Fleet News

Act now to avoid a shock at sale time

MOST people will be aware now that from February 2003 a vehicle cannot be taxed without the V5 log book, writes Martin Ward, National research manager, CAP.

This will dramatically change what the trade will want to buy, as a vehicle that cannot be taxed cannot be sold quickly – delaying when the money gets back into the bank.

The general opinion within the trade and among dealers is they will not be buying anything unless it has all the relevant documents.

So what can disposal managers do to relieve what is obviously a significant potential problem?

The first thing that should be done - and this can be started now - is to physically check if there is a V5 somewhere in the building.

Checking on the computer to see if there should be one is not enough. You need to ascertain that each one physically exists.

If the V5 is with the customer, check with them that they have it and, if possible, get it back.

This of course will take time and cost money, especially for the larger fleets. These are also spread around the country so the co-ordination and logistics in some cases will be of nightmare proportions.

But if this isn't done before disposal, the cost could be even more if the cars turn out to be unsaleable. Even where the V5 is eventually found, time is money and the delay will cost.

The other thing to consider is holding on to the tax disc for longer and not surrendering it immediately. This will act as a back-up if the V5 fails to turn up and it gives the trade less reason to overlook a car.

At least if they have a tax disc, then they can sell the vehicle and apply for a new V5.

So buying the tax disc also buys some time. The same rules apply whether it is a small fleet or a very large one.

Take steps now to ensure a smooth transition with the new legislation. Many companies have already put fail-safe systems into operation.

They will undoubtedly reap the rewards next year and beyond.

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