www.bvrla.co.uk March 2010
The newsletter of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association
Association calls for a Budget of tax incentives The BVRLA has called on the government to make its tax incentives for early adopters of electric vehicles available to leasing companies and their customers.
government to consider a number of other issues ahead of the Budget:
In a document submitted ahead of the Budget on 24 March, the association has asked the Treasury for details of the 100% first-year allowance it is introducing for companies purchasing electric vans. This allowance enables firms buying one of these vehicles to offset its full cost against their corporation tax bill in the first year.
“Removal of this out-of-date pollution-related penalty would accelerate corporate adoption of these vehicles and help to push company car emissions even lower”, said Lewis.
❱ An immediate removal of the 3% diesel
❱ Inclusion of payload data in the Vehicle
Toyota recall trauma shows need for review It’s time for a for a hi-tech approach to vehicle recalls, says the BVRLA page 3
Certification Agency’s van CO2 database.
“If the government is serious about introducing emissions-based taxes for vans, it needs to sort this out,” said Lewis.
❱ Clarification of the government’s position
The BVRLA also asked the Treasury to ensure that future tax incentives incorporate all zero tailpipe emission vehicles and not just electric ones. In a meeting with Exchequer Secretary Sarah McCarthy-Fry the association asked the
“Road pricing is a fairer tax that is based on road use, not vehicle ownership,” said Lewis. n
Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association Ltd will be held at 9.30am on Thursday, 20 May 2010 at the association’s offices at River Lodge, Badminton Court, Amersham, Bucks HP7 0DD for the following purposes:
Annual general meeting
Association sets out its lobbying goals Ending premature testing of trucks and accessing payload data head the list page 2 Regulation reduction is on the agenda The BVRLA has told the government how to cut regulatory burdens page 3
over-generous advisory mileage allowance payments (AMAP) which encourage staff (particularly public sector) to use their own cars instead of potentially much greener and safer forms of transport.
on road pricing. The BVRLA is in favour of a national scheme to optimise use of the road network. It should replace existing forms of motoring tax, rather than become an additional revenue earner.
❱ ❱ ❱ ❱ ❱
In this issue
❱ An investigation of the continuing use of
The BVRLA is pushing for leasing companies to be able to access the allowances and pass on savings to their customers. “The van market is in the doldrums and in the current economic climate most companies cannot afford to go out and buy new vehicles outright,” said BVRLA chief executive John Lewis. “Many of them turn to a leasing provider and our industry is absolutely vital to the new van market.”
supplement from benefit-in-kind tax.
To receive the chairman’s report. To receive the report of the Committee of Management. To receive the report of the auditors. To elect the Committee of Management. To elect auditors and to arrange their remuneration.
By order of the Committee of Management. John Lewis, Chief Executive
The Big Event: Annual Dinner 2010 Were you there to applaud our industry heroes and hear Michael Portillo and Frankie Boyle? page 4 Latest statistics on conciliation service Very few rentals lead to disputes – see where they’re likeliest to occur page 6 Figures show problem hirer incidents rise RISC Online, the BVRLA’s problem hirer database, is more effective than ever at flagging risky renters page 7
— Promoting responsible road transport since 1967 —
Comment Those members who weren’t lucky enough to attend the BVRLA Annual Dinner earlier this month missed two very entertaining speakers in the form of former government minister Michael Portillo and comedian Frankie Boyle. Both provided plenty of laughs, but Michael also supplied some food for thought. Firstly, he predicted that the looming election would result in a hung Parliament, which is rarely good news for an electorate or economy. Secondly, he warned that the recession we saw during 2009 would get worse for many people and businesses before any substantial recovery occurs. Sounds like we are in for another interesting year! Editor Toby Poston, firstname.lastname@example.org 01494 545700 Production Manager Steven Prizeman, email@example.com 01494 545710 Advertising Nora Leggett, firstname.lastname@example.org 01494 545713 © Copyright BVRLA 2010 BVRLA News articles may be used copyright free by members provided that an acknowledgement is given.
BVRLA River Lodge, Badminton Court Amersham Buckinghamshire HP7 0DD T 01494 434747 F 01494 434499 E email@example.com W bvrla.co.uk Honorary Life President Freddie Aldous Chairman Kevin McNally Vice Chairman Nigel Stead Honorary Treasurer Brian Back Chief Executive John Lewis
Our aims: yes to payload data, no to early truck test The BVRLA is lobbying for a change in legislation that would remove the need for one or two-year-old heavy commercial vehicles to have an annual test. The association believes that a combination of more reliable technology and a regular preventative maintenance programme means that an annual test should not be required so early in a truck’s working life. Removal of the test for one and twoyear-old trucks would save operators the test fee and would reduce vehicle downtime and associated administrative costs. “This relatively simple measure would remove some of the immense regulatory
burden from operators and could help stimulate the market for new trucks,” said BVRLA chief executive John Lewis. Further lobbying is also being undertaken in a bid to persuade the Department for Transport that it needs to add vital payload information to its van CO2 database. Launched last June, the database gives figures for emissions, gross vehicle weight, miles per gallon and load length, but without payload data it doesn’t tell prospective purchasers whether a van is fit for purpose. “We are shocked that this information is not in the database, especially when overloading is one of the most common offences reported by road safety enforcement officials,” added Lewis. n
DfT reveals its £260m incentive for buyers of new ultra-low carbon cars The Department for Transport has announced details of its ultra-low carbon vehicle incentive plans, including the Plug-in Car Grant and the Plugged-in Places support for charging infrastructure. The Plug-in Car Grant will provide 25% of the cost of purchasing a new ultra-low carbon car, up to a maximum of £5,000. The £230m fund will be open to both private and business fleet buyers. “Business fleets already buy more than half of all cars registered each year, so it makes sense that they will be able to take advantage of this incentive,” said BVRLA chief executive John Lewis. “A discount of up to £5,000 is attractive, but buyers are not stupid. Fleets will need some assurance that the electric vehicle they are buying will have a second-hand value in three, six or even ten years’ time. The three-year battery warranty outlined in the DfT’s qualification criteria is a bare minimum requirement, so we are pleased that buyers will have to be given the option
of paying for an extended five-year warranty.” The DfT has outlined its safety criteria: vehicles will need EC whole vehicle type approval or meet the EuroNCAP protocol or a similar crash test regime. “Most car manufacturers have used the EuroNCAP safety standard as a marketing tool. Fleet buyers take their duty of care responsibilities very seriously and will demand the same levels of safety from any electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles,” said Lewis. The vital role that the vehicle rental industry can play in helping to reduce carbon emissions was also recognised last month, with news that Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz and Streetcar will share in Transport for London’s winning bid for a grant from the £30m Plugged-in Places fund. “It is great to see the car rental industry playing such an important role in the development of London’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure,” said Lewis. n BVRLA News | March 2010
BVRLA blueprint for reducing regulation The BVRLA has challenged the government to reduce some of the regulatory burdens on the vehicle rental and leasing industry and its customers – and has explained how to do it. The association has submitted its ideas to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is co-ordinating the government’s attempts to further simplify and streamline regulation over the next five years. The BVRLA has had success with simplifying government regulations in the past, securing amendments to distance
selling requirements to the benefit of rental companies. The association has now identified a number of key areas it believes the government should address. These include:
❱ removing the need for an annual test
for commercial vehicles that are less than two years old
❱ removing the lease rental restriction
applied under the current corporation tax regime, which discriminates against leasing as a method of funding
❱ harmonising the way rental and
leasing firms can transfer liability for road traffic offences, including bus lane and London congestion charge penalties.
The BVRLA believes that if it is successful in removing these regulatory burdens it will save the industry and its customers approximately £35m each year. Full details of the BVRLA’s goals can be found in the ‘Consultation responses’ section of the association’s website. n www.bvrla.co.uk
Firms that sell Toyota’s vehicle recall trauma insurance ‘don’t shows need for hi-tech system furore surrounding Toyota’s a single comprehensive list of affected need FSA control’ The vehicle recall has demonstrated the vehicles, there is literally one notice per need for an electronic notification vehicle, adding greatly to administration. says Treasury system to replace the current mass mail-out, the BVRLA believes. HM Treasury has endorsed the BVRLA’s position that vehicle rental firms selling insurance, such as personal accident insurance, should not be regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). Since 2005 the FSA has regulated the sale and administration of general insurance in accordance with the Insurance Mediation Directive that harmonised insurance sales across the European Union (EU). In 2005 the BVRLA secured an exemption from FSA regulation for vehicle rental firms. However, the European Commission is now considering a review of the way insurance is sold in all member states. This raises the possibility of BVRLA members losing their current exemption. The BVRLA believes such a move would have an adverse effect on both its members’ costs and their customers’. At a meeting with senior Treasury officials last month the BVRLA was assured that the government would back its call to maintain the current exemption and defend this position at a European level. n BVRLA News | March 2010
Although the UK’s recall system is one of the most robust in Europe many leasing companies are concerned that it is flawed and inconsistent. Fleet operators cannot initiate a recall until they receive a written notice in the post, which can take up to four weeks. And, rather than
For some time, the BVRLA has been working with vehicle manufacturers, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to try and establish a more 21st-century solution. An online database and emailed notices could bring major savings in the time and cost involved and improved safety. n
DfT moves to clarify potentially costly private hire licensing rules The BVRLA has welcomed the Department for Transport’s recognition of the need for clearer guidance on which businesses must be licensed to operate private hire vehicles. The DfT’s announcement of a review came after the BVRLA highlighted the concerns of rental members who were threatened with legal action by some local authorities on the grounds that their vehicles had to be licensed to drop off or pick up customers.
The BVRLA has worked with the DfT on an impact assessment, highlighting the burden that compliance would place on its members. It showed that compliance could cost the industry up to £70m a year depending on the number of staff and vehicles licensed. The association remains committed to working with the DfT to ensure that the proposed guidance creates a uniform approach across the country that will keep car rental firms outside the scope of private hire licensing. n
The Big Event Annual Dinner 2010 Spring is in the air – so it’s time to celebrate Early March is a great time of year. Spring has arrived; snowdrops and daffodils are appearing; the days are getting longer; but most importantly of all, it is the time when the whole vehicle rental and leasing industry gets together for a party at the BVRLA Annual Dinner. As usual, we congregated in the lavish surroundings of the London Hilton on Park Lane. This year around 800 members and their guests
assembled in the hotel’s ballroom, up on the 600 or so attending in 2009 – a useful barometer of how much more confident we are feeling as an industry. The BVRLA would like to thank all those who attended the event for helping to make it a great night. If you weren’t able to come along, here is a little taster of what you missed – we hope we will see you there in 2011! n
McNally: a for coping sopwplauded the industry ell with the reces sion
And the winners are… BVRLA hails unsung heroes The BVRLA Annual Dinner provides a great opportunity to celebrate some of the people who play a vital role in enabling our industry to deliver safe, efficient and costeffective road transport to its customers.
This year BVRLA chief executive John Lewis announced eight awards, given in recognition of some of our members’ top talent. The first three awards, sponsored by Aon Rental Business Services, were presented to those candidates who scored the highest marks in the BVRLA City & Guilds Vehicle Rental Operator Skills Examination 2009. Nearly 3,000 people have sat these exams since they were introduced in 1989.
wit h BVRLA Sue Brownson OBE Aldous e life president Freddi
Natalie Williams (first place) and Brian Roberts (third place), both of Practical Car & Van Rental, and Shelagh Ree of Arnold Clark (Finance), who came second, were present as guests of
A LA Industry Hero Our heroines ! BVR Nagra and overall win Claire Piggott, Bally
the association to pick up their awards. Also picking up an award was Fran Warburton of leasing company ALD Automotive. Fran was recognised as
Achievement Aw Rosemarie Spier
BVRLA News | March 2010
McNally rallies troops for the year ahead “We have survived the worst recession in living memory. We are stronger, we are fitter, and we look forward with great confidence to the future.” BVRLA chairman Kevin McNally produced this
left) Award winners (from nner Jacki Stevenson
se Portillo: full of prai
for our sector
rousing ending to his first speech at the association’s Annual Dinner. He used the opportunity to pay tribute to the excellent work of his predecessor Nigel Stead and praised the BVRLA executive for keeping members informed and advised. Kevin also highlighted the excellent
the top-performing student of the BVRLA’s recently introduced Fleet Consultant Programme.
some of the unsung heroes working tirelessly behind the scenes to help our members thrive. The association received entries from a wide crosssection of members, large and small, all deserving of praise.
Introduced for the first time this year were the BVRLA Industry Hero Awards, recognising
Three trophies were awarded, one for each of the rental and leasing industry’s main sectors. The winner in the Leasing and Fleet Management category was Jacki Stevenson, a sales executive with Agility UK. The Commercial Vehicle category winner was Claire Piggott,
wards: Shelagh Ree, Brian Roberts, Fran Warburton , rs of award sponsor Aon, and Natalie Williams BVRLA News | March 2010
Lewis: re c o g dedic ated, nised members’ talented st af f
Boy le : bo ld , b e ard e d - and un re p e a t a b le! lobbying work the BVRLA has undertaken to try and improve the flow of funding to the industry and reduce red tape. n
an administrative assistant with Northgate Vehicle Hire. Bally Nagra, a customer sales representative with Hertz, received the Rental award. Agility’s Jacki Stevenson was awarded the overall accolade of BVRLA Industry Hero 2009. n
Hilton’s The venue: the oom llr lavish Grand Ba
Rental Leasing Leasing broker
Complaint report shows little change on 2008 â€“ but areas of concern remain The BVRLA was asked to conciliate 286 complaints against members in 2009, a slight fall on 2008 (1% down). There was a drop of nine percentage points in the proportion of complaints that were directed at rental members, while those against leasing firms and leasing brokers both rose. Over the past seven years, the conciliation service has seen a 93% rise in the number of disputes referred to it. This reflects increased awareness of the service and the fact that members are encouraging more customers to use it when their own complaints process has reached an impasse. Itâ€™s important to bear in mind that although the percentage rise seems large it actually represents a minute fraction of the 13.5 million rental and leasing transactions in the UK last year: just 0.000002%.
Complaints by sector since 2006 NB: Leasing brokers since 2008
Of the complaints referred to the BVRLA, 52% were found in favour of members. Considered by sector, it can be seen that leasing performed best, despite an increase in the proportion of leasing-related complaints relative to those against rental firms.
Where a rental complaint was found in favour of the complainant, it was generally apparent that the BVRLA member had either not followed correct procedures or was unable to contest the complaint against it due to poor record keeping.
There was a marked difference in the outcome of these complaints, with 73% of the cases involving leasing firms being decided in their favour, compared with 46% for rental.
It was also clear that a small number of members were not meeting their own service level agreements by failing to acknowledge or resolve complaints in a timely fashion.
Disputes relating to return standards dominated leasing, involving 62% of complaints. In most cases members were able to provide enough information about the state of returned vehicles to justify damage charges imposed on customers. The BVRLA will continue to work with leasing members to improve how they inform customers of the vehicle return process, especially the return standards.
As with leasing, the BVRLA intends to help rental members improve the way they inform customers of their responsibilities and the charges they might incur for failing to adhere to the conditions of hire. n BVRLA Conciliation Service Annual Report 2009 can be downloaded from the BVRLA website. www.bvrla.co.uk BVRLA News | March 2010
RISC Online database proves its Professional worth as problem hirer incidents rise development An analysis of the 2009 figures from RISC Online, the BVRLA’s problem hirer database, indicates that rental outlets have found it more effective than ever at flagging potentially risky renters. In 2009 a total of 63,534 searches were performed (up 26% on 2008) resulting in 580 positive matches – almost twice as many as in 2008. The number of notifications was roughly equal with the previous year – 679 – but associated incidents rose by 10% to 2,295. These figures suggest that rental outlets are increasingly likely to experience
problem rentals, so strict adherence to customer qualification procedures should be encouraged. The two most frequent types of problem hirer incident were: not paid in full for rental and other charges (no change on 2008), and failed to return vehicle at agreed time and place (up 41%). In joint third place were: allowed an unauthorised person to drive the rental vehicle (up 22%), and giving false or misleading information (up 32%). n Contact: Steph Czaplinska, firstname.lastname@example.org 01494 545702
Committee meetings 2010 Committee of Management
20 May (agm)
Commercial Vehicle Committee
Leasing & Fleet Management Committee
Leasing Broker Committee
RVR Forum Committee
Risk Management & Security Committee
SMR Forum Committee
Training programme 2010 Certificate in Fleet Consultancy
Selling Contract Hire
Certificate in Fleet Consultancy
Service, Maintenance and Repair (SMR) Forum
Residual Value and Remarketing (RVR) Forum
30 June 7 July
For further information about all BVRLA courses, contact Nora Leggett: email@example.com, 01494 545713
New associate member Halo Insurance Services Halo Insurance Services Ltd – and its registered trading name, iCarhireinsurance.com – has become an associate member of the BVRLA. Ernesto Suarez, CEO of Halo and iCarhireinsurance.com, said: “We are BVRLA News | March 2010
delighted that we have been accepted by the BVRLA. Halo and iCarhireinsurance. com is committed to following the BVRLA’s aims to ensure customers receive the highest level of service and value for money at all times.” www.icarhireinsurance.com
Certificate in Fleet Consultancy Module One: 30 – 31 March Module Two: 26 – 27 May Buckinghamshire According to the UK’s leading fleet customer satisfaction index, the fleeteye CSi survey, which monitors scores from over 600 fleet operators, fleets are most satisfied with vehicle ordering and delivery against agreements by fleet providers (81%), but are least happy with account management and communications (both running at 72%).
Can the BVRLA’s Certificate in Fleet Consultancy help? It is an accredited training programme for account managers and covers the principles of fleet management, providing innovative solutions to fleet delivery requirements. It is delivered from the clients’ perspective, and, by calling on the training expertise of the Institute of Car Fleet Management, enables participants to benefit from this organisation’s knowledge of fleet operators. Contact: Nora Leggett, firstname.lastname@example.org 01494 545713
Selling Contract Hire 21 – 22 April Midlands
This two-day course will provide a structured analysis of how to sell contract hire, looking at the benefits accrued by customers and generally improving the techniques of sales staff. Attendees will discuss the ‘fact find’, designing and presenting the proposal, how to overcome objections and closing the deal. They will also widen their knowledge through informal contact with other sales staff. This course may provide the ideal answer to members’ overstretched in-house training budgets, offering formal, value-for-money training. Contact: Steph Czaplinska, email@example.com 01494 545702 7
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