Fleet News

Call for action over VCA booklet errors

FLEET managers are calling for a rethink of the Vehicle Certification Agency's priorities after an investigation by Fleet NewsNet's sister print title Fleet News revealed serious errors in the association's New Car Fuel Consumption and Emissions booklet. The booklet will act as the fleet manager's 'bible' when carbon dioxide-based company car tax is introduced in 2002, by providing emission figures for every vehicle on UK roads.

But the latest edition of the guide revealed errors that could cost fleet drivers hundreds of pounds. One key error listed the Audi A2 1.4 TDI as the first diesel to achieve Euro IV emissions standards, which exempts it from a controversial 3% supplement under the new tax regime, but Fleet News revealed it was in fact Euro III. This week, fleet managers demanded action to ensure the information they were receiving was correct.

Simon Boggis, group fleet procurement manager for TNT UK and Eire, applauded what the Government agency was trying to do. But he added: 'If the information is rubbish it blows the whole thing apart. For anyone with a mixed fleet, this will only add to the confusion surrounding the new CO2-based company car tax. Fleets are running out of time. The VCA has a difficult job, but it must accept responsibility and get it right. The information shouldn't be published it if it's not right.'

Nigel Trotman, Whitbread's central services manager, said the figures should be definitive to prepare drivers for the new CO2-based company car tax. There were calls for closer co-operation between manufacturers and the VCA to ensure fleet managers could trust the information. Alan Peace, national fleet manager for Highway Glass, said: 'This is a glaring mistake. I hold the information supplied from the manufacturers in greater esteem than I would some all encompassing book.' John Bradley, fleet manager for Hampshire Police, agreed saying fleet managers depended on the VCA's guide. 'If they can't get it right then it's a futile operation,' he said, 'The VCA needs to get its act together. It has got to get it right.'

Peter Nicholl, deputy chief executive of the Vehicle Certification Authority, fended off the attacks. He said: 'The entries for Audi and Peugeot are being corrected. We will insert errata slips in copies of the booklet and send copies of the slip to catch up with those booklets already dispatched. With a variety of views, it is not always possible to incorporate them all, but we take notice of the comments.'

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