Business car award for Fiat 500

Small cars are rarely seen as popular choices for UK businesses but the tough economic climate is signalling a move towards cheaper to run, more frugal cars.

The Fiat 500 has now won the award three years in row despite its exclusive deal with the UK’s largest driving school, BSM, coming to end this year.

Readers of BusinessCar magazine and website voted for the retro-styled city car as their favourite city car of the year for business because of the design, efficient engines and low running costs of the Fiat 500.

"Fiat’s 500 has once more proved that business cars can make sense to both the head and the heart," says Paul Barker, editor of BusinessCar. "The 500 has great residual values and running costs combined with the ability to put smiles on faces, making it the perfect city car for the corporate market.”

It was helped by the introduction of its unique two-cylinder petrol engine, named TwinAir, which delivers the same power as a larger engine (85hp) but reduces CO2 emissions below the 100g/km mark – enough to qualify it for zero road tax.

The car will also avoid paying the London congestion charge, making it the first petrol powered car to qualify for the new exemptions to the £12-a-day levy.

Fiat has also hinted at a hybrid version in future to sit alongside its petrol and diesel engine range, and the technology is currently under development.

The award was a break from the normal winners of the BusinessCar Awards. German luxury manufacturers dominated the other categories, but the likes of the Ford S-Max and Jaguar XJ also picked up awards for 2011.

Fiat 500 prices start from £9,665 for the entry-level 1.2-litre Pop. TwinAir models start from £10,665 and rises to £16,065 for the range-topping 500C TwinAir byDIESEL special edition.