Fleet News

DTI backs off call to 'name and shame' fleets over discounts

THE Department of Trade and Industry has shied away from calls to 'name and shame' fleets which achieve huge discounts on new car supply deals. Responding this week to the House of Commons' Trade and Industry Select Committee's 'Vehicle Pricing' report, the Government focused on the Office of Fair Trading's enquiry into a complex monopoly in the motor industry which is due to conclude in April.

The Select Committee had reported in December that private new car buyers subsidised fleet discounts. Two of the committee's Labour members, Martin O'Neil (Ochil) and Bob Laxton (Derby North), then made the shock demand that the Government should 'name and shame' fleets which, they claimed, obtained discounts of about 40%.

But the DTI has adopted a 'wait and see' policy, saying: 'Although discounts for bulk purposes are a normal feature of markets, the OFT in its complex monopoly enquiry is investigating whether the discounts given by manufacturers to fleet purchasers give rise to any competition concerns.'

On the issue of new vehicle pricing, the DTI dismissed arguments that the UK has the highest new car prices in Europe because right-hand-drive models are more expensive to produce, and said the European Commission and manufacturers must strive to ensure buyers can source cars abroad without hindrance. Looking further ahead, the DTI said the EC's review of the Block Exemption in 2000, along with new powers for the director general of the OFT would be used to combat any anti-competitive practice in the new car market.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


No comments have been made yet.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee