End of the road for the ‘tax disc’

From October 2014 motorists will no longer have to display their road tax disc in the windscreen of their vehicles. Even though the paper disc is to be scrapped motorists will still be paying Vehicle Excise Duty but the treasury claims that there will also be savings of £20  million for Britain’s hard-pressed motorists as a result of changes to the way car tax can be paid. The number of windscreens checked for tax discs by officers has dropped 75 per cent in the last five years, thanks to the electronic vehicle register that is used by both traffic police and the DVLA. A police source said ‘the tax disc is no longer needed for enforcement purposes, the police use numberplate recognition equipment. If they pull you over they can immediately tap into this database and see whether the car is taxed and insured…

Safe Winter Driving Advice

Fleetdrive would like all drivers to stay safe on the roads this Christmas, so we’d like to share with you some useful winter driving tips: Only drive if the journey is necessary Plan ahead and make sure someone knows of your journey Keep more space than usual between you and the car in front  – in icy conditions, it should be at least 10 seconds When making a right turn into a side road, keep the wheels straight so if you were hit from behind you wouldn’t be sent into oncoming traffic When braking on snow or ice, be sure to change to a low gear and brake gently Watch out for areas in shade, such as behind a building or in the shade of trees, as these can be slippery when the rest of the road is dry Before you set off, remember…

Tesla Model S lease prices now available – Watch the video from our exclusive test drive event

Watch driver reactions as they experience the thrill of driving the ultimate electric car – Tesla Model S   Tesla Model S – now available to lease from £636 +VAT a month Quote based on the 60kWh model, 6+47 monthly payments, 10,000 miles per annum. Full maintenance contracts and other terms are available. Please contact us for a personal quote, tailored to meet your needs.

Fleets realise benefits of cold weather tyres

A growing number of firms are turning to cold weather tyres to keep their fleets mobile as winter weather starts to set in. So says ATS Euromaster, which has seen a seven-fold increase in sales of cold weather tyres since the beginning of November 2013 and expects its total cold weather tyre sales to exceed £10m in 2013. The firm says its cold weather tyre sales increased by 14% in 2012 compared with the previous year, and this year is on track for further double-digit growth. Peter Fairlie, ATS Euromaster’s group sales director, puts this down to more businesses seeing the benefits of fitting seasonal tyres in response to the growing trend for prolonged periods of freezing temperatures, ice and snowfall in the UK. He said: ‘Temperatures plummeted in November and the gritters have been kept busy on our roads, but we’ve not seen…

Free commercial vehicle journey planner launched

PIE Mapping has launched The Freight Journey Planner which allows commercial vehicle operators to plan routes, free of charge, tailored to vans and HGV fleets. ‘Navigating Britain’s roads continues to get tougher for freight operators, with lots of restrictions governing vehicle movements,’ said Freddie Talberg, CEO of PIE Mapping. ‘We’ve been developing the Freight Journey Planner to directly address this issue and are delighted to launch this free service using high-quality freight specific data from an array of sources, including directly from councils. ‘We hope this helps operators and drivers to comply with the preferred routes and rules of local authority road networks.’ According to Talberg, the system will continue to evolve following its launch through partnerships with more local authorities to capture as much local data as possible. ‘This local authority data will make the routing even more accurate and help the Freight…

Correcting tyre pressures could save you ££££s

A Yorkshire NHS Trust has been told it could save almost £22,000 per year on fuel by running its company car fleet with the correct tyre pressures. The finding was made at a Michelin event held by the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust to test the pressures and condition of employees’ tyres. Results from the 75 cars tested showed that 49% of tyres were at the correct pressure – better than the national average of 28% – and a further 24% of tyres were classed as “acceptable”, meaning they were up to 7psi under-inflated. Technicians found 15 cars which had at least one tyre “dangerously” or “very dangerously” under-inflated. Not only do such tyres pose serious safety risks but they also cost fleets more in fuel. Aggregated across the whole 2,000-strong fleet at the Trust, the findings show that significant savings could…

New fuel benefit and van benefit charges announced for 2014/15

The Treasury has announced that fuel and van benefit charges are to see increases for the next tax year. The changes will see the company car fuel benefit charge multiplier rise from £21,100 for 2013/14 to £21,700 for 2014/15, making free private fuel even less worthwhile for fleet drivers. Meanwhile the van fuel benefit charge rises from £564 for the current tax year to £581. In addition, the van benefit charge is to rise from £3,000 for 2013/14 to £3,090 for 2014/15. Commenting on the changes to the company car fuel benefit charge, Jeff Whitcombe of BCF Wessex Consultants Limited pointed out that not only is there an increase of £600 in line with RPI and as announced in the 2013 Budget but also the appropriate BiK percentage for most cars will increase by 1% in April 2014 and fuel prices are at their…

GM pulls Chevrolet out of Europe

General Motors has announced that it is to withdraw its Chevrolet brand from Europe from 2016, citing a ‘challenging business model and the difficult economic situation in Europe’. Instead GM will focus its efforts more on the Opel and Vauxhall brands whilst tailoring the Chevrolet its presence to offering select ‘iconic’ vehicles – such as the Corvette – in Western and Eastern Europe. Chevrolet will also continue to have a broad presence in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States where GM said the three brands are clearly defined and distinguished and, as a result, are more competitive within their respective segments. GM also announced that Cadillac, which is finalising plans for expanding in the European market, will enhance and expand its distribution network over the next three years as it prepares for numerous product introductions. ‘Europe is a key region for GM that…

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