Fleet News

Webwatch: we review what's hot on the 'net.

WE review what's hot on the 'net.

In the first of a new regular feature, we decided to look at Britain's biggest fleet manufacturer – Vauxhall.

Perhaps one of the most forward-looking car companies when it comes to the internet, Vauxhall was one of the first companies to offer cars for sale online.

Taking the approach that less is more, the opening page has a welcome amount of white space, with clear, simple headings running along the top, linking to menus that automatically drop down.

You have a choice of menus covering cars, vans, owners, travel and leisure, and 'more from Vauxhall'. You can even log on as a user for regular updates.

There is another menu offering details on accessories, insurance, brochure request, test drive request and customer offers. But most of the page is filled with product pictures that link you to more information. For a fleet user, it isn't at first apparent where the fleet section of the website is, which is odd considering Vauxhall is Britain's biggest fleet manufacturer.

A bit of searching reveals it under 'More From Vauxhall', along with news, information on finance and dualfuel sales.

Moving over the fleet link gives you another drop down menu, offering a car tax calculator, 48-hour test drive, leasing, rental for business, 2004 Budget and Fleet news (note the small n, as it contains Vauxhall press releases).

When you click on any section, the new page offers all the old menus, so you don't spend hours clicking the 'back' button to move around – a nice touch.

However, it needs some updating. When you click on the tax calculator, the results of your calculations give you tax figures for 2002/2003; 2003/2004 and 2004/2005. So unless you are a timelord, only one of those figures is really valuable. There are also some hidden gems on the site, including Trafficnet, offering live congestion information on major routes from Trafficmaster, a useful 'help me choose' section for cars and information on its alternative fuel range, including links to PowerShift, for green fuel grants.

There is also a link to VX Racing.

Site: www.vauxhall.co.uk

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