Fleet News

Plate theft poses a real fleet problem

I recently needed a new rear numberplate for the family car and went to the local maker and supplier, armed with my passport and the V5 for the paperwork, as proof of ownership and identity has been in force since the beginning of this year to prevent the misuse of numberplates.

The supplier said he has noticed a real rise in demand due to plate thefts, from car parks or outside their homes and even from dealer forecourts.

However, police contacts I speak to don't confirm this, which suggests, worryingly, that many of the victims are not reporting the theft.

This is probably due to the relatively low financial value involved - about £8 per plate - not really worth the time and effort of troubling the police. This is misguided.

The police say it is not only worth it, but it is the public's duty to report such losses as it may help solve or prevent a future more serious crime. False plates are a vital part of the criminal toolkit and are so easy to get hold of.

For the fleet manager, the message is to advise your drivers of this issue and urge them always to report such a theft not only to you, but the local police.

Getting together is good

Rarely does an automotive event take place without a CAP presence, from model launches to conferences and shows.

It is all about understanding and keeping up with developments as well as meeting colleagues from every part of the industry who are spending more and more time on various events and launches of new cars.

There are major mutual benefits in picking each other's brains, whether it's in a dull office or at the wheel of the latest fleet offering in a remote European location.

Last week brought some events that involved no driving but, in one case, did involve aerobatics! There was a manufacturer-organised day with the Red Arrows at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, and a weekend spent in a very cold but sunny Lapland.

While the locations were different the purposes were the same - to bring key industry minds together to openly discuss today's and tomorrow's challenges and issues.

Such events are excellent in that they relax everybody so they can speak honestly, without distraction. We all have something to bring to the table and the industry can only strengthen from such co-operation and sharing of views.

For CAP it is absolutely invaluable in keeping the information flow into our systems and ensuring we remain at the top of our game in terms of timeliness and accuracy.

While I was with the Red Arrows and then among the Elk, other CAP colleagues were out and about too, learning and sharing expertise.

No day is ever wasted - no matter how impressive or small-scale the event - and the manufacturers deserve much credit for the key role they have in this process. It is good for them to know their considerable investment in terms of time and effort is always worthwhile.

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