July 2015
Fleets excited by automotive technology changes
Nearly all (97%) fleets are excited about the changes new automotive technology will bring to the sector, but the majority (58%) say it is difficult to quantify the benefits, according to the latest BVRLA Fleet Technology Survey.

Road safety emerged as a key theme in the survey of more than 150 fleet managers, rental operators and leasing companies. Autonomous driving and safety technologies were described as having one of the most positive impacts on the fleet industry, second only to ultra-low emission powertrains. Similarly, reduced accident rates were described as a key benefit of new technology, second only to lower transport costs.
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Government considers hands-free clampdown
A Government clampdown on the use of hands-free phones while driving could be considered in an effort to improve road safety. That was the message from the Department for Transport at a debate held at Company Car in Action (CCIA).

Research has shown that using a hands-free phone while driving is more likely to lengthen reaction times than having 80mg of alcohol in the bloodstream - the drink-drive limit in England and Wales.
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Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership leads drive for low-emission vehicles
The Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership has launched a best practice guide to encourage the uptake of low emissions vehicles.

The guide identifies five crucial influencers regarding the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles, with dedicated or discounted parking bays, discounted permits, embedding recharging infrastructure into local development planning, local education programmes and deploying vehicles on public sector fleets all crucial to a city's chances of securing a share of a £35m Government fund for promoting low-emission vehicles.
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Croydon remains number one breakdown spot
Croydon has been named the number one hotspot for company car breakdowns for the fifth consecutive year. The South London town has topped the RAC's list every year since 2010, with more fleet customer callouts than anywhere else in the UK, beating neighbouring Camden and Islington.

Compiled from five years of fleet breakdown data, RAC Business' list also revealed the M6 in Knutsford as the road with the most company car breakdowns in 2014, with the M1 in Toddington holding the title the previous year.
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Nation's favourite driving 'vanthems' may also be cutting driving stress
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody has topped UK van drivers' favourite playlist in a new survey by AXA Business Insurance that finds that van drivers may be - perhaps subconsciously - making musical choices that help reduce stress and increase driving performance.

The research for AXA Business Insurance also found that three out of four (73%) van drivers listen to music on the radio when they are behind the wheel for work, one in three (36%) listen to CDs, 11% listen to downloaded music, ten% listen to streamed music and 6% listen to tapes.
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Glass's marks down used car values by 3% for July
Glass is pushing down the values of used cars by 3% for July as auction houses battle with higher volumes of stock. Glass's chief car editor Steve Jackson said the wholesale market was still seeing higher levels of used vehicle stock than last year.

"Price pressure continues as we see more dealer over-age and part exchange stock available for sale. With more volume than in the same period in 2014 values for this edition of the data reflect the general position with movements in the region of 3% downwards for all sectors other than convertible and cabriolet models," he said.
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Government urged to act on road safety
Increasing road deaths need to be tackled by government action, according to the RAC and road safety charity, Brake.

The organisations have called on the Government to take action against road danger as new statistics show that casualties of all severities rose to 194,477 in Great Britain in 2014, an increase of 6% from 2013, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since 1997.

The number of people seriously injured rose by 5% to 22,807, while the number of people killed rose by 4% to 1,775.
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April 2015
BBS automates delivery and collection process for fleets
BBS Fleet Logistics, which provides support and logistical services to leasing companies and large national fleets, has fully automated its vehicle delivery and collection process to streamline operations, eliminate errors and remove paper from the system.

The new cloud-based delivery and collection platform utilises the latest generation hand-held tablet computers.
Press Release...

Worst real world fuel economy performers revealed
An independent test by consumer association Which? has found that 98% of cars could not match or beat official miles per gallon figures, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV the worst performer.

Which? tested 200 new cars over two years and found that all but three of them fell short of their official mpg figures, by 13% on average. The Outlander PHEV's mpg was found to be overstated by 120%.
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One in six business drivers feel 'invincible' when driving
Despite 86% of fleets experiencing collisions in the past 12-months, an alarming number of drivers are still driving without consideration for their safety.

In fact, one in six (16%) business drivers feel invincible when driving, claiming that they never consider their safety to be at risk, according to research from telematics supplier, Masternaut.
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ULEV sales reach record levels
According to the latest research from the Go Ultra Low environmental campaign, 8,573 passenger cars with CO2 emissions lower than 75g/km were registered in the first quarter of this year, a year-on-year increase of 386%. Fleet buyers have led the way, accounting for more than 68% of the market, or 6,045 new models.

The most popular choice of vehicle was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, followed by the Nissan LEAF, BMW i3 and the Renault ZOE.
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Vauxhall offers fleets free labour for AdBlue refills for Euro 6 vehicles
Vauxhall is offering its fleet customers free labour when filling with AdBlue under its Fill4Free initiative, which is part of the manufacturer's Service4Fleet standards.

Emission regulations mean most Euro 6 compliant diesel vehicles will need to be equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system, which utilises AdBlue to reduce NOx emissions.
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IFC Fleet Services at the Fleet Show
Just a brief reminder that BBS parent company, IFC Fleet Services, will be exhibiting at the Fleet World Fleet Show at Silverstone for the first time on Tuesday May 12th, after attending last year's Show as visitors and being highly impressed by the event. The company will be exhibiting in the main Show exhibition area in halls 1-3 of the state-of-the-art Silverstone Wing.
Press release...

September 2014
New Association aims to improve vehicle delivery
Fleets, leasing and rental companies and franchise dealers are all set to benefit from a new Association designed to bring quality, consistency and conformity to the UK vehicle delivery industry.

Some of the biggest names in the sector have joined forces to create the Association of Driven Vehicle Delivery Agents (ADVDA), and it is expected that 30-40 companies may be eligible to join if they meet code of conduct standards.
Article - Fleet News, 4 September 2014...

Fleet replacement cycles expected to increase
More large UK fleets expect to keep their company vehicles for longer in order to cut costs, according to new research from leasing company Arval.

Arval's latest 'Corporate Vehicle Observatory' research interviewed more than 4,500 fleet decision-makers. They were asked if the amount of time they intend to keep vehicles will increase or decrease in the next 12 months.

Among businesses with 100 or more employees, 22% expected replacement cycles to increase compared with 18% in 2013. The trend is mirrored in the LCV sector, with 22% expecting replacement cycles to increase compared with 20% in 2013.
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BBS sees huge growth in logistics business
BBS Fleet Logistics, which specialises in providing support and logistical services for leasing companies and large national fleets, has seen a huge 700% increase in its logistics business over the last 24 months.

The increase comes as the company moves away from its more traditionally-based crash repair business to a more logistics-based service which now represents 75% of the company's operations.
Press Release...

Manufacturers unite to expand EV infrastructure
A consortium of electric vehicle manufacturers has united in order to develop a network of rapid charge points across the UK. Members of the joint project include Nissan, BMW, VW and Renault. This marks the first time leading pure electric vehicle manufacturers have come together to accelerate the growth of EV charging infrastructure.

Once completed, the Rapid Charge Network will comprise of 70 multi-standard rapid chargers covering 1,100km. This will ensure that EV drivers can travel long distances, secure in the knowledge that they will be in close proximity to a charger.
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Car and van sales up again
Car and van sales continued to surge ahead in August, while new truck registrations fell again, according to the latest SMMT data. New car sales hit 72,163 in the month, 9% up on the same period of 2013.

Fleet sales were up 10% compared to August 2013 and are up 8% for the year-to-date. Private registrations were up more than 11% for the year-to-date.

The van market grew by 22% in August and is up 19% at 192,948 for the year-to-date. Truck sales were down 23% for the month and 22% for the year-to-date, depressed by the surge in pre-Euro 6 vehicle sales seen in 2013.
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Incomplete service history wipes a fifth off car value
Some 45% of buyers would not purchase a second hand car without a full service history, according to new research from Kwik Fit. Car owners looking to sell a vehicle with an incomplete service history could find themselves £1,464 out of pocket and with only half the number of potential buyers.

The study reveals that an incomplete service record on a car could reduce its value by 19%. With the average used car now selling for £7,706, a fully stamped service book could be worth up to £1,464 to each used car seller and around £10 billion to the used car market annually.
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July 2014
Emissions laws will affect fleet maintenance
Fleet maintenance is to become an ever more vital consideration for fleets due to the new Euro 6 emissions legislation which will affect the way vehicles are maintained.

According to Northgate Vehicle Hire, as the European Union introduces stricter limits on pollutant emissions, particularly for nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates, this will not only impact on how vehicles manufactured, but also on how they will need to be maintained in the future.
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Drivers still making wrong fuel errors
UK drivers are paying out more £60 million a year in wasted fuel, repairs and follow-on costs after mistakenly putting the wrong fuel in their cars at the pump. In the past 12 months, a driver has put the wrong fuel in their car approximately once every four minutes.

As many as 123,000 vehicles a year in the UK suffer a 'misfuelling mishap' - in many cases leaving them with a hefty bill from £500 to more than £3,000, according to the latest research from Halfords Autocentres.
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New, clearer website for BBS
BBS Fleet Logistics has launched a new version of its website with enhanced functionality, greater clarity and easier navigation. The new site has improved graphics and a cleaner, more dynamic feel, as well as providing a news service featuring some of the latest topics in the UK fleet market.

Amongst other features, the new website includes feedback from fleet customers to the services that BBS provides and these have been seen as very positive.
Press Release...

Fleets want sensors to protect vulnerable road users
More than half the UK's fleet operators have said they would use proximity sensors on their vehicles to help protect vulnerable road users. The news comes following a recent call from road safety charity, Brake, for fleets to minimise blind spot risk.

The results are from a survey of fleet operators by comparison website TrackCompare.co.uk. When asked: "Would you use proximity sensors on your vehicles to protect vulnerable road users?" 52% of respondents said yes.

Brake has offered expert guidance to fleet managers on steps they can take to reduce the dangers to people on foot and bike from company cars and commercial vehicles.
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Campaign for emergency braking incentives
Vehicle manufacturers, the motor insurance industry and motor researchers are lobbying Government to provide incentives to increase the take-up of autonomous emergency braking systems (AEBs) in cars.

Insurance research body Thatcham has called on the Government to introduce a cash incentive, similar to the existing electric vehicle grant, to anyone who specifies the system, which automatically applies the brakes when an oncoming collision is identified, when buying a new vehicle.
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Gear changes will soon be part of EVs
Transmission technology will soon find its place in electric vehicles (EVs), just as it has in petrol and diesel vehicles, according to Bosch.

Most electric vehicles effectively operate in one gear without any need to change up or down - with reverse and neutral as the only options.
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May 2014
Brake urges fleets to ensure their vehicles are fit for the road
Brake is calling on all businesses to make sure their vehicles are safe to be on the roads to prevent unnecessary crashes. All at-work drivers have an important role to play to make sure their vehicles and safe, legal and well-maintained, says the road safety charity.

However, to help organisations ensure they have the right procedures in place, Brake is holding a summer seminar: "Maintenance and mechanics: how safe are your vehicles and who's checking them?" in London on June 25.
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Driving with your partner 'increases' accident risk
Drivers are happier, more confident and better focused when driving by themselves according to research released by Allianz Insurance, which also found that the presence of a 'significant other' almost quadruples a driver's likelihood of feeling stressed or anxious behind the wheel - a potentially dangerous combination.

Having their partner in the car makes drivers feel twice as rushed, which reduces the chance of them feeling calm and relaxed by nearly 65%. Allianz Insurance says this increases the risk of having an accident.
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Instant action on crashes could drive down claims costs by 60%
Fleets could drive down their claims costs by up to 60% by taking instant action following a driving incident, according to the boss of a fleet insurance broker.

Ben Burford, managing director of broker, Just Fleet, said that fleet operators needed to take control of the claims handling process and ensure instant intervention to avoid spiralling third-party hire and repair costs as well as preventing incitement of some injury claims.
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Insurance costs set to fall, according to AA figures
Fleets should be experiencing a drop in insurance costs according to the latest AA BritishInsurance Premium Index. Premiums have dropped 5.6% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the AA, while the index also shows a fall of 16.6% over the past year.

The news comes despite warnings by the National Association of Bodyshops that corporate insurance premiums could be set to rise, in spite of efforts by the industry to reduce costs.

Simon Douglas, director of AA Insurance, said he believed premiums were unlikely to fall much further, and said there was evidence that some insurers were beginning to put their premiums up or, at least, resist bringing them down further.
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Almost half of fleets neglecting tyre pressures
Company car drivers are worse at maintaining correct tyre pressures than private motorists, according to new research. A survey conducted by Michelin found that 59% of consumers' tyres were driven at the correct pressures, compared to 46% of fleet drivers.

One in four fleet drivers' tyres (25%) were 'dangerously' or 'very dangerously' under inflated, compared with 14% of private motorists. A total of 361 fleet cars and 1,343 consumer-owned cars were tested as part of the research, said Michelin.
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April 2014
'Re-home' specialist BBS Fleet Logistics sponsors elite ladies' road cycle racing team
Bedford-based BBS Fleet Logistics, which specialises in providing support and logistical services for leasing companies and large national fleets, is sponsoring top ladies road cycle racing team, Bonito Squadra Corse, throughout the 2014 season, including the Ladies Tour of Britain in May...
Press Release

New MOT rules on DPFs take effect
Drivers of diesel cars are being warned not to fall foul of changes to MOT law covering diesel particulate filters (DPFs).

Prior to a change in the legislation cars were only tested on emissions levels and not whether their DPF was attached. Now any car that should have a DPF but is found to have it missing will instantly fail.

The new rules have left tens of thousands of motorists facing bills of around £1,000 this month - the single busiest the year for MOT testing - according to Halfords Autocentres.
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Abolition of the tax disc
From 1 October 2014, the paper tax disc will no longer be issued and required to be displayed on a vehicle windscreen. The government announced in December last year that it will change the law so that a paper tax disc is no longer necessary as proof that vehicle tax has been paid - a move designed to reduce the administration burden and cost associated with vehicle tax.

Vehicle tax will still need to be paid, however, and if drivers have any remaining months left on their current paper tax disc from 1 October 2014, they can either remove the tax disc from their vehicle or display the disc until it expires. The DVLA will continue to notify drivers when their vehicle tax is due for renewal.
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New cars see continued sales growth
New car registrations last month were the strongest seen for the month of February since 2009 and grew by 3% -the 24th consecutive months of new car sales increases in the UK. March sales are expected to grow by twice that rate due to the arrival of the '14 plate', according to Glass's Guide.

Fleet registrations in February were up 3.6% to 37,029 units and business registrations grew by 6.6% compared to the same month last year. Most popular makes in February were Ford, Vauxhall and Volkswagen.
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