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LETTERS to Fleet News’ acting editor Steve Moody.

Security measures have gone too far

SIR – Regarding your article ‘How to help your drivers avoid a roadside crisis’ (Fleet NewsNet, November 10), I would like to reinforce the comments made.

Manufacturers are now going too far with regard to security and it is costing fleets and individual owners far more now than it used to.

The myriad of new security measures that manufacturers are using are not designed with the customer in mind, but are a way to ensure the vehicle has to go back to their dealer.

We, as a company, have to open more vehicles on-site than any other and we are constantly having to find ways round the latest technologies. It is costing the owner unnecessary time and money to either get into a vehicle and/or replace a key that will operate the management system. It is very important that owners insist on getting security information such as immobiliser PIN codes when taking delivery of the vehicle. This should be kept where it can be referred to when the need arises.

Many manufacturers now refuse to give out this information even to the owner, therefore ensuring that the vehicle returns to the fold of their dealership.

They stick to these restrictive practices, getting round the laws of the country and the EU (it doesn’t happen in the USA). It is up to fleet managers to insist on having this information so they can keep it on the vehicle database ready for the time it is required.

Given the proper information, companies like ours can cut a key, open the vehicle, get it going and save much money and time.

Director, Auto Keys (Nationwide)

Cancelled fuel cards: why doesn’t Arval act?

SIR – As a user of Arval supplied fuel cards (approx £1.7 million spend per year), I feel it necessary to raise the issue of online transaction authorisation.

Arval has advised me it has rolled out a system of online real-time individual transaction authorisation. ‘Hot listed’ stolen/lost cards are covered by this.

However, it cannot do this for any transaction on a cancelled fuel card, such as when an employee leaves. This means there is the potential, should employees not hand their cards in, for them to keep using them.

Surely this would give customers additional comfort with regards to Arval’s ability to reduce the risk of fraudulent or misuse of the fuel cards it supplies, but Arval is not willing to activate it.

The reason supplied is that not all Arval’s customers would want cancelled fuel cards made unavailable for future use and that the present system of the fuel attendant in the service station having the restricted fuel type on the card highlighted to them at the check out is sufficient.

Via email

Arval fuel product manager Helen Martin replies: Arval provides detailed anti-fraud guidelines to all customers advising them on the use of their fuel cards, including the differences in status between ‘cancelled’ and ‘lost or stolen’ cards.
Cancellation does not mean that a card can no longer be used – it merely indicates that a customer does not wish the card to be renewed .
Arval guidelines dictate that cancellation should only be sought when a card is in the customer’s possession, from where it can be destroyed or cut in half and then returned to Arval.
If the card is not in the customer’s possession, cancellation should not be sought. If a customer is in any doubt about the location of the card or wishes to ensure that further purchases cannot be made, the card should be reported ‘lost or stolen’.

Mileage, not age is what matters

SIR – The article ‘Leasing: what a difference a year makes’ (Fleet NewsNet, December 1) appears, overall, to be making a strong case for 48-month contracts as opposed to extending 36-month contracts by a further year.

While I agree this is sensible, long-term planning for fleets with a resultant lower monthly rate, one vital point seems to have been overlooked. In the used market for both cars and vans, 80,000 miles is well known to be the critical mileage in terms of residual value.

Anything over 80,000 miles will suffer a disproportionate reduction in residual value which in many cases will be a greater reduction than typical excess mileage rates can cater for. Why then does the leasing industry still offer 48-month/80,000-mile contracts as standard fare? Why not reduce the mileage to 70,000 or even 75,000 miles?

By adopting this simple approach, end-of-contract vehicles can be defleeted and disposed of before hitting the critical 80,000-mile mark.

Director, XBG Fleet Remarketing, Winchester

  • Fleet News is delighted to receive readers’ letters. Email fleetnews@emap.com or write to: The Editor, Fleet News, Emap Automotive, Lynchwood, Peterborough Business Park, Peterborough PE2 6EA. Please ensure emails include name, job title, company and company address.
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