Fleet News

Hidden dangers lurk in the petrol tank

'I would like to thank the person who has been in touch regarding the issue of putting petrol in diesel cars, a bigger problem than I originally thought. In fact, many have even succumbed to the temptation of doing the deed but not admitting to it! A lesson here has to be learnt, and all fleet managers must take steps to ensure this problem is kept to a minimum.

At the very least there should be a clearly spelled out policy on what steps to take whenever it does happen. As one person said, the best thing to do is not to drive the vehicle, get immediate breakdown assistance and get the tank drained before attempting to run the car again.

The cost of mis-fuelling to fleets each year runs into hundreds of thousands of pounds and if a vehicle's history shows signs of ill-treatment by drivers, then it is certain to discourage used car buyers from bidding top prices.

Yanks like 'em white

I went to a car manufacturing plant last week and was surprised to see so many white cars coming off the line.

It is the inevitable fate of white cars - to attract poor bids on the auction floor - that makes this an unusual sight but a quick glance at the build documents attached to the cars showed that they were mainly destined for North America.

This domestically unfashionable colour is fast becoming popular over the Atlantic and because white has now become quite an uncommon site I have to admit that they did look good.

But could they catch on again over here? New they probably could, but nobody should rush out and order bucketfuls, as used car buyers will not be queueing up for them.

A gleaming new one is one thing, a dull used one is another. But, in the US at least, it seems that white is the new silver.

Period of uncertainty ahead

We are currently heading into a real period of uncertainty, thanks to a number of factors which may divert people away from car buying.

The World Cup takes us from the end of May and into June. Then on top of that we have the Golden Jubilee weekend. The buying public do tend to switch off at times of holidays or other national events so when the two coincide it doesn't look good for the sales floor.

Many people will not be interested in the football, but when it comes to it their natural instinct will force them to either watch it or talk about it - taking their minds off all other important issues, such as buying cars. Those sort of things can wait.

So, a bit like the typical December, we could be in for almost total shutdown for a month. Somehow, interest and demand has to be stimulated by both dealers and manufacturers to ensure that showroom traffic does not fall to an even lower level than it already has or the trade could be in for a lean time, this could cause a massive build up of used car stock, at auction, and within the trade.

One manufacturer which has ensured mass promotion during the month of June is Hyundai - one of the sponsors of the World Cup - so it will be interesting to see if it can turn it to its advantage.'

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