Fleet News

Activa Contracts wins sole supply fleet deal with Winterbotham Darby

Activa Contracts has won a sole supply, full outsourcing fleet deal with Winterbotham Darby that also sees it take on a consultancy role to the organisation’s cash allowance drivers potentially resulting in them opting for company cars following the introduction of new tax rules.

Winterbotham Darby, a food business that predominantly supplies own-label chilled food produced in Europe to the major supermarket chains in the UK, operates a 40-strong company car fleet and also has a similar number of employees who have opted for a cash allowance in lieu of a company car.

It has manufacturing sites operating under its Deli Solutions and Alatoni subsidiaries in Clitheroe and Bicester, and historically relied on a broker to supply company cars on non-maintenance contract hire via a number of leasing providers.

Following a root and branch review of its fleet operation, Winterbotham Derby awarded Activa Contracts the fully outsourced contract hire with maintenance deal following a a competitive tender.

Active Contracts has already delivered three new company cars and has taken over in-life management of the remainder of the fleet until renewal.

Following the comprehensive review, employees across four grades of vehicle benefit from an enhanced company car choice based on 'effective rental' after VAT recovery with a CO2 emissions cap - 120g/km for the lowest band and 130g/km for the three remaining bands.

The fleet of diesel, petrol and hybrid cars operates over a three-year/60,000-mile replacement cycle.

Jacqueline Fowler, Winterbotham Darby’s senior HR advisor who is in charge of the fleet, said: “Fleet management responsibility has been within the HR team for many years.

"However, changes in the team gave the company the opportunity to review its entire fleet operation, including the choice of cars available to employees and whether management remained in-house.

“We analysed all the options available and decided that outsourcing management of the fleet gave Winterbotham Darby access to significant external expertise that was not available in-house."

Activa Contracts’ consultancy approach has also seen it undertake two roadshows at Winterbotham Darby’s head office during which it has introduced the company to drivers, highlighted the revised fleet policy and explained the new car or cash allowance tax rules that came into effect on April 6.

The new rules, known as Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OpRA), essentially mean employees opting for a company car in lieu of a cash alternative will pay tax on the higher of the existing company car benefit value or cash allowance given up.

However, car arrangements in place before April 6, 2017 are protected until April 2021 and ultra-low emission vehicles - currently those with CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less - are exempt from the regulation.

Additionally, Activa Contracts is delivering a suite of in-life vehicle and driver services to Winterbotham Darby including accident management and risk management that includes employee driver licence validation and daily rental provision.

Activa Contracts is also managing all documentation relating to the company’s ‘grey fleet’, which includes ensuring cars are correctly insured, have current MOT certificates, a Road Fund Licence and undergo scheduled servicing as well as validating drivers’ licences.

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