Top 10: Company car hot list

The most popular searches on What Car?'s company car tax calculator...

Top 10: Company car hot list

The company car tax calculator allows users to work out the HMRC company car tax charge they'll be liable to pay on their next car, calculated using the car's taxable value and CO2 rating. Just select the model you're interested in from the drop-down menu and click the 'calculate' button. That's it.

Unsurprisingly, the German brands dominate the company car tax calculator searches - the top four makes are BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz. But which models are company car drivers after? Here's our round-up of the top 10 most popular company cars What Car? readers are searching for:

1. BMW 3 Series

BMW's compact executive is the most searched-for car by some way. It's not hard to see why: it's comfortable, refined and, thanks to fuel-efficient engines, cheap to run. There are three variants that our readers search for most; all of them are 320d models. The most popular is our favourite, the 320d Efficient Dynamics, which averages 68.9mpg and emits 109g/km of CO2.

2. Audi A3

Our former car of the year, the Audi A3, is a fantastic buy for private and company car buyers alike. Diesel engines range from a 1.6-litre to 2.0-litre units. We'd recommend company car buyers go for the 1.6 TDI 110 Ultra SE which emits just 89g/km of CO2. SE trim comes with everything you need and the best suspension setting.

3. Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf range has something for everybody and there are some great choices if you're looking for a company car. The most searched for Golf model is the 2.0 TDI 184 GTD, presumably because of its great combination of practicality, performance and fuel economy. It emits 112g/km of CO2 but can still manage 0-60mph in 7.5 seconds. The second most popular variant is the more sensible 1.6 TDI 110 Bluemotion which can't match the speed of the GTD but trounces it in terms of CO2 emissions with a rating of 89g/km.

4. Audi A4

Audi is about to replace its A4 models but that hasn't stopped it from being very popular with What Car? readers. The diesel models are our favourites and because the car is about to be replaced they're available with some hefty discounts. Our pick of the range is the 2.0 TDI 163 Ultra SE which emits 109g/km of CO2.

5. Mercedes-Benz C-Class

There's a lot to like about the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. It's well equipped, practical and benefits from the classiest interior in the compact executive class. On top of that it's got low CO2 emissions. The cheapest tax bills come from the C200 Bluetec but we'd recommend buyers go for the C220 Bluetec because it's available with an automatic gearbox. Whichever one you choose go for Sport trim and Airmatic suspension to sort out the unsettled ride.

6. BMW 5 Series

The BMW 520d automatic is our 2015 Executive Car of the Year and so it's no surprise it appears in the top 10 company car tax calculator searches. Definitely go for the automatic model, the manual is notchy and not as efficient. We'd also recommend opting for the optional adaptive suspension which makes the 5 Series one of the best handling cars in the class. The 520d SE automatic is our pick of the range and it emits just 109g/km of CO2, impressive for a car of this size.

7. Ford Focus

The first non-German car to make the top 10 is the Ford Focus. It's great to drive and well equipped but can't compete on the image front. Our pick of the range is the 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec. It comes with alloy wheels, Bluetooth, DAB and a heated windscreen and emits 109g/km of CO2.

8. Ford Mondeo

The second Ford on the list is the new Mondeo. It's spacious, comfortable, refined and good to drive. Company car buyers are best choosing either the 113bhp 1.6-litre or 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel models. Both are available in our favourite Zetec trim and offer low company car tax rates and decent fuel economy.

9. Volkswagen Passat

Volkswagen's Passat Estate is a compelling choice and appears popular with company car buyers. It's got a huge boot, comfortable ride, spacious cabin and it's extremely refined. The 2.0 TDI 150 models are our favourite and emit just 107g/km of CO2.

10. BMW 1 Series

All BMW 1 Series models handle well and ride comfortably. They're also well equipped with air-conditioning, Bluetooth, DAB and automatic headlights and wipers. If you're a company car driver, the 116d Efficient Dynamics Plus model is the star thanks to its emissions of just 89g/km of CO2.