Dealers often have to meet stringent monthly quotas to gain access to discounts offered by the supplying manufacturer. If a dealer falls short of the sales target during the period they may be compelled to register some of their own cars to themselves in order to meet targets. These pre-registered cars technically have one previous owner, the dealership.

Company car tax is based on a vehicle's list price from the date it is registered. Any extra options, like alloy wheels, are added to the list price when working out company car tax. As a company car driver paying company car tax you can ignore the flashy discounts and offers dealers use as haggling tools because they will have no bearing on you or the amount that you will pay each month in tax.

Interestingly, Ford has recently realised they were excluding one of their target markets, the company car tax paying driver, and have made some big adjustments in their Mondeo pricing line up to address this.

Let me explain. The Ford Mondeo is well placed as a company car with lots of equipment as standard. Standard equipment is important remember because you would have to pay extra each month in company car tax for any options you choose to add to the car.

In March this year, if you were to go into a Ford dealership a salesman was very likely to offer huge discounts on a Mondeo. It was widely known that you could expect £2000-£3000 off. With this as common practice the list price becomes fairly irrelevant, except to the poor company car driver, who is forced to respect the higher list price because the law says so when considering company car tax. So Ford realised they were missing out on the company car buyer potential and slashed the Mondeo list price back to their real world prices.

It is currently possible to find an entry level Mondeo at a lower list price than a similar engined/grade Ford Focus. So if your fleet manager gives you the choice of a Focus or a Mondeo we urge you to take a look at the actual company car tax for each before presuming the larger Mondeo will cost you more.

Finally, if you are getting a Mondeo make sure you check it hasnt been pre-registered, otherwise you may be paying company car tax against one of the prices displayed below rather than todays list price.

Model Derivative May 2009 Dec 2009 Mar 2010 May 2010
Focus 1.6i Style 100PS £16295 £16995 £17870 £17945
Mondeo 1.6 Ti-VCT Edge 125PS* £18095 £18745 £19760 £17295

*An interesting point is that the Mondeo engine has a higher power output and therefore offers even more value for money in this comparison.