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LETTERS to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Hybrid cars won’t save money on running costs

SIR – I felt that the article, ‘Fleets urged to adopt green car technology’ (Fleet NewsNet, April 6), failed to raise one of the concerns with hybrid technology – that, for most day-to-day driving, they fail to deliver the promised claims of increased fuel economy.

Additionally, hybrid technology is largely redundant for motorway driving. Hybrid technology appears to attract people looking for a green bandwagon, but the details don’t justify the claims.

Modern diesels with particulate traps have, in the real world, a better case in terms of economy. Perhaps diesel hybrids and biodiesel at the fuel pumps would be a more environmentally friendly option? However, neither appear to be available.


Opt-outs: leave it to the experts

SIR – I read with concern the letter from Gerry O’Neill ‘Tax relief on opt-outs’, (Fleet NewsNet, April 6).

It does not appear that he understood the point I was making in my Guest Opinion piece (Fleet News, March 9) which was: in setting the money needing to be paid to an employee who opts out of a company car, it is important to take into account the AMAP relief to which they will be entitled.

It is clearly beneficial to utilise the AMAP to the full in any funding to the employee. The reason for using the AMAP is that it is a tax-free payment and therefore reduces the employer’s costs significantly.

There are many employers who determine the cash allowance payment without taking the AMAP into account.

Mr O’Neill seems to be missing the point that in determining the cash to pay the driver, the costs of fuel, insurance, maintenance etc would be taken into account and then a sum done of the proportion which is covered by AMAP or allowances. His letter confirms that this is a technical area on which an employer should seek the help of a professional adviser.

Wilder Coe, Chartered Accountants

Tax on fuel is the only fair way of road charging

SIR – Re your article: ‘Road pricing is backed to clean up air pollution’ (Fleet NewsNet, April 13).

I, for one, am sick and tired of this ‘will they, won’t they?’ approach to the thorny subject of road pricing.

Over the years, I have been reading news stories in Fleet News, some of which say the Government definitely won’t introduce road pricing and others saying they will. We hear highfalutin stories of hi-tech devices to stick in our car windscreens that will read off how many miles we’ve travelled and charge us according.

It makes me laugh (well it would do, if it were funny). Once again, us law-abiding fleet operators will be hit where it hurts, but what about all these people who drive around in illegal old bangers?

I can just see all those tax-dodgers queueing up at the local post office for their screen sticker and handing in their Visa card numbers so that charging can take place. They will simply carry on as they always have done – flouting the law and, by and large, get away with it.

It is estimated that one in 20 cars on Britain’s roads are uninsured so that’s a heck of a lot of people who won’t be paying their whack.

If the Government wants to charge per mile for road use, there is only one sure way of doing it – by scrapping VED and road charging and adding extra tax on petrol and diesel fuel.

Everyone has to use fuel, whether their cars are legal or not, so that way, everyone would be forced to pay their fair share.

I just don’t understand why the Government hasn’t cottoned on to this simple concept before. Or am I missing something?

Via email

Problems abound over run-flat tyres

SIR – In September 2005 we acquired a BMW with run-flat tyres fitted as standard. Since then the vehicle has suffered three punctures. All three punctures were caused by nails and were in the main tread area.

The first puncture was repaired by a local tyre outlet. On the second occasion, a national tyre outlet advised the driver that they could not repair this type of tyre and advised replacement as the only option.

The driver then returned to the local tyre outlet and was told that they had now also been advised they should not repair this type of tyre. We then sanctioned the replacement of both tyres at a total cost in excess of £200. Unfortunately the vehicle then suffered a third puncture and we have yet again needed to replace the tyre.

Can any of your readers advise me about the repair policy for these tyres?

Finance manager, Saint Gobain Weber

  • Email replies to fleetnews@emap.com and we’ll pass them on to Mr Barnes.

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