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Daily News Round UpBack



George Osborne has announced a review of the MOT frequency, proposing that the first MOT for cars and motorbikes be increased from three years to four.

In his budget speech, the Chancellor said: “We will consult on extending the deadline for new cars and motorbikes to have their first MOT test from 3 years to 4 years, which would save motorists over £100m a year”.

This suggestion has not gone down well with the trade. The RMI’s Independent Garage Association Director Stuart James said: “The government seems to take the view that the MOT is a burden on motorists – we think that motorists deserve more credit than that. Road safety is a priority for them and their families and they understand that roadworthiness testing of vehicle is an important part of making our roads among the safest in Europe.”

The Chancellor didn’t specify when the consultation might start, or how wide reaching it might be. However, it is notable that the wording of the speech excluded vans as it is has been noted in previous frequency reviews that vehicles in MOT class VII generally lead a much harder life and need more frequent checks.


Cartotrade aids £1.5m of trades in first fortnight of operations

Cartotrade, the new online trade-to-trade platform set-up by the original management team of Autotrade-mail – Kevin Watson, Laura Cannon and Gee Pugsley, has already seen stock worth over £1.5 million within its first fortnight of trading as it looks to bring more dealers on board.

Cannon said: “With a severe shortage of quality stock, it’s been really nice to see prime retail stock coming onto the platform, from a Fiat 500 convertible to a choice of Mini Countrymans.”

The online B2B trade arena is heating up with lots of new businesses bringing their offering to the table.

Watson added: “Before deciding to launch our own business, we carried out an in-depth analysis of the existing B2B players and came to the conclusion that we could be refreshingly different.

“It’s nice not to be working for a corporation or reporting to shareholders. I’m not knocking BCA’s Tradeouts, or Manheim’s Dealer Auction or even Auto Trader’s Autotrade-Mail, but we have the freedom and fluidity to do precisely what dealers want. We know it will take many months or possibly even years to become a true partner, but we’re determined to put in the hard work to get there”.


Nissan Pathfinder was fastest selling used car in June, says Glass’s

Nissan’s Pathfinder was the fastest selling used car in June in a market dominated by 4x4s and people carriers as families got set for summer.

And for the first time, Dacia Duster entered Glass’s ‘Hot Five’ in third.

The Peugeot 5008 is in second place and the Chrysler Grand Voyager in fourth.

Glass’s monthly Hot Five is based on 300 models which have been subject to more than 50 price observations over a four-week period. The set is then split by range, and an average is determined by the number of days that cars have been advertised on web portals.

Rupert Pontin, head of valuations at Glass’s, said: “Used car sales at this time of year are often dominated by family friendly cars as the holiday getaway is top of mind for buyers. All of the vehicles that have made the top five represent excellent value for families.”

Glass’s ‘Hot Five’ for June

  1. Nissan Pathfinder
  2. Peugeot 5008
  3. Dacia Duster
  4. Chrysler Grand Voyager
  5. Ford Kuga


Improving the quality of road surfaces tops drivers’ wishlists

Improving the quality of road surfaces on England’s major roads is the top priority for drivers, new research has found.

Safer design and maintenance of roads, better behaved drivers and the better management of roadworks are also in their top four priorities.

Transport Focus, the independent transport user watchdog, asked nearly 5,000 car and van drivers and motorcyclists to rank their priorities for improvement. The results are broken down by type of vehicle, region, age, gender, disability and journey purpose and length.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of Transport Focus, said: “Road surface quality is important to drivers and bikers – this is a desire for less noisy, and more comfortable and safe journeys whatever the weather, as well as less potholes.

“This insight should help Highways England and the Government to focus investment and effort on things that make a real difference to road users.”

The research, Road users’ priorities for improvement: car and van drivers and motorcyclists, also found that:

  • Reduced journey times were ranked by drivers as their sixth priority for improvement, although this moved up to second place for commuters and third for business users
  • The better management of unplanned delays such as accidents or breakdowns is more important to women drivers from all age groups who ranked it third, than men drivers who ranked it fifth and sixth across different age groups
  • Drivers within the M25 ranked reduced journey time as their second highest priority for improvement
  • Bikers are far more aware of (81 per cent) smart motorways than drivers (68%).

This research is the first large-scale quantitative research the watchdog has carried out since starting to represent users of England’s major roads in March 2015.


Motor Trader Awards 2015: the winners

Marshall Motor Group, Ridgeway, Benfield Motor Group and Hyundai Motor UK were among the winners at the Motor Trader Awards held last night at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Park Lane.

Before an audience of more than 1,200, the Dealer Group of the Year award was presented to Benfield Motor Group while the Franchised Dealership of the Year went to Richmond Hyundai (Portsmouth).

The Carmaker of the Year category was won by Hyundai Motor UK while the Citroen C4 Cactus took the New Car of the Year accolade.

Individual excellence was celebrated on the evening with the CEO of the Year award presented to Daksh Gupta of Marshall Motor Group.

The Outstanding Achievement Award went to Angela Barrow of EMaC for her tireless work in promoting service plans to the benefit of consumers, dealers and carmakers over the past decade.

Digital featured strongly at the motor retail industry’s largest awards event with The Digital Initiative of the Year Award and the Dealer Website of the Year going to Perry Motor Sales. The Social Media Award and Employer of the Year awards were won by Ridgeway.

The Motor Trader Financial Management Award was presented to Sarah Jones of Thompson Motor Company on the evening while the Independent Garage of the Year was won by ACC UK (Farnborough).

A video of the evening will soon be posted at and photographs can be seen and purchased at shortly.

The full list of award winners are listed below:

Financial Management Award
Sponsored by ASE plc
Sarah Jones, Thompson Motor Company (Preston)
Highly Commended
Paul Geary, Triangle of Chesterfield
Adam Redpath, Burton Kia
Jay Varsani, Spire Automotive (West Hampstead)

Independent Garage of the Year Award
Sponsored by Independent Garage Association
ACC UK (Farnborough)
Highly Commended
Anderson Clark Motor Repairs (Inverness)

Bodyshop of the Year Award
Sponsored by National Association of Bodyshops
Rye Street Coachworks (Bishops Stortford)
Highly Commended
Devonshire Motors Accident Repair Centre (Barnstaple)
Marshall Mercedes Benz of Blackpool

Factor of the Year Award
Sponsored by Unipart Autoparts
Andrew Page (Leeds)
Highly Commended
Fast Parts Wales (Cwmbran)

New Dealership of the Year Award
Sponsored by AutoProtect
Reed Autos (Cambridge)

Most Improved Dealership of the Year Award
Sponsored by The Car Finance Company
Humphries & Parks (West Malling)
Highly Commended
Marshall Audi Plymouth

Customer Care Award
Sponsored by Car Care Plan
Ken Jervis Kia (Stoke-on-Trent)

Aftersales Excellence Award
Sponsored by EMaC
Pebley Beach Hyundai (Swindon)

Digital Initiative of the Year Award
Sponsored by Auto Trader
Perrys Motor Sales

Social Media Award
Sponsored by Marketing Delivery
Highly Commended
Imperial Car Supermarkets

Dealer Website of the Year Award
Sponsored by
Perrys Motor Sales
Highly Commended
Alan Day Volkswagen

Dealer Product of the Year Award
Sponsored by Specialist Automotive Finance
iVendi (iVendi Platform)

Used Car Retailer of the Year Award
Sponsored by The WMS Group
Cargiant (London)
Highly Commended
John Holland (Sheffield)

New Car of the Year Award
Sponsored by Jewelultra Diamondbrite
Citroën C4 Cactus

Best Car Advertising Campaign Award
Sponsored by Premia Solutions
Peugeot – The Legend Returns (208 GTi 30th)

Employer of the Year Award
Sponsored by Perfect Placement Automotive Recruitment
Ridgeway (Newbury)

Sales Team of the Year Award
Sponsored by The Warranty Group
Sinclair Volkswagen Swansea

Sales Manager of the Year Award
Sponsored by Dealerweb
Dario Vieira, Cargiant (London)

Business Manager of the Year Award
Sponsored by GMAC
Clive Marks, Crown Honda (Bushey Heath)
Highly Commended
Ryan Amos, Ridgeway Kidlington Volkswagen

Dealer Principal of the Year Award
Sponsored by Black Horse
Amarjit Shokar, Romford Mazda

CEO of the Year Award
Sponsored by AA Cars
Daksh Gupta, Marshall Motor Group

Franchised Dealership of the Year Award
Sponsored by AMS – Asset Secure
Richmond Hyundai (Portsmouth)

Dealer Group of the Year Award
Sponsored by TOTAL Lubricants
Benfield Motor Group

Carmaker of the Year Award
Sponsored by Allianz Global Assistance UK
Hyundai Motor UK

Outstanding Achievement Award
Sponsored by HPI
Angela Barrow, EMaC


Budget delivers ‘big tax rises’ for owner operators says ASE

Dealer profitability specialist ASE said the budget had delivered some big tax rises for owner operators in the retail motor sector

Mike Jones, chairman (pictured) at profitability specialists ASE said that “on balance there is more bad than good news for the UK motor trade” within the Chancellor’s announcement.

“There were some big tax rises for owner operators and potential changes required to the sales department remuneration structures.”

According to ASE the kay measures and impacts are:

Corporation Tax
The drop in corporation tax will be welcome by UK motor retailers; although the benefit of this may be outweighed by the change to the way that dividends are taxed. With the majority of motor retailer groups being owner operated many business owners pay themselves predominantly in dividends, this will become much more expensive under the measures introduced in the Budget.

The move to boost apprenticeships is welcome to a sector which is passionate about training new employees.

Living Wage
Many businesses will have to review their sales executive remuneration packages to ensure that their sales executive’s base salary is compliant with the new national living wage.

Sunday Trading
Motor retailers may now take the opportunity to extend their opening hours on a Sunday, although several dealers have already trialled closing their dealerships on a Sunday to provide a greater work life balance for their staff. Some have found that this made little economic impact to their business, so there may not be a rush to full seven day opening.

Vehicle Excise Duty
A new banding has been introduced to protect the government’s revenue as the industry successfully reduces CO2 emissions in new vehicles. In addition the government is raising the VED on more expensive cars which may appear counterproductive given the success stories of UK vehicle manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover.

Goodwill Tax Relief
Whilst the devil is in the detail, it would appear that corporation tax relief on purchased goodwill is being phased out immediately. This will have a significant effect on many motor retail transactions removing the incentive for acquirers to buy assets.

Annual Investment Allowance
Currently the investment allowance is £500k and this was due to drop to £25k in January 2016. A new permanent level of £200,000 has now been introduced from January 2016. This is clearly positive however dealers still need to be careful with timing of expenditure because if a large amount of qualifying expenditure is incurred there is still a cashflow disadvantage if this is incurred in December 2016 year end compared to 2015.


Supermarkets drop the price of diesel by 2p/litre

Both Sainsbury’s and Tesco have reduced the cost of diesel by two pence per litre across the country from today (9 July).

Tesco has a network of 500 filling stations and Sainsbury’s has a network of 300.

Yesterday, the chancellor, George Osborne, confirmed that fuel duty will remain at the same level this year, and the supermarkets have been quick to seize the initiative.

“Fuel can be a big expense, so we’re proud to be offering our customers great value for money when they fill up with Sainsbury’s,” said Avishai Moor, Sainsbury’s head of fuel.

“With summer holidays just around the corner, we’re helping our customers to get away with their families by dropping the cost of diesel by 2ppl at all of our 500 filling stations from tomorrow”. Said Peter Cattell, fuel director for Tesco.

The RAC welcomed the news.

“This is a bold step by Tesco and Sainsbury’s and we are confident that they will be swiftly followed by other retailers making even deeper cuts, and should lead to a fundamental re-balance of pricing in the retail fuel market,” said Simon Williams, RAC fuel spokesman. “We need greater transparency and a fairer pricing model for both petrol and diesel and this is likely spell the end of the focus on petrol prices alone.”


Summer Budget: Insurance premium tax rise leaves premium impact uncertain

Insurance premium tax, paid on general insurance policies including car insurance, is to rise from its current 6% to 9.5%, the chancellor announced in his summer Budget speech.

Effective from this November, the chancellor cites the fact that the UK’s rate is lower than other EU member states, comparing it with Germany’s 19%.

But the AA reacted angrily, describing it as an “outrageous hike which could well backfire by leading to an increase in uninsured drivers,” according to AA president Edmund King. The organization claimed that IPT increase will mean an extra £17.50 on a £530 average premium, and that it will also apply to breakdown cover.

The move was one of a number affecting the insurance market, with the Government also looking into claims management companies via a “fundamental review of the regulation of claims management companies, which will report to HM Treasury and the Ministry of Justice in early 2016″. It will also bring forward proposals for the introduction of a cap on the charges CMCs can apply to their customers, consulting on how these would work in practice.”

Also mentioned in the Budget statement was that the Insurance Fraud Taskforce will report by the end of this year on what can be done to reduce the impact of fraud on insurance premiums.


Summer Budget: Tusker not concerned by spotlight on salary sacrifice

Leading salary sacrifice vehicle provider Tusker has dismissed any concerns that car salary sacrifice schemes could come under increased Government scrutiny, claiming independent research has showed a clear taxation benefit.

“Salary sacrifice arrangements can allow some employees and employers to reduce

the income tax and National Insurance that they pay on remuneration. They are becoming

increasingly popular and the cost to the taxpayer is rising,” read the official Budget documentation. “The government will actively monitor the growth of these schemes and their effect on tax receipts.”

But Tusker’s research, conducted by accounting expert PwC found: “Overall, the data shows that the salary sacrifice arrangement on its own can produce a tax-positive result,” said the report. “Furthermore, after taking into account the additional tax payments from the company, the arrangement overall becomes tax positive and helps drive additional tax revenues to the Treasury by promoting sales, in-life management and disposal of incremental new cars into the economy.”

“Not all salary sacrifice schemes are the same, and we see the provision of cars as very different because of the BIK element, and we can prove that,” Tusker chief commercial officer Iain Carmichael told BusinessCar. “For me, salary sacrifice arrangements cover a massively broad spectrum – childcare vouchers, computer and phones to provision of a car through salary sacrifice and we see them fall into two distinct groups – some have BIK payable and there are others with no other taxation payable.

“With all others such as pensions, it’s logical they have a look,” he continued. “We’ll be happy to engage with them and provide evidence that they are tax positive.”

Carmichael said 70% of Tusker’s salary sacrifice customers have never owned a new car before, and 80% of the firm’s business is in salary sacrifice.


Summer Budget: First MoT set to be pushed out to four years

The Government is to consult on plans to extend the first MoT test to four years from the current three in a move that would mean most fleet cars can be run without the requirement for the annual test.

The chancellor claimed a move, which is subject to public consultation and cost-benefit analysis, would save motorists more than £100m per year.

The speech specifically indentified “cars and motorbikes”, with no word on vans or heavier vehicles at this stage.



Last year was a turning point for the automobile industry in Europe. With a total of 12.6 million passenger cars registered, it marked the first positive annual result since the financial crisis began in 2007. This growth has been maintained throughout the first half of 2015.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) has now revised its forecast for car registrations for the full year to 5 per cent, considering that over the first five months of 2015 the year-on-year growth was 6.8 per cent.

In terms of units, this would mean surpassing the 13 million cars mark this year. This is still well below the 2007 peak of almost 16 million cars.

‘Despite this positive forecast, we cannot afford to become complacent,’ stated ACEA secretary general, Erik Jonnaert. ‘Europe still faces challenging times. Today EU car sales are behind those of China and of the United States, where sales levels have now recovered to pre-crisis levels.’

Erik continued, ‘This is why it is now more important than ever to ensure that the competitiveness of our industry – one of Europe’s most vital strategic sectors – remains high on the European and national policy agendas.’

‘ACEA’s call to European policy makers is to create an environment which fosters innovation and international trade – the two main drivers for our industry’s competitiveness on a global scale.’



One of the UK’s leading classic car and bike insurance brokers has announced a new partnership with one of the principal online vehicle documentation platforms.

Footman James is embarking on a special relationship with Patina which provides a platform for authenticated digital vehicle history.

FJ customers will benefit from this new association by being able to store and preserve all their car’s history, flag up important events such as MOTs and enjoy the social aspect of sharing their passion and interests with fellow enthusiasts within the Patina community.

David Bond, Footman James’ director said, ‘We are delighted to be able to announce this new partnership to our customers. It comes at a time when we have just launched our new and improved online Quote & Buy service; redesigned and upgraded it is efficient, up to date and easier to navigate, offering immediate quotes. Importantly, this latest version is now suitable for use on mobiles and tablets, allowing you 24 hour instant access.’

Tim Joslyn, founder at Patina said, ‘We are very happy to be partnering with Footman James who understand the importance of provenance and history to classic vehicles. The Patina platform exists to enable people to preserve the history of their cars for generations to come, ultimately helping to enhance their value. Using our mobile iOS and Android apps as well as our web platform it is a way to simplify what is often an arduous task involving lots of bits of paper.’


Small SUV sales forecast to nearly double in Europe’s top markets

Small SUV sales in Europe’s five largest car markets are forecast to nearly double to 931,000 units by 2018, led by fast-rising demand in France, the UK and Italy, according to IHS Automotive, which also sees the segment growing more than 70 percent to 1.3 million units Europewide by 2020. France was Europe’s No. 1 sales market for subcompact-sized SUVs and crossovers last year and it is expected to extend its lead over the UK between now and 2018 (see table below) as more Europeans move away from hatchbacks and sedans, matching a trend already underway in the U.S.

“America embraced the SUV, and you can see that trend happening here. The dominance of the hatchback and sedan will be gone in a decade or two,” analyst Justin Cox, head of European production with LMC Automotive, told Automotive News Europe. In 2014, small SUV sales in Europe rose 54 percent to 761,087, according to data from JATO Dynamics. The only segment to experience greater percentage-based grow was electric cars, which were up 79 percent in the region last year. When all volume- and premium-brand SUV and crossover sales were counted in 2014 more than 2.5 million units were sold. That means one out of every five car buyers in Europe chose an SUV or crossover last year, up from 17 percent in 2013. The market share rose to 23 percent of all car sales during the first quarter of this year, according to figures from the French automakers association CCFA.


Horex saved

German motorcycle company Horex is returning to production after being rescued from financial ruin by a new owner, who promises finished bikes will be shown in just a few months. And these official sketches show how the new bike will look.

Horex ran out of cash in 2014 and was put under the control of the regional government where it carried on trading under financial protection but was eventually sold off to a company called 3C Carbon.

The new owners are promising a weight-saving programme, better handling and a comprehensive makeover for the VR6 roadster, and that the bike will be seen for the first time at the Milan motorcycle show this November.

Beneath the light restyle, the chassis, 1200cc six-cylinder engine, running gear and cycle parts remain mostly unchanged. The new bike will be getting a new exhaust system and the rear-end is also being subjected to a cosmetic nip and tuck to reduce the bulk and sharpen its lines.


Posted by Lois Hardy on 09/07/2015