News and Updates from CVSL

Why CVSL Recommend Checking For Damage Before Returning Your Leased Vehicles

Fleet managers  could save thousands of pounds per year by taking 10 minutes to check the external condition of leased vehicles before they are due to be returned,

This should involve inspecting bumpers, alloys and paintwork for scuffs, bumps and scratches a few weeks before the official end of lease inspection is due.

According to industry figures, 27% of returned vehicles incur a fair wear and tear recharge.

This is generally because damage has been left untouched or not repaired to a high enough standard.

Large  and small fleets could quickly realise significant savings by checking vehicles and organising appropriate repairs themselves through accredited repairers or bodyshops.

follow these five ‘10-minute check-up’ tips:

  1. Ensure the vehicle is clean and dry: dirt and wet can mask scratches and scuffs.
  2. Choose a well-lit location.
  3. Start at one corner – such as the driver’s side headlight – and walk slowly around the vehicle examining each panel, as well as the roof, doors and bonnet.
  4. Crouch down to check the vehicle along its length, on each side.
  5. Pay special attention to wheels and bumpers – these are prime areas for scuffs and scrapes.

As a rule of thumb, minor damage smaller than an A4 piece of paper can be repaired to a high standard by a SMART repairer.

Larger areas of damage require attention in a bodyshop.

Both options are more cost-effective than simply accepting the wear and tear recharge.

Wear and tear recharges have really escalated over the past three years we have heard of many cases where a firm has been billed around £900 for repairs that would have cost a fraction of that with an accredited SMART repair technician. By taking a planned approach and making time to inspect vehicles internally, businesses could save a lot of money.


Budget: Fuel duty scrapped and new company car tax bands introduced

The chancellor has cancelled the planned rise in fuel duty, while also introducing two new company car tax bands for ultra-low emission vehicles.

The 1.89 pence per litre fuel duty increase that was planned for September 1, 2013, will be scrapped. This means that fuel duty will have been frozen for nearly three and half years, the longest duty freeze for over 20 years

Meanwhile, the Government is introducing two new company car tax (CCT) bands for ultra-low emission vehicles.

From April 2015, two new CCT bands will be introduced at 0-50g/km and 51-75g/km. The appropriate percentage of the list price subject to tax for the 0-50g/km will be 5% in 2015-16, and 7% in 2016-17.

The appropriate percentage of the list price subject to tax for the 51-75g/km CO2 band will be 9% in 2015-16 and 11% in 2016-17.

In 2017-18 there will be a 3 percentage point differential between the 0-50 and 51-75g/km bands, and between the 51-75 and 76-94g/km band.

In 2018-19 and 2019-20 there will be a 2 percentage point differential between the 0-50 and 51-75g/km bands and between the 51-75 and 76-94g/km bands.

In future years CCT rates will be announced three years in advance.

The thinking behind this is that this will stimulate the market for ultra-low emissions vehicles. And with the added incentives of low taxation motoring this could persuade more fleets to use them as part of their everyday operations.” 

Some other measures announced, included:

Fuel benefit charge (FBC) – From April 6, 2014, the FBC multiplier will increase by RPI for both cars and vans. Van benefit charge (VBC) – the Government will freeze the VBC at £3,000 in 2013-14 and will increase it by the RPI only from April 6, 2014. The Government commits to pre-announcing the VBC one year ahead.

Capital allowances for business cars: first year allowances (FYA) – As announced at Budget 2012, the 100% FYA for businesses purchasing the lowest emissions vehicles will be extended until March 31, 2015.

From April 2013, the carbon dioxide emissions threshold below which cars are eligible for the FYA will be reduced from 110g/km to 95g/km and leased business cars will no longer be eligible for the FYA.

The Government will extend the FYA for a further three years until March 31, 2018. From April 2015, the carbon dioxide emissions threshold will be reduced from 95g/km to 75g/km.

Capital allowances for business cars: as announced at Budget 2012, the carbon dioxide emissions threshold below which cars are eligible for the main rate of capital allowances will be reduced from 160g/km to 130g/km from April 2013.


BVRLA claims plans will push fleets away from greenest vehicles

Plans to remove 100% First Year Allowances on low-emission cars purchased for leasing will push fleets away from the greenest vehicles, the BVRLA has warned the chancellor in its Budget submission.

The submission focusses on three key areas where the association feels the Government’s strategy to reduce road transport carbon emissions is badly flawed.

The leasing industry has led the way in driving down CO2 emissions, helped by a tax regime that incentivises fleets and drivers to choose greener vehicles, But this  is being threatened by some glaring policy errors that the government needs  to deal with.

The BVRLA  is arguing for the Government to retain 100% First-Year Allowances for low-emission leased cars.

These allowances give corporate purchasers the ability to write-off the cost of low-emission cars against their taxable profits in the first year of ownership, says the BVRLA.

Unfortunately, even allowing for reduced fuel costs, such low-emission eco-diesel, hybrid and plug-in cars are more expensive than their higher-emitting petrol and diesel counterparts and the allowances play a vital role in enabling fleets to bridge this cost gap. 

It says that UK leasing companies have been very successful at passing on the benefit of these allowances to their customers. More than 19% of the company cars they supply currently qualify by virtue of emitting less than 110g/km CO2.

However, from April, the government wants to remove the ability to claim 100% first year capital allowances on low emission leased cars, while retaining it for direct purchasers.

It has justified this move by claiming that it is worried about the potential for the allowances to be claimed by companies leasing UK vehicles into other countries.

The association believes that removing the allowances discriminates against the thousands of businesses who rely on leasing to finance their transport requirements and will encourage them to lease cheaper, higher-emitting vehicles.

It estimates that the removal of 100% first-year allowances for the sector will lead to average new car emissions rising during the next tax year.

It is also arguing for a review of the current Approved Mileage Allowance Payment (AMAP) system, which reimburses employees who use their car at work as this  is the only company car tax or allowance that incentivises motorists to drive more.

In most cases, current AMAP rates overcompensate for work use of the average car and as such can provide tax-free extra income to many workers, who have an incentive to drive more ‘business miles’.

The BVRLA wants AMAP rates reviewed and linked to vehicle emissions, to encourage  fleet drivers to use greener cars and remove any incentive for extra mileage.

Finally, it is also calling for a re-think the Plug-in Car Grant scheme. The Government’s Plug-in Car Grant has been successful in subsidising manufacturers’ over-expensive list prices, but has struggled to drive significant take-up of ultra-low or zero emission vehicles.

The Government needs to replace or support the existing grant with guaranteed long-term incentives such as VED-exemption, subsidised charging points and free parking, which would support owners and stimulate demand for used plug-in cars.

So lets see what happens on March the 20th and hopefully we will have some good news to talk  about.


Why Fleets Are Paying The High Price At The Pumps

Fleets are paying nearly 5p per litre more at the pumps than they did at the start of the year, thanks to a weakening pound and soaring wholesale prices.

The average price of diesel in the UK is now 145.10ppl, up 4.78p from the middle of January when diesel cost 140.32ppl, according to the AA.

Petrol, meanwhile, has risen to 138.32ppl – up 5.61p on a month ago (132.71p). However, further increases are likely.

The AA says that fleets are suffering as the pound weakens against the dollar and the wholesale prices are going upwards all due to the stock market speculation.

As pump prices are usually two weeks behind the wholesale changes  the full impact of the price rise has not truly felt by the end user but as the increase filters through the consequences will begin to take effect.

The increase in pump prices comes as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) renewed calls for Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne to reduce fuel duty by 3ppl in the Budget on March 20.

It also wants the Government to stimulate investment in low-carbon fuelled vehicles by fixing duel rates for natural gas and bio-methane relative to diesel rates for at least 10 years.

But, with petrol sales falling to the lowest level tracked by Government in 23 years, less revenue will be heading to Treasury coffers. Also with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) figures show UK diesel sales fell year-on-year in January, down to 1.923 billion litres for cars, haulage and other uses.

This is higher than the all-time low of 1.833bn litres in January 2010, when widespread and extended periods of heavy snow cut road use. But, with petrol sales falling to the lowest level tracked by Government in 23 years, less revenue will be heading to Treasury coffers.

While the Chancellor will have little appetite to either cut fuel duty or postpone future increases while tax receipts are falling, he has been forced into this action several times already, including scrapping the January 3.02ppl rise.

So let’s wait and see what happens in the Budget, As usual we will keep all our CVSL clients up to date with how any changes in the budget will affect your Personal Contract hire vehicles or your Contract hire and fleet vehicles.


Cash For Crash Scam – Fraudsters Convicted

Here at CVSL we like to keep all our clients whether on personal contract hire or business contract hire up to date with recent news items that may be of interest this week we are highlighting what is called Cash for crash as fraudsters risk lives of others for high financial gain.

This is not a new issue but there has recently been a high profile landmark case when three men who deliberately caused a car crash that led to another collision in which a woman died were sentenced to 10 years each. It was the first time that somebody had been killed as a result of a crash for cash scam.

The fraudsters had been planning to make a personal injury claim in connection with a staged crash on the A40 in Buckinghamshire.

Sgt James Upton, from the Thames Valley Police road death investigation team, said: “The crash for cash culture has become more prevalent in our society, but this is the first known fatality as a result of an induced crash.”

There was also another cash for cash case when the fraudster was jailed for 12 months for conspiracy to defraud and dangerous driving after targeting a commercial vehicle.

CCTV footage from inside the HGV’s in cabin camera helped expose the scam, It showed a   Golf decoy car  braking  hard and late to turn into a side road; the Mercedes-Benz that is following then performed an emergency stop, which caused a rear-end shunt by the HGV.

With this being a very lucrative business it is estimated that the annual cost to the insurance industry of the annual cash for crash fraud is estimated to be about £392 million with £100 million involving commercial policies.  

Fraudsters will either approach a junction, roundabout or intersection and then suddenly jam on the brakes leading to a rear-end collision, or use a ‘no-stop’ vehicle driven erratically by one gang member to cause a car driven by another gang member to break violently immediately in front of a vehicle, leading to a rear-end collision.

After the accident, the criminals claim compensation, often with the help of bogus witnesses and other parties that might be involved in the scam, for injuries, vehicle damage, replacement vehicle hire, loss of earnings and other costs. A scam can typically net the criminals £20,000 to £40,000.

It can become very costly for victims whether it be buisness or private  these claims have knock on effects to future insurance premiums as it is very difficult to prove you have been involved in a cash for crash scam and its not your fault.

There are a few options available to record what is in front of you when your driving some very sophisticated which can cost around £200 to £300 pounds but you can also get some cheap Smart-phone apps which do a similar job and only cost £1. The evidence from these recordings have already been used to help the police in there quest to convict these criminals and in the future the CCTV evidence will play a major part in stopping this crime. 

Here are a few quick pointers to be aware of if you suspect you’re involved in a crash for cash scam    

  •               Stay calm, think clearly and, as with any accident, don’t admit liability
    • If a ‘no-stop’ vehicle is involved, try to get its registration number – or at least a brief    description
    • Call the police and if there’s the slightest indication of injury, call an ambulance as well
    • Use a disposable camera or your mobile phone to photograph the immediate scene, road markings and damage to the car involved
    • Count the number of occupants in the car, get their names, addresses an dates of birth and make a note of where they were sitting in the car
    • Look for independent witnesses – avoid anyone who’s too enthusiastic, though they might be in on the scam
    • Look for CCTV cameras in the vicinity and tell your insurer
    • Call the confidential Insurance Fraud Bureau Cheatline on 0800 328 2550 with any information you feel may be relevant