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Daily News Round upBack

PRA criticises police attitude towards fuel theft

petrol

The Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has raised concerns about the police’s attitude towards motorists who drive away from a petrol station without paying for fuel.

The PRA says that Devon and Cornwall Police has indicated it would not investigate such incidents unless there was obvious proof of criminal intent – such as false number plates. The force has blamed Government cuts for the decision.

Brian Madderson, PRA chairman, said: “We are alarmed by the growing rate of petrol theft over the last five years.

“Incidents of ‘bilking’ have risen due to pump prices going up steeply, and now that police are broadcasting this as a low priority, this will no doubt encourage thieves further.

“Forecourts are being urged to be proactive and toughen up their security, however smaller independent garages who don’t have the financial resources will still largely be at risk.

“Petrol retailers are paying high business rates, part of which contributes towards spending in the police force, and so for the police to put sole responsibility of fuel theft on the garage is both unfair and irresponsible.

“The PRA has written to Mike Penning MP informing him of our concerns surrounding this issue and we have requested an immediate meeting to discuss the seriousness of this growing problem amongst police authorities.”

PRA member Clive Sheppard of Bodmin Moor Services added: “This new initiative seems very ill considered, undermines the credibility of the police and ultimately puts the public at risk as we are seemingly being encouraged to tackle crime ourselves.”

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

 

Last Chance to book for tomorrow’s ACS Forecourt Seminar

The ACS Forecourt Seminar tomorrow (3rd June 2015) is the can’t-miss event packed with exciting ideas and concepts for both existing forecourt retailers and convenience retailers looking to expand their store’s offering to include selling fuel.

 

This year’s event, held at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Birmingham, will be split into three thought-provoking feature sessions looking at the challenges currently facing forecourt stores, examples of best practice from around the UK, and uncovering ideas for the future.

 

Top speakers already confirmed for the day include Zahra Bahrololoumi from Accenture discussing key challenges in the forecourt industry and how these represent an opportunity for entrepreneurial fuels retailers to differentiate their brand; Jeremy Clarke from MFG talking through MFG’s journey and how they are operating and adapting to the retail and fuel trends; and Blake Gladman from him! Research and Consulting will offer a preview of him!’s Future of Forecourts report.

 

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The ACS Forecourt Seminar offers attendees a key insight in to the world of forecourt retailing. Throughout the day, we will tackle the obstacles currently facing forecourt retailers and take an exclusive look at the top performing forecourts to provide retailers with a wealth of new concepts to implement in store to help boost sales and drive footfall”.

 

In the best practice session, ACS will see top independent forecourt retailer, Paul Cheema, discussing his expansion from convenience into fuel retailing; and Giles Taylor from Rontec will talk about competing against the multiples, best practice thoughts and ideas for a competitive market.

 

The final session will include Martin Steggles from Global MSI discussing Global MSI, specialists in forecourt structures throughout the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe; Steve Rodell from Christie and Co discussing ownership trends & prospects in the dynamic PFS market; and Brian Madderson from PRA looking at key issues such as fuel duty, rates and planning.

 

Tickets for the Forecourt Seminar are FREE for ACS and PRA members. To book your place, contact Sarah Johnson on 01252 515001 or visit http://www.acs.org.uk/acs-events/forecourt-seminar/

Source: www.acs.org.uk

NFDA calls for private-sector HGV testers

The National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA), which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers, has said that a move to allow private technicians to perform annual tests for HGVs: “could only be a step in the right direction.”

NFDA said it had already written to the new roads minister Andrew Jones to advocate the policy, which its director Sue Robinson claimed: “would not only bring the HGV-MOT service in line with the current system for car and van MOTs, but create greater flexibility for business.”

The current model being pursued by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which has been gradually replacing the agency’s network of in-house test stations, is the authorised testing facility (ATF) network.

The scheme is somewhat of a public-private halfway house, in that the testing facilities are owned and administered by private firms – usually either fleet operators, dealerships or independent workshops – but the tests themselves are still carried out by DVSA’s own technicians.

In 2013, the DVSA (then VOSA) told Transport Operator that it had no plans to fully privatise testing by allowing ATF operator employees to perform the actual tests. But with a further round of public spending cuts to come, the Department for Transport is soon likely to be looking for further efficiency savings at its agencies – raising the question of whether the government may consider a change to this policy.

“Whilst the introduction of new private ATFs throughout the country has enabled vehicles to be both prepared and checked at the same time, ministry testers are still restricted to their standard working hours,” said Robinson.

“Businesses are also hindered by the travel time it takes to reach testing stations, which unnecessarily increases the time a vehicle is out of action and reduces a business’s operational abilities. The government is also losing money paying for travel costs.”

She continued: “New private testers would allow businesses to operate 24 hours per day, throughout the year, whilst maintaining a high level of safety standards on UK roads.”

Addressing a criticism some have levelled against the notion of a fully private annual test scheme – that private testers might be less likely to fail vehicles – Robinson said that this was not reflected in DVSA’s figures.

“In 2013/14, 40 per cent of all cars, vans and passenger vehicles were failed; the number rose to 50 per cent for Class 7 goods vehicles. These tests are done by private authorised garages. I see no reason why this cannot be applied to HGVs.”

Source: transportoperator.co.uk

Low crude prices may trigger future hike in diesel costs

While UK hauliers have been enjoying bulk diesel prices which have been as low as 89p/litre + VAT this year, oil industry experts have cautioned that the underlying reduction in crude prices from last year’s $115 a barrel to an extraordinary seasonal low of $45 a barrel in January is causing oil companies to slash investment, which could lead to supply problems and soaring prices in the medium-term future.

A study by Rystad Energy commissioned by theFinancial Times showed that the rock-bottom crude prices had led to 26 major oil exploration/extraction projects in 13 countries being cancelled by major enterprises, including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ConocoPhillips and Statoil. Typically the projects axed have been those involving ‘difficult’ reserves such as the Canadian tar sands and American shale oil.

Leading analysts Goldman Sachs has also identified 61 postulated new projects that are uneconomic at an oil price of under $60 a barrel, putting a potential yield of 10.5 million barrels a day at risk.

Morgan Stanley Bank said it expected crude prices to rise to $85 a barrel for Brent crude by 2017.

British hauliers would be particularly vulnerable to any future global shortage of diesel. The UK’s imports of petroleum products more than tripled last year, according to Reuters, in spite of total domestic demand growing by less than one per cent.

Last year saw the permanent closure of Murphy Oil’s refinery in Milford Haven, the mothballing of one of Essar’s crude distillation units at Stanlow, and announced cuts of 50 per cent capacity at Total’s Lindsey refinery by the end of next year. It was also the first year since 1984 that Britain had been a net importer of petroleum products.

The refining trade group UKPIA said that the UK had a net deficit of nearly 50 per cent on diesel (the International Energy Agency states that anything over 45 per cent constitutes a high risk) and Petrol Retailers Association chairman Brian Madderson expressed: “serious concerns about our road fuels energy resilience.”

Andrew Gardner, commercial manager of the PetroIneos Grangemouth refinery in Scotland, told a parliamentary hearing back in 2013 that relying on imports creates “resilience problems” that risk: “a third-party nation at some point potentially dictating what price they are going to give the UK fuel at.”

He has subsequently stated that: “As UK refinery capacity declines and imports slowly get harder to source, then the risk of UK supply disruptions will increase.”

At the end of January, Greenergy’s chief executive Andrew Owens said if more refineries closed, there could be immediate problems.

He said: “Existing terminals (in high-demand areas) are at the limit.”

Greenergy has worked in conjunction with Shell and storage firm Vopak to convert the closed Coryton refinery outside London into an import and storage hub for the south-east, but rising land values appear to have stopped the project.

Typically, North Sea crude oil yields 37 per cent petrol, 25 per cent diesel, 20 per cent kerosene, 12 per cent heavy oil/tar and three per cent liquid propane gas.

Meanwhile, the UK transport industry continues to focus its attentions on that element of diesel prices over which it can realistically exert a degree of influence – fuel duty.

The Conservative-led coalition presided over the longest fuel duty freeze in 20 years, but the party made no manifesto promise that this would continue after the election.

Voices within transport are beginning to express concern that a future duty rise could be deployed as one means of helping to meet deficit reduction targets, in the context of further planned spending cuts across government.

Road Haulage Association chief executive Richard Burnett has already urged the new government not to increase fuel duty in this parliament, calling it: “a heavy tax on business [which] pushes up the price of everything we buy, undermines competitiveness and holds back our haulage industry.”

The Freight Transport Association has also issued a warning to members that the chancellor George Osborne could announce fuel duty rises in his second Budget statement of the year, which is due to take place on 8 July.

James Hookham, FTA deputy chief executive, said: ““During the election campaign, the political parties ruled out increases in just about every other tax except fuel duty. We know there will be no rise in income tax, national insurance or VAT. That leaves fuel duty looking vulnerable to future increases but that would be a huge mistake for the Chancellor to make at this stage in the economic cycle.”

Saying that the government “must not raid road users to fund its election promises,” he added that the recent drop in crude oil prices had only had a limited impact on UK fuel prices.

“That’s because over 60 per cent of the bulk diesel price is fuel duty and the UK has had to pay more for its oil as the pound has weakened against the dollar since last summer,” he said.

“The reality is that a 40 per cent drop in crude oil prices has only resulted in an 11 per cent decrease in bulk diesel prices paid by a majority of truck fleets and even lower reductions at the forecourt as retailers have sought to increase their margins. The Chancellor needs to understand that fuel duty is still off-limits as he considers his Budget statement in July.”

FTA said it was renewing its call for a 3p per litre fuel duty cut, as championed by the FairFuelUK campaign that it co-founded with the RHA. It said the policy would: “put an extra £360 million into thousands of businesses that rely on commercial vehicles.”

Source: transportoperator.co.uk

IGA member event: the biggest yet – at car dealer conference & Expo 2015

The Independent Garage Association (IGA), the largest and most prominent trade body for independent garages, will be holding their biggest member event yet at the Car Dealer Conference & Expo 2015 on 9 June at Silverstone.

 

The IGA will also be hosting two stands on the trade floor. Members of the IGA team will be free to discuss industry issues and member enquiries on stand P108, and the IGA’s consumer code scheme for independents, Trust My Garage, will be on display at its own stand, S126.

 

Over 200 guests are already registered for the event. The IGA will provide updates on developments in technology and legislation, news from the Trust My Garage and Car Repair Plan schemes, and information on the latest scams to look out for. The DVSA will also be presenting up to the minute news on the MOT modernisation project, and will be demonstrating the new system live.

 

Stuart James, IGA Director commented, “It’s a real honour that garages are seeing such value in attending our events, and even though we are only halfway through 2015, from the events so far we have seen as many garages as we did in the whole of 2014. We are delighted that this will beat all previous attendances, and whatever kind of independent garage, there will be something of benefit at this event.”

 

Tickets are free for both the Car Dealer Conference & Expo and the IGA’s member event and you do not need to be a member to attend, so please call the IGA on 0845 305 4230 to book your tickets.

Source: automotiveindustrydigest.com

NFDA comment – Queen’s speech 2015

“The NFDA is encouraged to see the government’s continued commitment to introducing measures to reduce regulation on small businesses”, said Sue Robinson, Director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents franchised car and commercial vehicle retailers across the UK, following the Queen’s speech earlier today.

Robinson continued, “This will be good for our members, helping them to support and grow their business. Red tape has been a long standing issue for companies, and has been costly both in time and administration. Any plans to reduce this burden would certainly be well received by our industry.

“Measures to support businesses and job creation are all positive steps in assuring continued economic stability. A reduction in the burden of regulators on small business would be appreciated by members who have to deal with financial, health & safety, and employment regulation”.

Source: automotiveindustrydigest.com

IGA member event: the biggest yet – at car dealer conference & Expo 2015

The Independent Garage Association (IGA), the largest and most prominent trade body for independent garages, will be holding their biggest member event yet at the Car Dealer Conference & Expo 2015 on 9 June at Silverstone.

 

The IGA will also be hosting two stands on the trade floor. Members of the IGA team will be free to discuss industry issues and member enquiries on stand P108, and the IGA’s consumer code scheme for independents, Trust My Garage, will be on display at its own stand, S126.

 

Over 200 guests are already registered for the event. The IGA will provide updates on developments in technology and legislation, news from the Trust My Garage and Car Repair Plan schemes, and information on the latest scams to look out for. The DVSA will also be presenting up to the minute news on the MOT modernisation project, and will be demonstrating the new system live.

 

Stuart James, IGA Director commented, “It’s a real honour that garages are seeing such value in attending our events, and even though we are only halfway through 2015, from the events so far we have seen as many garages as we did in the whole of 2014. We are delighted that this will beat all previous attendances, and whatever kind of independent garage, there will be something of benefit at this event.”

 

Tickets are free for both the Car Dealer Conference & Expo and the IGA’s member event and you do not need to be a member to attend, so please call the IGA on 0845 305 4230 to book your tickets.

Source: automotiveindustrydigest.com

Point-of-sale consumer finance volume increases

Point-of-sale consumer new car finance was up 11% by volume and 17% by value in April, compared with the same month last year.

The percentage of private new car sales financed by Finance and Leasing Association members through dealerships reached 77.3%, a new record, figures released today by the FLA show.

Point-of-sale consumer used car finance saw continued strong growth in April, up 15% by volume and 19% by value.

Geraldine Kilkelly, head of research and chief economist at the FLA, said:

“In April, the consumer car finance market grew at its strongest rate since September last year. This contributed to growth of 8% in new business volumes in the first four months of 2015, which is in line with market expectations for growth in 2015 as a whole.”

Source: am-online.com

EU auto body says no justification for modern diesel discrimination

The European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) is disappointed Euro 6 diesels will not be included in Category 1 of the French colour coding scheme.

New car models are already compliant with Euro 6, and as of 1 September 2015, all new cars sold must meet this standard. These vehicles are the cleanest ever produced.

With a test known as Real Driving Emissions (RDE), Euro 6 will require real-world emissions testing of cars for the first time, and the automotive industry is actively supporting these developments. This means that cars’ performance will be measured not just in the laboratory, but also on the road.

“Policy should be technology-neutral to ensure the uptake of the latest low-emission vehicles. There is no reason to discriminate against clean diesel technologies,” stated ACEA Secretary General, Erik Jonnaert. “This does not make sense from an environmental or health point of view, and could be detrimental to the mobility of cities and businesses.”

As diesel cars have lower CO2 emissions per kilometre than equivalent petrol-powered vehicles, they are an important means to enable manufacturers to reach the EU’s 2021 CO2 fleet average targets. They will also continue to be an essential contributor to meeting post-2021 targets. Customers favour diesel cars because authorities have increasingly incentivised the use of low-CO2 vehicles via the tax regime and the fuel is often cheaper due to lower national taxation.

Jonnaert continued: “We share the desire to improve air quality – which will happen as newer, more advanced engines gradually replace older ones – but doing so at the expense of pushing up CO2 emissions is not the right way forward. With a policy framework in place that encourages the more rapid adoption of the latest low-emissions technologies, we can improve air quality and at the same time reduce CO2 emissions.”

This is also why the industry is calling for the support of the member states to ensure that the Commission completes very soon the RDE regulation in a sensible and balanced way. “Without the RDE regulation, industry has no legal means to demonstrate that Euro 6 diesel vehicles also have very low NOx emissions,” added Jonnaert.

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Inrix launches on street parking locator

Inrix is to launch its new on street parking locator, appearing first on BMW ConnectedDrive vehicles.

Inrix On-Street Parking answers questions for drivers including:

  • Where can I park? With availability updated hourly, quickly identify streets with the best chances of finding a parking spot.
  • How much will parking cost? Information on pricing, parking/permit restrictions, policy rules (free vs. paid times/days).
  • Is there a car park nearby? When on-street parking is unavailable, drivers can be directed to one of more than 80,000 off-street parking locations in Europe and North America. The service provides pricing and availability information, ability to compare locations by distance and price as well as locate the nearest entrance.

BMW and Inrix demonstrated the system in a BMW i3 at the Telematics Automotive 2015 conference showing how location, local rules and pricing, real-time traffic, transactions and mobile data can be analysed through the platform to show which streets have available parking.

“What good is an autonomous vehicle if it can’t find a place to park after it drops you off?” said Bryan Mistele, President and CEO, Inrix.

“As we connect cars to smarter cities, Inrix On-Street Parking fills a critical gap that addresses the growing challenge of traffic and parking in cities worldwide.”

Initially is available in Seattle, Vancouver BC, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Cologne, and Copenhagen, the service will expand to cover 23 cities by the end of the year.

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Government urged to focus on road safety

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is urging the new Government to increase its efforts in promoting road safety by giving targeted enforcement a higher priority.

With the yet-to-be-revealed figures for 2014 shaping up to show an increase in deaths and injuries on UK roads, the IAM believe the new Government must make road traffic policing a core priority function for police forces and commissioners in England and Wales.

The call comes following a survey conducted by the IAM throughout April 2015, in which 2,703 people took part. Despite years of Government cutbacks and police budgets continuing to be stretched, more than 45% of respondents voted for an increase in the number of police officers in marked vehicles to enforce traffic laws.

Top offences that road users would like to see police officers tackle include; mobile phone use at the wheel – voted by 72%, drink and drug-driving – voted by 65%, aggressive and angry drivers – voted by 50% and tailgating drivers – voted by 42%.

With over 3,064 motorists killed or seriously injured in 2013 as a result of speeding, tackling speed related offences also remains a major priority for drivers.

According to 64% of survey respondents, one of the best ways to confront the issue is by ensuring that there are more traffic police officers on all major urban roads.

With reference to drink-driving alone, existing research from the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) has found that young drivers aged between 20 and 25 are most likely to be caught driving under the influence of alcohol and are therefore at a higher risk of being involved in a road accident.

Some 44% of respondents agree that a new consultation is needed to reflect the growing support for a lower limit following Scotland’s new drink-drive legislation from 80mg to 50mg limit, which came into effect on December 5, 2014.

Besides seeing more traffic police officers on our roads, many road users believe that the police should be granted more extensive powers.

For example, 45% of respondents support having more discretion to breath test based on where drivers are likely to be driving after drinking (e.g. near pubs and clubs) which could l help combat this issue far more rigorously.

IAM’s chief executive officer Sarah Sillars said: “The Government cannot afford to be complacent about road safety and a lot more needs to be done to address major road offences through the enforcement of existing legislation and full use of police powers.

“The IAM supports an increase in the number of high profile road policing officers and a zero tolerance approach to the enforcement of traffic laws.

“Where drivers are failing to live up to the required standards they must be given access to a wider range of targeted retraining courses that refresh their skills, these include the IAM drink-drive rehabilitation course, educational campaigns targeting young drivers, and the IAM Skill for Life course which help existing drivers to improve their skills and give them greater awareness of other road users.”

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Transport for London seeks partners for electric vehicle charging infrastructure

Transport for London has issued a Prior Information Notice to identify suppliers and partners for future charging infrastructure in London.

This includes plans to deliver a rapid charge network for taxis, private hire vehicles and other commercial fleets to support the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson’s plans for an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The Mayor confirmed earlier this year that the world’s first ULEZ will be introduced in central London from September 2020. This is part of the Mayor’s work to significantly improve air quality and in turn the health of Londoners. The ULEZ will also provide a further incentive for the mass take-up of ultra low emission vehicles, stimulating the growth of this market in the UK and supporting manufacturers.

TfL recognises that the continued growth of this market is dependent on appropriate infrastructure being available. It is now looking to potential partners and suppliers to explore the full range of technology available and how it could be deployed across the Capital.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director for surface transport, said: “To complement the introduction of the world’s first ULEZ and boost the number of zero emission capable vehicles on London’s roads, it’s important that the right charging infrastructure is in place. In particular over the next few years there will be more zero emission capable vehicles coming to market which are suitable for use as taxis or commercial fleet vehicles. The demands of these types of vehicle are significantly different to privately owned electric cars, which is why we are exploring how their charging needs can be met. The publication of a Prior Information Notice is the first step in that process.”

Having already secured 1,400 publicly accessible charging points in the Capital, TfL is now refreshing London’s ambitions for ultra low emission vehicles with a delivery plan to be published this summer. It addresses how new charging infrastructure – including rapid charging – will be deployed to meet the growing demands, in particular for charging zero emission capable taxis, private hire vehicles and other commercial fleets.

The Mayor has proposed that from 1 January 2018 all newly registered taxis and private hire vehicles must meet a zero emission capable standard. Rapid charge points supply 80 per cent of a full charge in less than 30 minutes so are suitable for supporting the electrification of high mileage urban commercial fleets. Plans to change the licensing requirement for these vehicles, with the final package of measures currently being discussed with the trade, will present specific charging requirements which cannot currently be met by the existing public network of electric vehicle charge points. A consultation on proposed changes to taxi and private hire regulations to complement the ULEZ will be launched later this summer.

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

Fleet registrations remain strong as demand for ultra-low emission vehicles rise

Fleet new car registrations in May were up 3% year-on-year, with 106,865 units registered to fleet and business during the month, equating to 53.7% of overall sales.

The figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that fleet and business registrations are now 10% up on where they were this time last year.

They account for 590,340 registrations, compared to the 536,876 cars registered during the same period last year, and a 52.7% share of overall registrations, which stands at 1,119,072 units.

The SMMT also reveal a strong surge in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs), with 11,842 ULEVs registered between January and May – a four-fold rise on the 2,838 registrations in the same period last year.

The growth says the SMMT is further evidence of UK car buyers’ increasing awareness of the significant benefits of driving a ULEV, as they look to reduce their running costs and environmental impact. Motorists can now choose from a diverse range of around 20 ULEVs, compared to just six in 2011.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said, “The remarkable growth in demand for plug-in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases. Meanwhile, we anticipate a natural levelling out of the overall new car market throughout the remainder of 2015.”

The rise in overall new car registrations, meanwhile, marks the 39th consecutive month of growth in the market.

David Raistrick, UK automotive leader at Deloitte, said: “The growth in fleet sales has been key to the UK new car market maintaining this upward trend, as there has been a distinct slowing in the increase in private sales, compared to 2014.

“May’s results showed that the increase in new cars sold to private buyers over the first five months rose by only c6,600, compared to a rise of c57,700 for the first five months of last year. Yet growth in fleet sales has increased from 40,000 cars to 58,000 cars in the same period.

“This could be the first real indication that the consumer led growth, which kick-started the UK new car market nearly three years ago, is levelling off and is not sustainable.

“With the UK car parc standing at around 32.6 million cars on the road, this represents over one car for every two people. This figure suggests that there is little prospect of the UK car parc increasing significantly enough to allow for the continued rate of growth in new car sales, whilst also supporting the used car market and underpinning residual values.”

Source: fleetnews.co.uk

New car registrations rise 2.4% in May

Demand in the new car market continued unabated in May with registrations up 2.4% year-on-year to 198,706 units marking the 39th consecutive month of growth, according to the SMMT.

Registrations in the month pushed year to date dates sales over the 1 million mark to 1,119,072 units, a year-on-year increase of 5.68%.

The SMMT said the market continued to be stimulated by low interest finance deals on new cars.

“More than one million cars have been registered in 2015 as a range of new products and attractive finance deals with low interest rates continue to draw buyers to showrooms. With many purchases on a three-year replacement cycle, new cars bought as the recession ended are now being replaced,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

The SMMT also highlighted increased demand for electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles with 11,842 ULEVs registered in the year-to-date, a four-fold rise on the 2,838 registrations in the same period last year.

The remarkable growth in demand for plug-in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases,” said Hawes.

The SMMT reconfirmed its expectation that new car demand will level out during the rest of the year.

 

Best sellers May Year-to-date
1 Ford Fiesta 9,349 1 Ford Fiesta 59,447
2 Ford Focus 7,355 2 Vauxhall Corsa 40,564
3 Vauxhall Corsa 6,513 3 Ford Focus 35,989
4 Volkswagen Golf 5,897 4 Volkswagen Golf 30,686
5 Vauxhall Astra 4,916 5 Nissan Qashqai 27,361
6 MINI 4,095 6 Vauxhall Astra 23,538
7 Volkswagen Polo 4,028 7 Volkswagen Polo 23,523
8 Audi A3 3,999 8 Audi A3 22,338
9 Nissan Qashqai 3,978 9 Mercedes-Benz C Class 20,726
10 Nissan Juke 3,897 10 Fiat 500 18,449

Source: motortrader.com

Dealers urged to “hold their nerve” on used car margins

Dealers and used car re-marketers have been urged to hold their nerve following a recent warning from CAP on downward pressure on used car margins and residual values.

Mike Pilkington, managing director of Paragon Automotive, the vehicle PDI and end of life specialist, said CAP is mistaken to argue structural shifts are driving up refurbishment costs for dealers, and softening used car values.

“The industry needs to hold its nerve. We can see a seasonal fluctuation in residual values as we head into the summer months. It is far too early to call a longer term trend in residual values from over-supply. Dealers will gravitate to better quality stock when the market has a surplus of stock. We expect volumes to tighten and residual values to firm up as we get closer to September,” he said.

Pilkington also urged dealers to have processes in place to re-market the influx of used cars coming in from PCP contracts.

“While the boom in PCP is driving change in the UK supply chain we are still prey to cycles of peaks in supply and demand. That is not to take away from the challenges faced by vendors and dealers in managing the changes driven by PCP, but a sound used car strategy will mitigate the impact.”

Source: motortrader.com

Used car sales hit six year high of 6.8 million

Annual used car sales hit a six-year high in 2014 with 6.89 million vehicles changing hands, despite the market dipping marginally in Q4.

Retail and private sales of used cars increased by 1.18% on the 6.81 million recorded in 2013 to reach their highest point since 2008, when 7.21 million used vehicles were sold, according to Experian’s analysis of DVLA change of ownership data.

The fourth quarter saw sales dip -0.21% to 1,528,194 (2013: 1,531,348).

Greater London’s annual used car sales rose by 2.25% in 2014 compared to 2013, the greatest increase of any region. Sales went up by 2.09% in the North West and 2.06% in Scotland over the same period. East Anglia was the only region to experience a decline in sales, falling 5.24% compared to 2013.

“The steady increase in used car sales is encouraging for motor traders, although the market is still down from when more than seven million vehicles transacted annually before the economic downturn,” said Andrew Ballard, automotive director at Experian.

“Car buyers are changing. People are thinking beyond the initial purchase price and more about the monthly impact and affordability of owning and operating a car. Motor traders have responded by offering service and warranty packages alongside more flexible car finance for used vehicles, giving people confidence their investment will provide value in the long-term

“The variation in used car sales across the regions shows that national dealer groups in particular can’t treat any two areas the same if they are to meet the needs of their customers. Gaining a greater understanding of the evolving needs of people living within their area will help to ensure cars spend less time on their forecourt.”

Source: motortrader.com

Osborne announces £545m in transport cuts for 2015/16

George Osborne has announced transport budget cuts of £545 million for 2015-16 as part of a wider Whitehall budget review process to save £4.5 billion.

The transport budget cut is the largest of the Government department’s budget saving measures.

Part of the cuts include the Government bringing forward sale of land around King’s Cross, which is valued at £345 million.

That leaves £200m in further cuts to transport. BusinessCar has contacted the Department for Transport to find out where the rest of the cuts will fall, including whether the Goverment’s plans for investment in road infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and the plug-in vehicle grant will be affected.

Source: businesscar.co.uk

Fleet leads new car market in May

Fleet business drove new car registrations in May with volumes up 4.5% to 100,599 units.

The increase in fleet registrations last month maintains the continued growth seen so far this year, with company car volumes tracking at 11.8% higher to 528,732 units than between January and May last year.

The market overall increased by 2.4% in May to 198,706 units year-on-year, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The retail market increased slightly last month by 1.2% to 91,841 units.

The SMMT said the ultra-low emission vehicle (ULEV) market, cars with emissions below 75g/km, has seen a four-fold rise between January and May to 11,842 units compared to the same period last year.

There are now over 20 ULEVs available in the UK for fleet to choose from, compared to just six in 2011.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The remarkable growth in demand for plug in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases.

“Meanwhile, we anticipate a natural levelling out of the overall new car market throughout the remainder of 2015.”

The rise in overall new car registrations marks the 39th consecutive month of growth in the market.

The SMMT said that with many purchases on a three-year replacement cycle, new cars bought as the recession ended are now being replaced.

The Ford Fiesta once again took the top spot in May with 9349 units registered and 59,447 units year-to-date.

Source: businesscar.co.uk

Van registrations up once again

Van registrations increased by 15.1% year-on-year last month, to 27,960 units, resulting in the strongest May sales on record, according to the latest Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders figures.

Year to date, 150,662 vehicles have been registered, which is up 20.7% on the first five months of last year.

The niche 4×4 sector saw the biggest increase in registrations, to 828 units compared to May 2014’s total of 623 vehicles, while the pick-up market increased by 18.8% to 2949 units.

Registrations of vans weighing between 2.5 and 3.5-tonnes increased by 21.0% to 16,669 units, but registrations of vans weighing between 2.0 and 2.5-tonnes fell by 2.5% compared to May last year.

“Van market growth in particular remains robust, with year-to-date registrations up by more than a fifth passing the 150,000 mark in May for the first time on record,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

Source: businesscar.co.uk

 

DVLA promotes support services ahead of paper counterpart abolition

The DVLA is promoting its support services available to fleets ahead of the abolition of the paper counterpart on 8 June.

The Government body said it has created the table in response to stakeholder feedback. A larger version of the table describing the support services available and the costs involve can be found here.

“In response to stakeholder feedback, we’ve created a DVLA Driver Enquiry Services overview which sets out the range of services that we provide directly to customers and the information available within each of those services. There are also a number of intermediary companies that are able to provide driving licence information,” the DVLA said.

Last month, the DVLA moved its long-awaited licence-checking tool, Share Driving Licence, out of a private beta into a public beta.

The free tool allows users to view the vehicle categories they’re entitled to drive and any endorsements or penalty points accrued.

The service allows driving licence holders to share information held at the DVLA with others – such as rental companies – while ensuring they stay in control of who sees it, the DVLA said.

It also enables users to share licence information with third party companies via a unique single-use code, which the third-party can use to access licence information.

The service can be found here.

In February, the DVLA produced a communications toolkit aimed at helping fleets to prepare for the upcoming abolishment of the photocard licence counterpart.

The toolkit includes banner adverts, briefing packs, leaflets, posters and a video designed to help raise awareness of the changes.

The toolkit can be found here.

Source: businesscar.co.uk

New car registrations grow steadily as ultra-low emission vehicles surge past 10k mark

FIGURES released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show a steady 2.4 per cent growth in the UK new car market, accompanied by a strong surge in demand for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs).

A total of 11,842 ULEVs were registered between January and May – a four-fold rise on the 2,838 registrations in the same period last year. The growth is further evidence of UK car buyers’ increasing awareness of the significant benefits of driving a ULEV, as they look to reduce their running costs and the environmental impact of their activities.

Motorists can now choose from a diverse range of around 20 ULEVs, compared to just six in 2011.

The rise in overall new car registrations, meanwhile, marks the 39th consecutive month of growth in the market. More than one million cars have been registered in 2015 as a range of new products and attractive finance deals with low interest rates continue to draw buyers to showrooms.

With many purchases on a three-year replacement cycle, new cars bought as the recession ended are now being replaced.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘The remarkable growth in demand for plug-in vehicles is expected to continue as the range of ultra-low emission vehicles on sale increases. Meanwhile, we anticipate a natural levelling out of the overall new car market throughout the remainder of 2015.’

Source: cardealermagazine.co.uk

Dealers preparing for a paper mountain…

NEARLY half of car dealers (44 per cent) expect the amount of paperwork handled by car dealerships to increase over the next three years – with 12 per cent anticipating a dramatic rise here.

Just one in three (32 per cent) anticipates a decline in the amount of paperwork they have to deal with. Already, 57 per cent of dealers say over half of their work is paper-based, and one in five (20 per cent) say that 75 per cent or more is.

These are the findings of new research from EDM Group, the information management specialists.

In terms of why the amount of paper the industry deals with is set to rise, nearly nine-tenths (89 per cent) of dealers say it is because of more regulation, while 79 per cent believe it is because of changes to company rules and corporate governance. Half say it is because they will have to conduct more checks on customers.

Matt Collinge, associate director automotive at EDM Group, said: ‘The impact of more paperwork not only increases the chances of dealers being exposed to allegations of fraud, it can also have a huge impact on customer service levels.

‘Some 59 per cent of respondents to our survey say they expect service levels to fall because of this – some 15 per cent believe the increased focus on paper will have a “very negative” impact on service levels.

‘When you consider the fact over four-fifths (86 per cent) of people who experienced poor customer service from the last car dealer they dealt with would not go back to them, and that 34 per cent of people claim to avoid companies in the sector because they have a poor reputation, the impact of this on customer service can be devastating.

‘Many car dealers and manufacturers are aware of the risks here and are working with organisations like us to automate much more of the sales process.’

EDM Group currently generates around 10 per cent of its revenue from the automotive sector but because of the huge challenges facing car manufacturers and dealers with regards to information management, the firm is forecasting a dramatic increase over the next few years.

  • EDM Group provides companies with effective and efficient ways to manage the rapidly growing volumes of information flowing into and through their businesses every day. EDM’s automotive clients include three of the top five car marques in the UK, along with leading original equipment manufacturers, suppliers, dealers/retailers, vehicle rental companies, aftercare providers and finance & fleet management companies.

Source: cardealermagazine.co.uk

Posted by Lois Hardy on 04/06/2015