Fleet News

Fleets face triple price whammy

FLEETS could be hit by a triple price whammy in the form of increased list prices, insurance premiums and repair costs as a result of the European Parliament's decision to back the End of Life Vehicle Directive. The directive is set to be introduced by the European Parliament in 2006 requiring manufacturers to fund the cost of recycling every vehicle made since the 19th century.

David Wallace, managing director of bodyshop network ABS, believes bodyshops will be pressed into recycling all parts removed from repairable cars. He said: 'Such activity will undoubtedly have a considerable price tag attached. The question is who will foot the bill? Will it be the manufacturers who are responsible for dissembling the vehicle or insurers and ultimately policy holders who bear the cost? Bodies representing both the body repairer and insurance industries either remain uncertain of the impact or dismissed warnings of additional pressures as 'scaremongering'.

Ron Nicholson, director-general of the Vehicle Builders and Repairers Association, said: 'We won't be pressured to recycle parts and until repairers are treated with a little more respect by insurers and manufacturers and can get a higher return on their investment, we wouldn't give it any consideration. Reclamation and recycling is better suited to salvage companies.'

But Bob Hood, senior manager of the Retail Motor Industry Federation's bodyshop services' division, said body repairer concern about the European legislation was 'premature and sensationalist'. 'Legislation is still very much in the draft stage and must undergo many stages before being enforced. In the intervening time, this division, in consultation with manufacturers and parts suppliers, is well placed to ensure the best possible outcome for the UK's body repairers and other RMI members.'

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