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Directors get company cars more than twice the value of those given to junior managers

Board directors in the UK are given a company car worth an average of 37,746 - compared with the average 17,900 value of a junior manager's company car.

Research from Incomes Data Service (IDS) shows the most common company car used by board directors is a BMW (32.3%) followed by Audi (27.1%) and Mercedes (23.7%). And a lucky 1.7% have the option of a Porsche.

Steve Tatton, editor of the IDS report, Company Car Policies 2009/10, said: "Shareholders in UK plc will be pleased to know none of the companies reported that they provide their directors with Ferraris."

At the other end of the scale 36.4% of essential job need drivers (sales managers or area managers) can have a Volkswagen as a company car compared with 12.1% who have the option of a BMW.

Almost half (46.3%) of company directors opt for a company car while the rest take a cash allowance. And, given the average annual cash allowance for board directors is £10,217, this can add 5.7% onto the average director salary of £178,735.

But further down the scale junior managers, who will have less funds to buy a new car themselves, are more likely to take a company car (67.7%).

Tatton added: "Many times over the past 20 years the death of the company car has been widely predicted. Our latest report shows in reality we are far from the end of the road and that managers can continue to expect the perk for many years to come.

"Company cars may remain popular with managers but employers are facing three key challenges: making their fleets ‘greener'; protecting themselves against potential corporate manslaughter liabilities; but, most importantly of all, bearing down on costs at a time of recession."