough and accurate. Finally, we've scoured each site for extras and clever tools that enhance the online experience.

Audi - 69%

 Ease of use 4/5

 Find a dealer 4/5

 Telephone/live chat 4.5/5

 Email response 3.5/5

 Social media 4/5

 P11D prices and data 3/5

 Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

 Apps 3.5/5

 Tax calculator 0/5

 Extras 4.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, shortlist tool/whole-life cost calculator, car comparison tool (Audi versus Audi), fleet comparison tool, contract-hire quote calculator, fuel cost calculator

This year, Audi's tax calculator suffers the ignominy of a minus score from Carmen Data - we've taken a kinder view and awarded a score of zero, rather than docking points. There are too many errors, the tax rates are outdated and the A3 selector page failed to load. On the plus side, there's a shortlisting tool that allows comparisons between Audi models and three rivals, and a mileage tracker app, although it doesn't have strong reviews from users. The site is slick and good-looking, and details for the fleet team are easy to find.

Audi Website

BMW - 64% 

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 2.5/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 3.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 3.5/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, shortlist tool, car comparison tool, PDF guides, magazine, newsletter, corporate SMR guide

Our email to BMW is still waiting for an answer - a surprise when we had a response in just over an hour last year. However, BMW's website has its plus points, with some useful PDF guides and tools that allow comparisons between one BMW and another or against rivals. The comprehensive tax calculator earns a strong score and would have done better still if Carmen Data hadn't noticed a couple of errors. The website works well on tablets and smartphones too, with access to the same useful tools.

BMW Website

Citroen - 67%

Ease of use 4.5/5

Find a dealer 4.5/5

Telephone/live chat 2.5/5

Email response 3/5

Social media 4.5/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 2.5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 2/5

Extras 3.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, car comparison tool (Citroen versus rivals), contract-hire quotes, Motability offers

Citroen's website is bright, colourful and easy to navigate and offers easy to find P11D values and BIK percentages for the whole range. We're also pleased to see that Citroen is active on LinkedIn, as well as the usual social media suspects like Facebook and . However, it's not easy to find a number or email address for the central fleet team, although we had a response to our email query within one working day. The tax calculator is mostly accurate but rather too basic for our liking.

Citroenwebsite

Fiat - 72%

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 2.5/5

Email response 3/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 5/5

Extras 3/5

Car builder, test drive requests, contract-hire offers, taxation PDF guides

Without  a doubt, the star feature on Fiat's website is the tax calculator. Carmen Data could find no errors and rated it as one of the most comprehensive around. It takes a bit of searching for, but there's a P11D price list for the whole range that includes BIK percentages too. Another plus is the savvy way Fiat uses LinkedIn to communicate with business customers. However, to challenge the best sites, we'd like extra tools and features, and a freephone or low-rate number for the fleet and business team.

Fiatwebsite

Ford - 69%

Ease of use 3/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 2.5/5

Email response 4.5/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 3.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 3.5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 4/5

Extras 3/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service bookings, whole-life cost calculator

Ford's website was starting to look a little tired and the recent makeover is much fresher - so long as you're a fan of blue. However, it's a shame that the 'fleet' section is now harder to find. Click on 'shop', look for the 'specialist sales' sub menu and 'fleet' is the first option. There's a 'live chat' button, but we'd really like to see individual details for key members of the fleet team. The tax calculator works well and is accurate, and we had a response to our email query in just over half an hour.

Ford Website

Hyundai - 61%

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 5/5

Telephone/live chat 4/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 3.5/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 3/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 0/5

Extras 4.5/5

Car builder, test driver requests, service booking, car chooser/shortlist tool, whole-life cost calculator, contract-hire offers, Motability offers, Revoo reviews

So long as you like the grey-and-blue colour scheme, Hyundai's site looks good and is easy to find your way around. It takes moments to find details for the fleet team, although a little frustrating to have only a general email address and phone number, despite being given individual names and areas of responsibility. It's a real shame that Carmen Data couldn't get any results to appear when it checked the tax calculator, and we're still waiting on a response to the ' us' form we filled in.

Hyundai WebsiteLand Rover - 76%

Ease of use 4.5/5

Find a dealer 3.5/5

Telephone/live chat 4.5/5

Email response 3/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 4.5/5

Extras 3.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, car comparison tool, contract-hire calculator, financial services PDF guide

Few sites look as good as Land Rover's. Its style is backed up with a lot more substance than previously, with useful extras including a car comparison tool to help rate Land Rover models against competitors. We had a response to our email in just under a day (last year, we never heard back) and Carmen Data continues to rate the tax calculator as one of the best, with no errors and detailed results. A few more tools and an app aimed at business users would push Land Rover further up the leaderboard.

Land Rover Website

Honda - 60%

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4.5/5

Telephone/live chat 2.5/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 4.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 0/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, contract-hire calculator, SMR tool (needs password), fleet and business offers, Revoo reviews

Frustratingly, Honda's tax calculator returned blank results when Carmen Data assessed it. What's more, we had no response to our email. That means scores of zero in two key categories, which is a real shame as otherwise there's a lot to like. The 'Corporate range' section gives access to a P11D price list, complete with BIK percentages and tax bills, and the site is good-looking, colourful and easy to use. There are some handy extra features too, although the SMR tool requires a password.

Hondawebsite

Kia - 70%

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4.5/5

Telephone/live chat 2/5

Email response 4/5

Social media 3.5/5

P11D prices and data 1/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4.5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 4.5/5

Extras 4.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, reference guides and manuals, shortlist/car comparison tool, contract-hire quotes, Motability offers, Revoo reviews

Kia's website combines good looks and easy navigation. What's more, the tax calculator is excellent: it's comprehensive and free of any errors that Carmen Data could spot. In previous years, Kia has been among the quickest to respond to email queries; this year, we had a reply in an hour, along with an apology for not having responded sooner. However, we'd like Kia to make it easier to find P11D pricing for every model, and individual s for members of the fleet team would be a definite plus.

Kiawebsite

Mercedes-Benz - 81%

Ease of use 3.5/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 5/5

Email response 4.5/5

Social media 3.5/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4.5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 5/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, shortlist tool, comparison tool, contract-hire offers, fleet magazine, fleet and business range PDF guide

There's a new look to the Mercedes-Benz website this year, with a lighter design and larger type - welcome changes if you spend much of your day staring at a screen. That said, it's slightly harder to find the 'fleet and business' section than it used to be. We're pleased to see details for individuals within the fleet team, and we had an answer to our email in under an hour. There's an excellent tax calculator, and a long list of useful tools and features.

Mercedes -Benz Fleet

Mini - 57%

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 2.5/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 4.5/5

P11D prices and data 4.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 0/5

Extras 2.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, car comparison tool, contract hire offers, model chooser tool (did not work), BIK bandings (did not work)

Last year, Mini's tax calculator had too many errors to score well. This year, it was down when Carmen Data tried to assess it, so it scores zero. Ten more points are dropped as we had no response to our email query. However, Mini makes up some ground with attractive design and easy navigation, along with lots of activity on social media - especially . It's good to see the brochures contain P11D pricing and BIK percentages, but overall Mini has work to do.

Mini Website

Peugeot - 80%

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 3.5/5

Email response 4/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 4.5/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, MOT/service bookings, business offers, shortlist/comparison tool, contract-hire calculator, MyPeugeot personalised content, Revoo reviews

Few sites are as well designed and easy to navigate as Peugeot's. The home page is bolder and less busy than it used to be, but it's still a straightforward task to find the content you need. We had a response to our email in 90 minutes and there's an 0800 number if you'd rather call the business team but we couldn't find the individual details that were a plus point of the site last year. The tax calculator is comprehensive, easy to use and error-free.

Seat - 72%

Ease of use 3.5/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 5/5

Email response 3.5/5

Social media 3/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 5/5

Extras 1.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, online manuals, contract-hire offers

Seat's tax calculator continues to earn top marks from Carmen Data, alongside those from Fiat, Mercedes-Benz and Skoda. However, we'd like to see Seat offer more tools and an app aimed at business users. It's a good website overall, make no mistake, but a greater breadth of content would push it closer to the sharp end. On the plus side, it took less than half a day to respond to our email and there's a comprehensive list of individual s for the fleet team, as well as an 0800 number.

SEAT Website

Nissan - 83% WINNER 

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 5/5

Telephone/live chat 5/5

Email response 4/5

Social media 3.5/5

P11D prices and data 5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4.5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 4/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, shortlist tool, whole-life cost calculator, contract-hire offers, fleet newsletter

Last year, Nissan responded to our email in just ten minutes. This year, it took an hour and a half - still very impressive. If you'd rather have someone phone you, it's easy to request a callback and the site efficiently directs you to the right , depending on the size of your fleet. Brochures show the P11D value, BIK percentage and the monthly bill for 20, 40 and 45% taxpayers. The tax calculator is accurate, although the inclusion of options data would make it better still. All told, our winner is a very strong site with no major weaknesses.

 

Nissan Website

Renault - 65%  

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 5/5

Telephone/live chat 5/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 3/5

P11D prices and data 2/5

Mobile/tablet websites 5/5

Apps 2.5/5

Tax calculator 2/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, shortlist tool, contract-hire offers, online magazine (but no new edition since 2016), separate website for small businesses

Renault has a new website in addition to renault.co.uk. Drivemybusiness.co.uk has tips for small-business owners, although it leans more towards LCVs rather than cars. The regular site consolidates the improvements we noted last year, with details for the fleet team and an easy-to-use smartphone website. There are some useful extras and the tax calculator is accurate, if rather basic, but Renault needs to kick on again to challenge the best sites. Answering our email would be a good start.

Renault Website

Skoda - 73%

 

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 5/5

Email response 4.5/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 3.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4/5

Apps 0/5

Tax calculator 5/5

Extras 2.5/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, fleet offers, PDF guide to company car tax

Within an hour of getting in touch, Skoda responded to our email. That was followed up with a phone call the next day. There's an 0800 number if you prefer phone to email, and details for individuals in the fleet department. The same thoroughness applies to Skoda's tax calculator, which is as good as any, according to Carmen Data's careful analysis. However, when we downloaded Skoda's Driver Connect app we couldn't make it work - other recent reviews online say the same. And there are few extra features and tools.

Skoda

Toyota - 77%

Ease of use 4/5

Find a dealer 4/5

Telephone/live chat 4.5/5

Email response 5/5

Social media 4.5/5

P11D prices and data 4/5

Mobile/tablet websites 4.5/5

Apps 4.5/5

Tax calculator 0.5/5

Extras 3/5

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, recall checker, fleet brochure PDF, contract-hire offers, Motability offers, owner reviews

Toyota continues to promote its whole-life cost analysis tool, but you'll need to visit a dealer to use it. However, Toyota is one of the few brands with useful apps aimed at fleet customers, with a tax calculator and a guide to taxation. There are PDF downloads listing every model sorted by P11D value, BIK percentage and tax bill, but we'd rather have a proper tax calculator. Still, you can't argue with the quantity or quality of Toyota's social media output across a variety of platforms.

Toyota Website

Volkswagen - 65%

Ease of use 4.5/5

Find a dealer 5/5

Telephone/live chat 3.5/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 4/5

P11D prices and data 3.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 5/5

Apps 2.4/5

Tax calculator 2.5/5

Extras 4.5/5 

Car builder, test drive requests, service booking, shortlisting and comparison tool, residual value comparisons, whole-life cost calculator

While Volkswagen's tax calculator is accurate, it's rather basic. More detail would improve this tool considerably. However, there are plenty of other useful features, including a whole-life cost calculator, and a combined shortlisting and car comparison tool that helps you choose a VW to suit your needs, then compare it with rivals. It doesn't take a lot of clicking to find a P11D price list that includes BIK percentages, though if monthly tax bills were included it would be even better. We filled out a ' us' form but had no response to our query.

VW Website

 

Vauxhall - 82%

Ease of use 5/5

Find a dealer 4.5/5

Telephone/live chat 4.5/5

Email response 0/5

Social media 3/5

P11D prices and data 5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 5/5

Apps 5/5

Tax calculator 4/5

Extras 5/5

Car builder, test driver requests, service booking, whole-life cost calculator, fleet emissions calculator, car leasing rates, literature archive (such as historical pricing), listing by CO2 band, newsletter

So, Vauxhall has narrowly missed out on winning this survey for the umpteenth year. Things didn't get off to a promising start when our first email bounced back (we double-checked we had used the address given) and our second email to a different address received no response. Otherwise, though, it's the usual parade of high marks. The tax calculator isn't the best but it's very good, and now displays annual and monthly BIK amounts. No other website has so many useful extras and the Roadtrip app is a useful tool for business drivers. 

Vauxhallwebsite

 

Volvo - 69%

Ease of use 3.5/5

Find a dealer 3.5/5

Telephone/live chat 3/5

Email response 4.5/5

Social media 3/5

P11D prices and data 3.5/5

Mobile/tablet websites 3.5/5

Apps 4/5

Tax calculator 2/5

Extras 4/5

Car builder, test drive requests, car comparison tool, business offers, online magazine, owner reviews, public sector newsletter

Volvo's site looks good, although it makes you work harder than most to find the fleet section. Once there, a handy tool allows comparisons between Volvos and with rivals. You can quickly find price lists, complete with P11D values and BIK percentages, and it's good to see a tax guide app aimed at business users. Volvo doesn't list details for individuals within the fleet team, although we had a swift response when we emailed the generic business team address - a big improvement on last year, when we never heard back.

 



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