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General news updateBack

InflationUK inflation falls slightly in October

The Consumer Prices Index – which measures changes in prices – fell by 0.1% in the year to October 2015, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Households have seen the prices they pay for goods and services remain largely unchanged over the last year.

This means that a basket of shopping that cost £100.00 a year ago would cost £99.90 now.

This is the same rate of inflation as seen in the year to September and continues the trend of negligible inflation that the UK has experienced since the start of 2015.

The news means it is unlikely the Bank of England will increase interest rates, with analysts not expecting a rise until sometime next year.

The ONS said prices fuel prices fell by 14% on an annual basis, while food and drink prices fell by 2.7% in October and energy costs were 4.1% lower.

For most of the last 10 years (a short period in 2009 notwithstanding), core inflation has been lower than overall inflation. Since spring 2014, this picture has reversed due to the prices of many of the goods excluded from core inflation (notably motor fuel and food) falling.


MarshallMotorMarshall acquires SG Smith for £24.4 million

Marshall Motor Holdings has acquired family-owned SG Smith Holdings for £24.4 million.

The deal includes a retention of £1.7m subject to certain performance conditions and the completion of certain property developments and finalisation of accounts.

Marshall has acquired the entire issued share capital of SG Smith from Robert Smith (the son of the founder and managing director) and certain other family and non-family individual investors. Smith will remain with Marshall for some months to assist with the integration process.

SG Smith has been family-owned since the 1930s and has dealerships across Kent, Surrey and London, representing Audi, Skoda and a Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle aftersales franchise.

The acquisition gives Marshall an extension with one of its key franchise partners Audi, as well as strengthening its geographic representation in the UK with sites in Wimbledon, Coulsdon, Bexley, Beckenham and Croydon.

Marshall said the acquisition was funded from its existing cash resources and is expected to be earnings enhancing by the end of next year.

The dealer group said that because of the timing of the acquisition following the September plate-change, it may be “marginally dilutive” for the financial year ending December 31, 2015. In addition, Marshall has incurred transaction fees and expenses in connection with the acquisition of approximately £0.5m.


Motors1Most car buyers favour monthly payments of £200

Most car buyers are looking to pay around £200 a month for their next car purchase and make a £1,000 deposit, according to research carried out by Motors.

The online classified website found that 20% of new and used car buyers opted for £200, 16% specified £150 per month and 12% selected £100.

“While some consumers are still interested in the headline price of their next car, a growing number are taking a lead from the technology companies and considering the monthly impact of changing vehicle on their disposable income,” said Phill Jones, managing director of Motors.

“We believe there is a clear opportunity for dealers to increase their promotional emphasis on monthly payment.”

The research found a wide variation in deposit levels with almost a fifth (17%) happy to contribute £1,000 towards their purchase and one in ten (11%) looking to put down £500. More than half (53%) were looking to make no deposit at all.

“For dealers, the message is to provide choices at all ends of the financial spectrum. The data shows that deposits of up to £1,000 and monthly payments of up to £200 prove the most popular, but there is still a wide variation in individual customer requirements.”


SpeedingDistracted driving, speeding and lane hogging highlight the need for fleets to manage road risk

Distracted driving, speeding and lane hogging are commonplace among motorists, new research suggests.

Half of drivers have admitted to driving while being distracted, according to a survey from Hitachi Capital Vehicle Solutions. Women were more likely to be guilty of not paying attention to the road, with 57% of female respondents admitting the offence compared to 43% of men.

The research also revealed that some 40% of respondents say they sometimes stay in the middle lane for longer than they should, with 18% saying the same for the outside lane.

Only 25% agreed this behaviour was acceptable, with 75% of drivers getting annoyed with others who stay in a lane for too long and one in four believing it was acceptable to undertake if a slower car was blocking overtaking lanes.

However, it is perhaps the results relating to speeding which will worry road risk managers the most, with two in every three drivers admitting to speeding.

Drivers said they were most likely to speed on the motorway or dual carriageway, with one in four stating they frequently or very frequently exceeded speed limits there. However, 63% of drivers said they rarely or never exceeded speed limits on rural roads.

There was also a clear correlation between circumstances and drivers’ behaviour to speed. More than half said they were more likely to speed when roads were quiet, and one in five said they were more likely to speed if there were no pedestrians or cyclists around.

Quiet roads were not the only influencer, with drivers more likely to speed when they are alone (34%) than with passengers – just 4% in comparison.


Posted by Sue Robinson on 20/11/2015