Stop trying to kill off industry
I am not the least bit surprised by your story about reduced driving hours (Fleet News, January 31).
Your newspaper seems to advocate staying in the office/at home every week. If it’s not tele-commuting, then it’s video conferencing and every second feature seems to ask “is your journey really necessary?”.
What is the matter with you? Are you trying to kill the fleet car industry?
I would have expected Fleet News to get behind more use of the company car, not less. Your readers are the operators, manufacturers and drivers who want to see more cars moving around the country doing business, not less.
On the same page you have a story extolling the joys of car-sharing, too.
I am not a morning person, so would pity anybody forced to share a car with me each day.
But never mind them, I don’t want anybody in my car. I want to choose my own time to travel, my own route to and from work, my own choice of CD or radio station.
I like my own company in my car – I don’t have to make small talk, I don’t have to endure somebody else’s pungent perfume and I can fart whenever I like.
Rather than devoting your precious space to providing good reasons NOT to have a company car, NOT to move around the country to do business face-to-face and NOT to enjoy one of the greatest personal freedoms of the modern world, why don’t you do your readers and advertisers a favour by NOT making them feel like social pariahs!
Confused by wrong V5 listing
I write in response to your article on Green Transport: Low-Emission Cars (Fleet News, January 24).
Among other duties, I am responsible for a small fleet of 34 vehicles for both Dekor and the Celtic Crusaders RLC.
So far, I haven’t been able to influence our user-choosers to go green.
However, I set an example.When I changed my car last April, I selected the new BMW 118d with EfficientDynamics, along with its sub-120g/km CO2 emission rating.
With the forthcoming tax rate change, I touched base with my payroll administrator, mentioning the 119g/km rating of my 118d.
She responded by stating that she had my car listed at 123g/km and on checking my V5 found that she is correct.
In the light of all BMW’s blurb on the car and the information contained in the article, can you advise me of what government organisation I should contact to get this error on my car’s V5 rectified and thereby lower my tax liability accordingly?
Editor’s comment: the figures quoted for CO2 emissions are for the basic specification vehicle for that derivative and engine combination.
A vehicle’s V5, however, relates to that actual vehicle and so any options that affect CO2 emissions will be taken into account.
Many extras may increase CO2 output, including wider tyres, air conditioning and auto gearboxes.
LPG, a tale of many problems
I read with interest the question (Helpline, Fleet News, January 24) regarding your reader’s thoughts on using LPG vehicles on their fleet and the subsequent answer.
We have had six LPG vans for just over four years and they have been nothing but trouble since having them.
They rarely run on LPG correctly.
They have had a catalogue of engine management faults.
Two of the vans are on their third engines.
If you can find a garage that supplies LPG, the pumps are frequently broken.
If your reader is thinking of using them in the congestion charge zone, they will have the nightmare of form filling every year to re-register them and then Transport for London will lose the forms and you will have to fill them in again.
My experience covers nearly five years and I would not use them again.
Fuel cards are one way of cutting costs
May I add to your response to Rhys Thomas, of Unichem, on keeping down fuel costs?
Firstly, encourage drivers to top up before the motorway.
Next, consider switching the fleet gradually to diesel as cars are replaced.
Importantly, if your monthly petrol/diesel bill exceeds £1,000, investigate fuel cards.
These are not all the same: different types suit different needs.
Finding the right card brings significant cost and time savings.
Users are notified of the coming week’s nationwide fixed price, typically two to three pence below pump prices, across 1,400 or more outlets on motorways, ‘A’ and trunk roads.
Then, a single VAT-compliant invoice covers the whole fleet: no need to reconcile mountains of paper receipts or separate fuel from other credit card charges (and no credit card interest).
Direct debit payment further cuts administration costs, with varying periods of interest-free credit.
Detailed reporting enables rapid identification of anomalies and online, 24/7 account access allows detailed query handling.
Some cards even offer dedicated account managers, rather than random call-centre contacts.
Finally, the right fuel card covers exactly that: fuel (both petrol and diesel) and lubricants, not the driver’s lunch or newspaper. If every little helps, finding the right fuel card can help a lot.