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Dvla1Real-world testing of V5C online service to begin

Real-world testing of a new online platform that gives fleets access to the V5C vehicle registration certificate will begin in a few months.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) told Fleet News that it was continuing to refine the View Vehicle Record (VVR) enquiry service, but feedback from fleets so far had been positive.

Further testing of the system is currently being carried out. A DVLA spokesman said: “We’re aiming to have a service available to a small number of fleet companies to use in their own working environment in January 2015 – this will allow us to continue getting feedback before opening it up to fleet companies who are associated with DVLA via a fleet code.”

The service will eventually be available 24/7 on the Government website and will be available through a variety of devices, such as PCs and tablets.

“As information about the vehicles contained in the fleet will be available at a click of a button, it will remove the need to refer to a V5C when users need to get hold of some information,” the spokesman added.

“If the service removes the need to view the V5C, these fleet operators may wish to take the opportunity to have the vehicle’s V5C suppressed at first registration.”

The ability for fleets to request V5C vehicle registration documents when they need them, rather than having to store paper copies, will save companies an estimated £3 million each year and the DVLA around £6m.

High-volume fleet operator Motability was among those organisations recently given a demonstration of the new online platform. It manages around 620,000 vehicles and sends the DVLA between 500 and 1,200 notifications of disposal to a motor trader a day.

It currently employs a series of electronic carousel filing cabinets to store the details of thousands of registration certificates. When it wants to retrieve a particular V5C, it enters the details on to a laptop and the cabinet rotates to present the file’s location where the V5C can be found.


CO2OECD calls for car BIK tax rise to improve air quality

Company cars and diesel should be taxed more heavily to cut CO2 emissions and traffic congestion, and improve air pollution.

A research study of 27 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, plus South Africa, argues that under-taxing company cars amounts to an average annual subsidy per car of around £1,260.The subsidy ranges from just £45 in Canada to £2,178 in Belgium.

In the UK, the OECD research suggests that company car drivers receive an average annual subsidy of around £880.

It estimates that the total cost of the subsidy across the 28 countries for 2012 was the equivalent of more than £21 billion in foregone tax revenues.

The OECD works with global Governments to understand key issues and suggest policy changes.

While Governments are not compelled to act on its recommendations, it is nevertheless a powerful lobbying voice in the corridors of power.

Simon Upton, environment director at the OECD, said: “The environmental and social costs of car use – air pollution and congestion for example – are not well reflected in the costs of driving.

“Those problems are made even worse when countries subsidise the purchase and use of company cars. These subsidies mean more cars are purchased and they are more heavily used than [they] would otherwise be.

“Policymakers need to ask whether subsidising the commercial use of vehicles is a good use of resources, given the costs we already know car use imposes on society.”

The report claims that increased contributions to climate change, local air pollution, health ailments, congestion and road accidents cost OECD countries an estimated £91bn.


Licence3Licencecheck ready for real time checking

Licencecheck has completed its transfer to the DVLA’s new Public Service Network (PSN), ready for real-time licence checking.

According to the company, their real-time development and service is almost complete and will allow existing and new clients to complete licence checks at the point of request, with results being available within seconds, in addition to the overnight batch service currently offered.

Richard Brown, chairman and managing director said: “Working collaboratively with the DVLA has been a pleasure, and the transfer has been seamless considering the technical and security challenges.”

Kevin Birch, client services and network infrastructure manager, added: “We have been in regular contact with the DVLA, testing the IT environment to ensure that all connections at the final stages are a success. The migration to PSN on 30 October was successful on the first attempt.”

The Company are awaiting the DVLA’s completion of the final stages of the real-time solution to allow transmission and connection to customers.

This work is anticipated to be completed within the existing development sprint expected by the end of 2014.


MoneyUK ‘living wage’ raised to £7.85 an hour

The UK “living wage” – an hourly rate based on the amount needed to cover the basic costs of living – has been raised by 20p to £7.85.

The voluntary wage – set by the Living Wage Foundation – is now 21% higher than the compulsory National Minimum Wage, which is currently £6.50 an hour.

The rate in London will rise from £8.80 an hour to £9.15, the mayor, Boris Johnson, announced.

However, some business groups said employers might struggle to pay it.

The living wage has been adopted by more than 1,000 employers across the country, benefiting 35,000 workers.

Firms who have signed up to the voluntary scheme include Barclays, Standard Life, the National Portrait Gallery, as well as many local councils and charities.

On Sunday, Citizens UK, the community organisation behind the Living Wage project, said the number of companies paying the rate had more than doubled in the past year.


EV1Sudden jump in electric car sales

Sales of electric vehicles have risen sharply, with more than 5,000 Government plug-in grants handed out in the last quarter.

The plug-in car grant reduces the price of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) by up to £5,000 for cars and £8,000 for vans. Between July and September 2014, over 5,000 grants were provided, more than double the number than in the previous three months and almost a third of all grants since the scheme was launched in 2010.

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said: “It is not surprising that people want these vehicles – they are a pleasure to drive and incredibly cheap to run, as well as beneficial to the environment.

“This growing confidence helps the UK strengthen its position as a global leader in developing green technology. Expanding this sector is creating thousands of jobs and contributing to Britain’s thriving £11 billion automotive industry.”

There has been a steady rise in the number of people taking up low emission vehicles, as more models become available and the nationwide network of charging points continues to expand.

The plug-in car grant is part of wider policy that will see a further £500 million to be invested by government by 2020.

Meanwhile, US scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say a new lithium battery could solve two major limitations by tripling range and reducing cost by 20%. They say the technology could be commercially available within a couple of years.


ToyotaPrius1Used hybrids amongst fastest-selling used cars

Their growing appeal sees three hybrids in the top 10 of Glass’s league of fastest selling used cars for September.

They are led by Toyota’s Prius, which holds the top spot for the second month in a row. In third place is the Honda Insight, while Glass’s say that the Lexus RX has reached its position at number eight largely through sales of the hybrid version.

Glass’s head of valuations Rupert Pontin said: “It will be interesting to see whether this situation continues over the coming months. The success of the Prius certainly highlights the value-for-money status of this model and reiterates the importance of low running costs to second-hand car buyers.”

Cost-conscious families, out in force this September, also placed two family-friendly Vauxhall MPVs in the top 10. He feels that the Zafira and Meriva now represent excellent value for money. He is also pleased to see the Mazda CX-5, which he describes as ‘competent and often underrated’, in 10th place.


Rolls-Royce to axe 2,600 jobs

Rolls-Royce has announced it is cutting 2,600 jobs – mostly in its aerospace division – within the next 18 months as well as the sudden departure of its finance director.

The company, which employs 24,800 workers in Britain out of 55,200 worldwide, said technological changes had enabled it to “increase output and improve efficiency”.

The job cuts come three weeks after the company issued a major profit warning, which wiped £2bn off its market value. The company said that finance director Mark Morris had decided to leave the company after 27 years.

John Rishton, Rolls-Royce’s chief executive, said: “We are taking determined management action and accelerating our progress on cost. The measures announced today will not be the last, however they will contribute towards Rolls-Royce becoming a stronger and more profitable company.”



Posted by Sue Robinson on 07/11/2014