Introduction: I'm the youngest employe in my company (of 8 persons) and only employed 1 year. But you could say I'm at least the most important employee for my company future (according to my boss). I'm a carrier of know-how, threaded some representative research deals with a known university and with our federal state. Our company is very familiar: you could consider us as a group of friends, even our boss.

Because of this my boss offered me a pricey company car (70k€), which happens to be my (realistic) dream car. Here in Germany we have to pay taxes for company cars and for every KM we have to drive to our workplace; I'm able to pay them because I don't live far away of my workplace. So I would love to take it since it may be the first and the last option to get a car like this.

However I'm afraid of envy around my coworkers who also received company cars, but for around half of that what my car is listed as. The two coworkers in question selected their car by themselves. They could have got a pricy car like me, but couldn't afford it because of the high taxes they would have to pay because they live relatively far away.

The question that come up in my head is how to address my coworkers in a way they will most likely understand and how to prevent envy. I've already talked with one coworker in a hypothetical way how he would react and he told me he's fine, but somehow I do not believe him. I'm certain that at least one will develop envy, since a car is a very emotional subject (at least here).

Is there any advice on how to address them to prevent envy, and if not possible, how to deal with it?

A little more background to the company-car policity in germany:

  • A company-car is owned, insured, fueled and maintained by the company.
  • If a employee is allowed to use the company-car for private tours, the employee has to pay tax on 1% of the listed price per month and has to pay taxes on 0.03% of the listed price per kilometer per month, as like these % are payed out in salary.
  • A employee is allowed to buy the company-car after 3 years (like in leasing).

E.g. my car is listed as 70.000€. I have to pay salary taxes (~45%) on 1% of the listed price per month. If I live 10km away from my workplace, I have to pay 10*0.03%=0.3% more per month. In this situation, I have to pay a salary tax on 1.3% of the listed price. So 1.3% are 910€, now I have to pay a tax on that 910€ as like my boss would pay an additional 910€ per month. Therefore the car costs me around 400€ per month in real cash. A colleague that lives 40km away would have to pay ~700€ per month.

  • If your concerned that much why not just choose a cheaper car?
    – John
    Nov 13, 2017 at 8:33
  • 3
    you don't believe your coworkers and you suspect they may turn winy and envious... Nice familiar environment!
    – L.Dutch
    Nov 13, 2017 at 8:52
  • 3
    Wait, they still got a 35k€ car each of them ? They may not have your dream car, but that's still far from a first price one. So why would they care so much ?
    – Walfrat
    Nov 13, 2017 at 9:05
  • @L.Dutch Don't mix money and friendship! It breaks things, right?
    – bam
    Nov 13, 2017 at 10:26
  • 5
    The only solution Benedikt, is you have to "grow up" - if you're a hot talent, you will always make much more money than others. You just have to deal with it unfortunately.
    – Fattie
    Nov 13, 2017 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


you are not responsible for your colleagues feelings

(as long as you behave professionally)

It is not your fault if your colleague can not afford the same car as you, so I would not worry about that.

What you must do however, is make sure you do not make him more Jealous than he could be (note the conditional, you do not know how he feels), so avoid things like talking about your cool weekend roadtrip in your sweet new car, do not "rub it in their face". Be graceful.

In my opinion, it would be a bad move to choose a cheaper car, I would not let someone's (rather childish) feeling interfere with your aspirations (As long as there is no real prejudice).

If this colleague feels envy though, and believes that they deserve a better car, the issue is between them and the boss, not you.


The question that come up in my head is how to address my coworkers in a way they will most likely understand and how to prevent envy.

You say everyone here is friendly, and that you have to pay tax for every km you drive to your work. Assuming that the latter is well known, there should be no qualms at all.

If anyone does start to question it, you can just say something akin to "I know, I'm really lucky I live close enough that I don't end up paying much in tax."


The two coworkers in question selected their car by themselves

Supposing all the company staff is made by rational adults, I see no problem here. I assume they did their fair share of calculation and opted for a car which would not bleed them out with taxes (maybe they don't live as close as you) and can still fit their needs.

As you stated, company car can be selected and it is not a measure of the employee importance. Why should they complain about their own selection?

  • Also, Your dream car may not be anything they want. If I had a million dollars available to spend on a car, I still wouldn't consider buying a luxury car. They picked what they wanted, so why should they be jealous. Now if they were never offered the chance to get such a car, that might be different.
    – HLGEM
    Nov 13, 2017 at 15:01

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