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The NFDA has issued guidance on tax disc rules as thousands of drivers received fines after being caught out by the changes.
Car tax discs were abolished last year but some drivers have not realised they have to register the car and pay the tax before they drive it.
Sue Robinson, NFDA director said: “Whilst the majority of motorists are aware that tax discs are no longer required, discs – even if still in date, can no longer be passed on to second-hand car buyers.
“The new car owner is required to register the vehicle and pay the tax before they drive it. The previous owner then receives a refund when the change in ownership has been recorded.
“When the changes were brought in last year, motoring experts at the time warned that the Government had not done enough to publicise the changes and that many second-hand drivers could end up penalised, however the DVLA says it has worked with dealerships and written to new owners to make them aware of the changes.
“Under the current rules, drivers can pay online, by phone or in the Post Office when their tax is up for renewal. Drivers can also set up a direct debit to ensure their car is never untaxed. The DVLA will confirm once all transactions have been completed and customers are able to print off receipts for their records.
“NFDA dealer members have continued to advise buyers of used cars that these vehicles require taxing at the point of purchase, however it seems many consumers have been caught out when buying privately.”
Mazda has launched a new programme to help attract and retain top staff in dealerships.
The new Talent@Mazda scheme gives dealers the services of a consultant and offers a ‘Talent Toolkit’, which provides advice to dealers in eBook format.
The Mazda Academy, run by learning and development agency RTS Group, is delivering the programme, which is being offered across the brand’s UK network.
“To help the dealerships find, appoint and retain those people, we’ve developed Talent@Mazda which gives them the tools they need,” said Stephen Casey, Mazda Network talent consultant.
One dealer which has used Talent@Mazda techniques to help run an assessment day is Coventry Motor Company. Its group aftersales director, Adam Dodds, said: “This has changed the way Coventry Motor Company look at recruiting new staff, to give us more of a professional look to our business with any future employees.”
Alex Goddard, Field Programmes and Training Manager for Mazda Motors UK, said: “We are already seeing the impact that Talent@Mazda is having within the network from our dealers changing their whole recruitment processes. One of the biggest successes to date is through the growth of our apprenticeship programme.”
Fleet Assist has won a new three-year deal with Pendragon Vehicle Management, which becomes the first customer to use Fleet Assist’s new tool to reduce vehicle downtime.
The new deal further extends a near decade-long business partnership between Fleet Assist and Pendragon Vehicle Management, which operates a fleet of almost 14,000 vehicles delivering a range of vehicle funding and fleet management solutions to organisations throughout the UK.
Fleet Assist provides clients with a nationwide network of more than 7,000 service outlets which undertake service, maintenance and repair work on vehicles supplied to customers across the UK.
Pendragon Vehicle Management use Fleet Assist to provide a service booking facility for its fleet customers thus directing work towards its preferred service network.
Effectively and efficiently managing vehicle downtime utilising sophisticated management information systems is an increasingly important issue for leasing companies and end-user fleets.
Fleets are keeping vans for 12 months longer having covered around 8,200 miles more than they were five years ago, figures from Manheim have shown.
Comparing Q1 2015 to the same quarter in 2010, these vans also sold for 9.5% or £384 more.
In the first quarter of 2010, the average van sold was 54 months old, with a mileage of 73,853. It achieved £4,048 at auction.
Fast-forward to Q1 2015, and Manheim’s five-year Market Analysis report shows a 9.5% increase in average value, to £4,432, and significantly increased age and mileage, 54 to 66 months and 73,853 to 82,102 miles.
James Davis, head of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said: “Our latest analysis reveals that over the past five years, despite being a year older with eight thousand more miles, vans have seen their average selling price increase by nearly 10%.
“We’ve also seen between 40% and 50% of all vans sold from the three major volume segments sporting an average age of between seven and eight years.
“We’ve never observed this profile shift previously.
“Small panel van is a revelation all of its own, this segment is now the new workhorse of the van world, stealing the crown from the 3.5t panel van sector. Clearly the influence of older vans in the UK parc will be felt for many more years to come.”
The 2016 model year Range Rover Evoque (pictured) will be priced from £30,200 on the road.
It features the Euro 6-compliant diesel Ingenium engine delivering up to 68mpg in the eD4 two-wheel drive model.
The range has a number of new features as standard including lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, heated eight-way adjustable front seats, powerfold door mirrors, automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers and automatic climate control in addition to the previous 15MY specification.
Revisions to the exterior include a new front bumper, two new grille designs, all-LED headlamps (optional), tailgate spoiler and three new alloy wheel designs.
Inside, a new seat design is among a refreshed interior scheme available in a selection of new colours and materials.
Land Rover’s new infotainment system, InControl Touch, is also introduced from September, and features an eight-inch touchscreen, with a range of new applications and driver aids available.
Autoparts UK has invested in a fleet of Renault Twizy electric vehicles for zero emission delivery of its car parts.
The 12-branch motor factor has invested in the zero emissions vehicles as part of a drive to reduce its carbon footprint. The two-seater electric vehicles will operate mainly from its branches in Glasgow and Dundee, delivering car parts to local independent garages.
Autoparts UK group factor manager Craig McCracken believes that using electric vehicles is a good move when rapidly delivering parts and accessories orders to customers in and around Glasgow & Dundee.
He said: “The Renault Twizzy has a 62-mile range on a full battery and it only needs £1 worth of electricity to complete a full charge. We have a large number of customers in central Glasgow and Dundee so using a vehicle like this to complete our rapid deliveries makes perfect sense.
“By using electric power, we can deliver the high-quality service that our customers expect – and significantly reduce our carbon footprint at the same time.”
With the imminent launch of the all-new XC90, Volvo Car UK is introducing two new initiatives to its dealerships, Volvo Personal Service (VPS) and Volvo Retail Experience (VRE).
The new concepts are designed to remove some of the perceived barriers between dealers and their customers and improve trust, customer service and overall impressions of the brand.
New to the Volvo network is Volvo Personal Service, which streamlines aftersales functions to improve workshop efficiency, job throughput and revenue opportunities for dealers, while delivering a much more personal service to Volvo customers via a dedicated service technician.
VPS, the new name for Volvo’s ‘One Hour Stop’ service, is shaped by trust, transparency and respect for a customer’s time. It works by utilising teams of Personal Service Technicians (PST) working on cars as groups rather than individually. This allows for work to be carried out twice as fast, nearly halving customer wait times.
Ernest R Shaw in conjunction with LV= has introduced a new insurance scheme for bodyshops and garages dealing with classic cars.
Ernest R Shaw and LV= Insurance have launched an exclusive motor trade insurance scheme for bodyshops, restoration/service, repair and car sales services to the classic car sector.
Some of the cover available includes; agreed values on own classic vehicles, road risks protected, no claims bonus, low claims rebate clause and track day cover.
Graham Meacher, sales and marketing director at Ernest R Shaw explained, ‘We identified the classic car sector had not seen any new insurance product offerings for several years, therefore in conjunction with LV= we have now launched a new classic car insurance scheme.
‘We have seen over 20 bodyshops and all of them have taken up the new policy, either on premium, cover, or on the fact we assess every risk.’
Ernest R Shaw, based on Birmingham, has been trading for over 100 years.
Sales of new motorbikes increased to 25,249 in the first quarter of 2015, compared with 22,606 in the same period last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Motor Cycle Industry Association.
Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK, commented: “It is encouraging to see that the motorcycle market has got off to a positive start, with dealers reporting an 11.7% increase in registrations in the first quarter of 2015.”
He said this suggested that increasing consumer confidence, low interest rates and falling unemployment were all having a positive effect on the market. Last month’s 15-plate change also contributed to the increase.
Entry level sub 50cc machines continued their downward trend with a -7.3% decline in March, and the 51–125cc market saw an 11.6% growth – and an 11.4% year-to-date growth.
The 126-650cc and 651-1000cc sectors recorded a significant growth in registrations with figures of 23.5% and 22.8% in the month, while the high powered over 1,000cc machines remained stable in March.
Honda and Yamaha were the two leading brands in March and collectively sold over 5,000 units between them.
Latham continued, “It came as a surprise to see BMW in third position with 1,630 sales, followed by Triumph with 1,496 registrations. Such high sales within these prestige brands suggest that many customers were waiting for the new 15-plate to become available as this could have an effect on future second-hand values.
An attempt to steal fuel from a national oil pipeline appears to have been thwarted after a 29-year-old man was charged with two offences following an incident in Ludlow on Wednesday 8th April.
West Mercia Police were carrying out routine patrols along the route of a national fuel pipeline when they came across a parked Ford Panel van in a lay by on the A49 around midnight.
The vehicle contained three hidden 1,000 gallon barrel drums in the rear as well as pumping equipment. A check of the area suggested the national pipeline had been attacked and possibly modified to drain fuel from that point.
Following this Mantas Adomaitis, 29, of no fixed abode was arrested and charged with going equipped for theft and driving without insurance. He was been remanded in custody and appeared at Hereford Magistrates Court on Monday 13th April.
He was been remanded in custody until his next court appearance at Worcester Crown Court on 20th July.
Autoparts UK has added two Renault Twizy models to its fleet as it aims to reduce its carbon footprint.
The cars will operate out of the firm’s branches in Glasgow and Dundee and will be used to deliver parts to its customers.
A spokesman said the company could take on many more Twizys but it depends on the take-up.
“The Renault Twizy has a 62-mile range on a full battery and it only needs £1 worth of electricity to complete a full charge. We have a large number of customers in central Glasgow and Dundee so using a vehicle like this to complete our rapid deliveries makes perfect sense,” said Craig McCracken, Autoparts UK group factor manager.
“By using electric power, we can deliver the high-quality service that our customers expect – and significantly reduce our carbon footprint at the same time. That gives us and our customers the best of both worlds,” said McCracken.
Vehicle rental company Europcar has announced it has created a fleet of Chapter 8 compliant light commercial vehicles.
Chapter 8 specifies the colour of vehicles and the reflective markings needed for vehicles that carry out inspections or work on public highways. The guidelines apply to firms with large or small vehicles.
Although Chapter 8 is not yet legilised, many highway organisations – including the RAC, AA and Highways England – have adopted the guidelines as best practice. According to Europcar, some companies will only allow Chapter 8 compliant vehicles to work on sites.
“Understanding this requirement, we wanted to give our customers a cost-effective solution that means they can book Chapter 8 compliant vehicles whenever they need them – indeed we can deliver to anywhere in the UK with as little as four hours notice,” said Stuart Russell, van fleet specialist at Europcar UK.
“Unlike other rental providers, our customers don’t have to pre-order these vehicles or commit to specific volumes. We have also created a network of six Supersites across the UK, offering nationwide access to these vans,” said Russell.
Europcar branches offering Chapter 8 vans include the Europcar Mobility Centre at London ExCeL, London Park Royal, Newport, Gateshead, Nottingham and Birmingham East. Deliveries within 50 miles of these locations can be ordered nationwide within four working hours. Deliveries outside the 50-mile radius will be fulfilled within eight hours, Europcar claimed.