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Letters to Fleet News’ editor Martyn Moore.

Risk management is broad canvas

More than a few contributions to the letters page of recent editions of Fleet News have highlighted the need to be aware of hard-sell tactics and scaremongering by some recent entrants to the fleet risk management market.

While I have no argument with your contributors’ concerns, I find a little unpalatable their implication that only long-established companies can provide a satisfactory service.

Many recently-formed companies will have, at their foundation, directors with a wealth of experience in the industry. Could there be a hint of resentment at the increased competition?

It is interesting to note that of the seven companies whose banners adorn the home page of the Fleet Safety Association website, three have recently joined forces, thereby significantly reducing customer choice among the established providers.

Fleet risk management is a very broad canvas. In my view, risk management providers will create partnerships with the specialists in each field to ensure the best service to those who need to fulfil their duty of care.

Fleet managers have never been so well informed on road safety issues as at the present time, and I believe we should offer them the courtesy of recognising that they know what is needed and offer them the chance to choose the most efficient and cost effective products from a wide range of providers.

GEOFF MOORE, director, The Road Safety Solution

Bargaining your way to the best deal

I read with interest “Turbo Astra is green and mean” (Fleet News, August 9), proving the long-held theorem that cheapest is not always the best option when residual values are included.

The Golf came out an easy winner despite being the most expensive and listed at £2,000 more than the cheapest option, the Megane.

While I generally agree with this point, there is a serious flaw in your summary – the real cost of the car in the first place.

If you go into a dealer and pay £15,982 for the Megane, you seriously need to go back to bartering school.

It can be bought much cheaper – possibly a thousand or more to fleet buyers.

Try doing the same thing with VW and you’ll get a few hundred off, or a set of car mats thrown in.

Therefore, the real cost of the cars in your test are not reflected, making your conclusion, that the Golf is much cheaper to run over a three-year period, erroneous.

At the very least, this is surely worth pointing out.

SYMON MOORE, by email

  • Ed – The issue of exactly what is being paid in the first instance is a difficult one. It depends on size of fleet, point at which the car is in the lifecycle, bargaining skills etc. To avoid confusion, we use only the official new price, which allows a fleet manager to factor in discounts. The residual values tend to reflect the discount being given anyway.

    Spy vehicle to spot parking offences

    I have again seen another strange traffic enforcement vehicle in Romford. (Road spy mystery, Fleet News, August 8).

    This vehicle had a different type of camera and a heavily modified rear.

    I asked the vehicle’s two occupants what their function was. They were very jovial and chuckled as they told me they are the new breed of parking wardens.

    They no longer have to leave the safety of their vehicle and face potentially irate motorists since they can now pull up at a distance from those that they wish to book and take photographic evidence with ease.

    The vehicle they appeared to be booking was a white Escort van pulled up on a yellow line while the driver was on his mobile phone.

    I suspect the driver had pulled over to receive a telephone call rather than make one.

    I applaud his good sense in using his mobile phone when the vehicle was stationary and feel great sympathy for him, since I know that he will shortly receive a ticket for his efforts to be safe.

    Again, it is interesting to note that the traffic enforcement vehicle itself was parked on the same yellow line at the same time as the vehicle it was booking.

    I think that soon we will see many more of these modified Smart cars buzzing around our town and city centres.

    MARCEL COOPER,
    project engineer, James Development Co.

    Warning signs misleading

    I read with interest the letter from Marcel Cooper with regard to the “Road spy mystery” (Fleet News, August 8).

    Far from being another method of catching speeding motorists, I believe the vehicle is used for anti-terrorist and crowd control purposes.

    I agree however that the speed camera warning signs on the sides of the vehicle can appear misleading.

    I witnessed the vehicle patrolling around Twickenham during the annual Army v Navy rugby match and heard many positive comments that as a highly visible deterrent it was better than having 20 policemen on duty and probably cost much less.

    ROB JOHNSTON, by email

    Cheaper and quicker by road

    As a major manufacturer, exporter and importer to Europe and the USA, we tried the rail freight way a couple of years ago.

    One customer in Paris had a full truck every week. By rail it arrived on day five. By road, the goods are delivered on day two, at a cost 40% less. The customer would not pay for this slow service.

    RICHARD CRISP,
    Solo Cup Europe

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