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winter 2012 | issue 05

Central to Success Streamlining administration for improved customer service.


The quarterly magazine from Northgate

inside... Hire Quality

Gearing Up for the Challenge

10 Things You Didn’t Know About...LEZ

Public Sector Expertise



Welcome to the fifth issue of Driven. Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a happy new year. As you have witnessed, we are continuously bombarded with news from the media on the state of the economy and the UK’s prospects. It is absolutely clear that the UK faces significant challenges over the coming years. At Northgate we are not immune to the economic environment. However, we can offer solutions to those businesses feeling the pressure. ‘Norflex’, our core product, is particularly relevant in this current climate. Other methods of obtaining a commercial vehicle, both acquisition and contract hire, can be very inflexible and significantly more expensive. Both of these alternatives have high hidden costs that are often not considered. Additionally, with our in-house maintenance capability which we continue to invest in, our level of service should not be capable of being matched. New sites have been opened in Cannock and Grantham and, at the time of writing this we have refurbished Glasgow, Snodland, Milton Keynes and will have completed a further four sites by April. We plan to continue this investment with 12 site refurbishments in the next financial year.

Underlying financial highlights for the half year ended 31 October 2011

% change



Group operating profit

+ 5%



Group profit before tax

+ 19%



Group ROCE (Return on capital employed)




UK operating profit

+ 3%



UK operating margin

+ 0.8%



Group ROCE Oct 2011: 12.5% Apr 2011: 11.9% Oct 2010: 10.0%

Through our centralised customer support and finance centres we will be improving the level of service we can offer; allowing our branches to concentrate on ensuring excellence at the front line point of service delivery. Yours sincerely

Bob Contreras Chief Executive | Northgate plc

driven / winter 2012

Closing net debt (£m) and gearing (%)


£886m Oct-10


£598m Apr-11


£530m Oct-11

Operational highlights

UK Spain



Fleet size


91% 42,900

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11 > Hire Quality 12 > Feature: Mercedes-Benz 15 > Gearing Up for the Challenge

winter 2012 | issue 05

02 > Welcome 05 > Green for Go 07 > Central to Success


17 > Norflex – the Real Picture 18 > The Investment Continues... 19 > 10 Things You Didn’t Know About...LEZ 20 > Feature: Volkswagen 25 > Let’s Get the Show on the Road 26 > In the Van with...Kelly Group 27 > Feature: Peugeot 30 > Public Sector Expertise 31 > Movers and Shakers


33 > It’s All for a Good Cause 35 > Vehicle Hire Directory




driven / winter 2012



Welcome to the future. With the new Peugeot 3008 HYbrid4 you get all the flexibility of an award winning crossover*, with high performance of up to 200bhp, 4WD and 100% Electric modes, up to 74mpg**, plus CO2 emissions from just 99g/km. When you can have all that, why compromise? Find out more at or call the Peugeot Fleet centre on 024 7688 4644.


3008 HYbrid4

Official Fuel Consumption in mpg (l/100km) and CO2 emissions (g/km) for the 3008 HYbrid4 Range are: Urban 65.6 (4.3) – 72.4 (3.9); Extra Urban 70.06 (4.0) – 76.3 (3.7); Combined 68.9 (4.1) – 74.3 (3.8) and CO2 108-99 (g/km) *The Peugeot 3008 won What Car “Crossover of the Year” 2010 & 2011 and What Car “Car of the Year” 2010. **74.3mpg achieved in the Combined Cycle.

Green for Go they had developed great team working skills and built their confidence over the three days.”

Qube GB ltd

is indebted to the support we received from Northgate and look forward to working together in the future.”

Golden Gates Housing Trust Explore the Outdoors

Communications and engineering installation company Qube GB ltd has worked with Northgate Vehicle Hire for three years and has a number of vehicles on hire. In October 2011, Northgate Vehicle Hire came to Qube GB ltd’s aid by supplying it with a Transit van to transport Melrose RFC to a league match in Dublin. John Dalziel, National Fleet and Logistics Manager at Qube GB ltd is also player coach at Melrose and asked for Northgate Vehicle Hire’s assistance in taking the players’ equipment to their match, when it transpired transporting by air was not feasible. Northgate responded quickly and supplied the team with the loan of a free van to ensure that their equipment reached them in time for the match. John Dalziel commented: “As a result of the support from Northgate, Melrose were able to approach this fixture in a very professional manner by sending our entire kit from Scotland to Dublin by van. This allowed the team to arrive at the game with everything set out as would be expected in a professional environment. It also ensured we made a considerable financial saving by not taking luggage by air. “Melrose battled hard against a side that contained several full Leinster and Irish capped players, and although we lost 42-20 it was one of our best displays of the season. Melrose RFC

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Lee Saunders Regional Sales Manager, Ireland (pictured right) presents co-founder of Broderick Brothers, Bernard Broderick, with the Vehicle Branding Award.

Eye catching vehicle livery can be a real winner, especially if that company has taken part in the Northgate Vehicle Branding Awards! The 2011 Vehicle Branding Awards, hosted in Ireland in association with Fleet Transport magazine, announced Broderick Brothers of Ireland overall winner, due to the eye-catching livery for the Broderick’s Bars and Cakes brand. Broderick’s took home €1,500 of Northgate Vehicle Hire workshop vouchers.

Members of Melrose RFC line up to show their appreciation for the loan of the Northgate van.

From left to right: Jane Lauchlan, Neighbourhood Coordinator, Anne Marie Walsh, Neighbourhood Housing Officer and Phil Spinks, Fleet Manager for Sure Group, pictured with one of the young people chosen to take part in the outdoors event.

In October last year, Northgate Vehicle Hire supported Golden Gates Housing Trust with its three day outdoor event by supplying a van free of charge. The event, part of the Longford Quality of Life project, was organised by Golden Gates Housing Trust, and funded by North Face, Sure Group and Warrington Federation of Tenant and Resident Associations. Its aim was to help disadvantaged children and families to explore the outdoors who otherwise wouldn’t be afforded the opportunity. In total, twelve young people from Longford in Warrington took part in the action packed event. Speaking on behalf of all the organisations, Phil Spinks of Sure Group said: “We would like to extend our thanks to Yvonne Washbrook at Northgate Vehicle Hire, who supplied the minibus for the day. The Golden Gates children from Longford had a wonderful time. They really enjoyed the event and it was evident that


05 winter 2012 | issue 05

Green for Go

Vehicle Branding Awards Ireland

The judges at Northgate awarded the prize to Broderick Brothers due to the creativity and attention to detail of the vehicle design, bringing the brand’s identity to life through the use of bright colours, inventive designs and characters. Bernard Broderick commented on the award win: “We are so proud to have won Northgate’s Vehicle Branding Awards as we have put so much work and effort into making ‘The Chocolate Rocket’ campaign a big success. Since appearing on The Apprentice last year we have seen people becoming more and more interested and excited by the Broderick’s brand, so having our vehicles branded was the next logical step. We’d like to thank Northgate for the brilliant prize and for supporting Broderick’s Bars and Cakes.” The eye catching van beat off tough competition from over 100 entries, which included some very imaginative and eye catching designs. But it was the way in which the Broderick design oozed the brand’s personality that helped them secure 1st place. It was evident that a huge amount of thought and planning had gone into its design.

driven / winter 2012

A NAME TO TRUST EURO CAR PARTS At Euro Car Parts our philosophy has always been to supply the widest possible range of parts, from stock, at unbeatable prices. We are the UK’s largest distributor for all makes of cars and light commercial vehicles. By offering original equipment, parts of matching quality and quality aftermarket ranges, we give our customers the freedom to choose the most suitable part for every job and every vehicle owner. With more than 90 Branches nationwide, delivery direct to trade customers, mail order and click & collect, available to all, you can buy with confidence from Euro Car Parts at any time.


Customer Support Centre

Central to Success


company continues to invest in positive initiatives to improve service delivery. Acutely aware that in order to remain market leader, changes to the way it operates are a necessity. The rebranding to Northgate from the localised branding of old, investments in training, heavy investment in Northgate depots and the development of various in-house IT systems, have all served to further strengthen Northgate’s service proposition and position as a market leader. Two years on since the rebrand, Northgate is beginning to transform into a truly customer centric UK brand. Now the focus turns to one very important business function – Administration. It may not be as glamorous as the gleaming new depots, as sharp as recent marketing campaigns, or as technically impressive as the new CRM system, yet is vital in its role.

• Finally, Asset Administration is a crucial function that ensures that the customer receives their tax discs and any penalty charges in a timely and efficient manner. The management of these functions now operate at the central operations hub at Northgate offices in Darlington, rebranded to Customer Support Centre (CSC). Dedicated teams are in place to undertake fleet management tasks, whilst attention has also been given to colleagues at depots and workshops to reinforce their role in delivering a quality service to the Northgate customer base.

An honest reflection on the existing administration tasks pointed to the need for change in order to ensure that this area of the business delivered service levels congruent with those in other areas of Northgate. The change involved focusing on three key administration areas for Northgate; Damage Recharge Management, Scheduling and Compliance and Asset Administration. Though they may sound a little ‘dry’ they are crucial for ensuring efficient fleet management. Let’s take a closer look at each function… • Damage Recharge Management involves managing asset repair. Including all dealings with suppliers, booking vehicles in for repair, managing them through the repair process and recharge of the claim.

Damage Recharge Management sees the introduction of a fresh new approach using PDA technology, which is helping to deliver a more efficient service. The introduction of a standard damage process, complete with a comprehensive Damage Pack across the network, will ensure consistency and efficiency in the way that Northgate carries out tasks related to assessment and repair of damage.

• Scheduling and Compliance covers the scheduling of all maintenance events such as MOTs and services. With 55,000 vehicles to manage, that’s a lot of maintenance tasks to schedule in!

With a new proactive, planned approach, including the bundling of maintenance and compliance events, the objective is to reduce vehicle downtime and inconvenience for the customer. Regular and consistent progress updates of maintenance tasks to the customer will help deliver further value.

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driven / winter 2012

winter 2012 | issue 05

‘Continuous improvement’ is a phrase you’ll hear often at Northgate, as the

Customer Support Centre


Simon Ridley, Fleet Services Director, commented: “The new Customer Support Centre (CSC) department will address the short comings that existed within some areas of our administration operations. A consistent approach will ensure that the service our customers experience mirrors that delivered at other ‘touch points’ across the organisation. ‘Working smarter’ and streamlining these administration tasks will serve to benefit the customer. There will no longer be ambiguity regarding maintenance timings and customers will be confident that we will manage all of the onerous admin tasks associated with fleet management efficiently, keeping them informed before, during and after. “These changes will not happen independently of other departments, as our colleagues across the network along with IT and HR investment are to play a vital role in delivering these new processes. Significant investment has been ploughed into in-house IT systems, and various training programmes are currently being rolled out to ensure smooth delivery. At Northgate, continuous improvement is a real driving force behind initiatives such as this, and behind this driving force is a commitment to the customer and a desire to continually assess the service proposition that we deliver.” Changes such as these don’t happen overnight and since 2010, over £500,000 has been invested into IT projects and software and £170,000 into hardware equipment such as PDAs. Most recently, changes were made to the Northgate telephone system as the existing one was running at full capacity. A new telephone system was introduced in December 2011 to accommodate this centralisation, offering increased analysis functionality, call recording and email handling capabilities so that customer service can be continually monitored and improved. With upgrades set in place, consideration was given to one key ingredient; Northgate staff. Ensuring that the right people, with the right experience will be carrying out these administration tasks at the central hub is vital to the success of the changes. Training and communication packs also serve

driven / winter 2012

‘Working smarter’ and streamlining these administration tasks will serve to benefit the customer. There will no longer be ambiguity regarding maintenance timings and customers will be confident that we will manage all of the onerous admin tasks associated with fleet management efficiently, keeping them informed before, during and after.

to let colleagues at depots and workshops know what the changes mean for them, and the pivotal role that they will continue to play in delivering a smooth service to the customer. To ensure minimal disruption will be felt by the customer, a rigid implementation programme has been put in place, including a dedicated field team working to set deadlines for ‘go live in each region’. The Implementation team offers on-site support and coaching during the roll out process. In addition, Damage Packs have been distributed to all sites, to ensure that colleagues have the tools needed to effectively carry out the damage assessment tasks. Nora Curry, Operations Manager - Customer Support Centre, explains: “The objective of these changes is to be able to deliver a reliable, quality service to our customers. Therefore, being able to reduce disruption and inconvenience to the customer in the meantime was an essential consideration. We want the customer to have confidence in the changes that we are making, and ensure that colleagues are 100% ready and behind these changes. Importantly, we want

Customer Support Centre

This has been a challenging project in a number of ways, not least the magnitude of the changes Northgate are making. There have been some issues which needed addressing, but we have reacted quickly, listening to our customers’ feedback to refine processes. We are focused on delivering a consistent and reliable service to our customers and I am confident with the continued commitment and involvement of our colleagues across the network, that we have a robust approach to the centralisation of administration.” The repositioning of these tasks from the individual depots to a central point will, in the long term, reap benefits for the customer. Streamlining and standardisation of these processes will set clear customer expectations around our service delivery, providing better response times, efficient processing of administration tasks and reduction in down time for customer vehicles. When fully implemented the fleet administration tasks will be transformed into a sleek, well-oiled, centrally run machine, to ensure that Northgate consistently delivers a quality service to customers, whenever and however it comes in contact with them.

Northgate colleagues share their thoughts Two months into the roll out and its impact is clear to see. Here’s what colleagues have to say about the roll out of Customer Support Centre (CSC). Carolyn Robertson, Field Operations Manager, commented: “We are currently in a period of transition as the roll out is still in its infancy. However, the benefits for both the workforce and the customer are clear to see. In all three areas of administration we are seeing a real structure and standardisation to processes and there has been extremely positive feedback from the field. The Damage Packs are making a real impact, as colleagues can see the thought and planning that has gone into making a ‘better way of doing things’ and they have everything they need to be able to carry out their job effectively and efficiently. The standardisation, coupled with the training, means staff are now more aware than ever of what is expected of them in terms of service delivery. It also serves to reinforce the role that everyone plays both at the CSC and at the depots to ensure that these administration tasks are carried out effectively.” Paul Evans, General Service Manager, Bolton commented: “The key benefit that we as a team have experienced is from the transfer of the scheduling and compliance tasks to CSC, which has taken the onus off us so that we can concentrate on other aspects. Historically, the sheer volume of legal events took up a lot of our time. The transferring of these tasks was no hassle at all and went very smoothly indeed. Above all, our customers have not been negatively impacted by these changes; only benefiting from the positive aspects. It’s a win-win situation for all of us.” Andrea Cowburn, Operations Manager, North West, commented: “Though it is still early days, there are some real benefits coming through. The Fleet Dynamics Wizard is clearly a great tool and vital for staff at the depots to be able to communicate with the CSC Damage team. Being able to share local customer knowledge with the central team is crucial, if we are to deliver a quality service in the area of claim management.”

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driven / winter 2012

09 winter 2012 | issue 05

the staff at depots and workshops to appreciate that the centralisation of the administration tasks will benefit them as well as the customers, and to let them know that they still play a key role in delivering customer satisfaction. Key to the success of these new processes is strong communications between the individual depots and the Customer Support Centre.

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Retail Hire

Hire Quality


Historically, Northgate has managed retail hire on a regional level, competing with the local market, but with car rental company transactions down 8% and car rental fleet size shrinkage of up to 7%, the major UK rental companies have begun a shift towards the LCV rental market. With this shift, Northgate realised that it had to adjust its strategy to provide the UK market, in the same way as its competitors such as Hertz, Avis, Europcar and National, with a clear, consistent and most importantly, competitive pricing structure under the campaign 'Got something to move?'. Dylan Jones, UK Operations Director, commented on the changes: “What we have to remember is that we are experts in the LCV market and that allows us to provide the customer with a service that none of our competitors can. With a new pricing structure which we are confident is the most competitive in the market and a fleet of vehicles with choice and quality second to none, we have never been better placed to retain and grow our share of the retail hire market.” Since the rebrand in 2010, there has been a natural increase in retail hire enquiries from the visibility of the brand on the road. The new website has also improved visibility in Google search and there is a long-term strategy to increase this visibility further with more page one rankings.

What we have to remember is that we are experts in the LCV market and that allows us to provide the customer with a service that none of our competitors can.

Northgate also believes the new changes will offer a real 'value proposition' to those with ageing vans who need to make occasional journeys within the M25. From January 2012, LEZ (Low Emissions Zone) and congestion charging came into force in London. There are c. 1m vehicles in the UK which could be affected by these penalty charges which could amount to £500. The opportunity for short-term hire is greater than ever, particularly with an estimated 85,000 non-compliant vehicles in the London area. As part of the re-launch, Northgate will be investing heavily in a training programme, rolling out in early 2012, for all hiredesk colleagues. Focusing on handling all enquiries effectively and qualifying the needs of each individual customer so that their experience can be as rewarding as possible.

Dylan Jones continued: “Although there has been a change from a regional to national strategy, this doesn’t mean we have become uncompetitive in relation to the smaller companies operating on our doorsteps. On the contrary, when you roll together price with quality of product and our new Rentable Standards, range of derivatives and approach to customer experience, we are more competitive than ever before.”

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driven / winter 2012

winter 2012 | issue 05

In December, Northgate launched a new retail hire proposition across the UK in order to provide a more consistent approach to the personal van hire market.

Editorial Feature

Mercedes-Benz launches dynamic new Vito models With stylish good looks and power to please, the latest Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport and Sport-X van models appeal to the heart as well as the head. Mercedes-Benz has launched exciting new versions of its popular Vito Sport and Sport-X models. Based on the Euro 5 Vito range introduced early in 2011, both feature low-emission engine technology and combine eye-catching new styling with improved specifications. The Mercedes-Benz Vito Sport and Sport-X make a mockery of the proverbial warning against mixing business with pleasure by offering packages that represent the best of both worlds. Both are available in Compact and Long body lengths, and as Panel vans or Dualiners (which feature a second row of seats, and the option of glazed side doors). Both also share the same new ‘face’ – redesigned grille, lights and bumper– as other Vito models. The Vito Sport rides on 17”, six-spoke alloys and wears new-look chrome sidebars. Meanwhile, renowned tuning and body-styling specialist BRABUS has come up with a special look for the Sport-X – this includes a muscular set of 18” alloys and customised front spoiler, which is now compatible with the optional Parktronic parking aid.

All Vito Sport-X models and Vito Sport 122CDI variants are powered by a fire-breathing 3.0-litre V6 that pumps out an eye-watering 224hp and is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission. The 2.1-litre 163hp unit which beats at the heart of the Vito Sport 116CDI offers punchy performance with impressive economy – up to 37.7mpg on the combined cycle - and drives through the manual six-speed ECO-Gear, a new transmission designed specifically for van applications. This improves flexibility and maximises fuel economy, as well as being smoother and quieter, and able to handle higher torque inputs. Sport-X versions now benefit from powerful bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime driving lights which, as well as enhancing the van’s appearance, make an important contribution to safety. Both models also get seatbelt reminders for driver and co-driver, while rear passengers will appreciate their new Comfort seats. Vito Sport specification now includes a Comfort single front passenger seat and an ‘aux’ socket – standard features on Sport-X models – as well as an improved Audio 20 in-cab entertainment system.

Editorial Feature

The Sport and Sport-X are the flagships of a comprehensive Mercedes-Benz Vito range which truly offers a van for all reasons. Not only do the four- and six-cylinder engines that power the latest models meet Euro 5 emissions standards, they also deliver significant improvements in fuel economy as well as welcome boosts in power and torque. The Vito 116CDI and 122CDI can also be specified in ‘standard’ trim, while completing the new range are the 95hp 110CDI and 136hp 113CDI – like the 116CDI, this model falls comfortably below the 200g/km CO2 emissions threshold. For even lower fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, BlueEFFICIENCY models combine extra economy measures such as low resistance tyres and ECO-Start technology, which automatically cuts the engine when a vehicle is stationary and re-starts as the driver prepares to move off. The new 110CDI produces 12 per cent less CO2 than the Euro 4 109CDI it has replaced and will travel an extra 4.5 miles for every gallon of diesel used, but all models are significantly more efficient

than their previous equivalents. And for ultimate ‘green’ credentials, the newest member of the family is the all-electric Vito E-CELL, the world’s first batterypowered van to be built on line at a mainstream production facility. It runs solely off a state-of-the-art 121hp electric motor, for zero local emissions. The Mercedes-Benz Vito has long been hailed as one of the safest vans on the road too. The latest range features yet more enhancements to its standard safety specification, among them a variable road speed limiter and Bluetooth mobile phone capability. There should be no doubts about reliability either – test engineers performed more than three million in-service trial miles before the model was even launched! As well as van and Dualiner variants, the new Vito is also available as a Traveliner minibus capable of carrying up to eight passengers. And as before it comes in three body lengths – Compact, Long and Extra-long (excluding Sport and Sport-X variants) – and with two roof heights. So there is a shape to suit any application.

Editorial Feature

Leader of the pack Testers at Commercial Motor magazine lined up five leading competitors in the 3.0-tonne van market and picked their winner. Victory was sweet for the Mercedes-Benz Vito

Anyone who drives a Mercedes-Benz Vito already knows it’s a winner – now road testers on Commercial Motor agree. The highly respected magazine conducted a comparative group test of five vans with gross weights at or around three tonnes. Lined up against the Vito 113CDI Long were examples of three of its biggest rivals in this extremely competitive sector, and one ‘left-field’ contender. The five vehicles were loaded with 500kg of ballast and driven round a test route on public roads, in order to deliver a true measure of ‘real world’ fuel economy. Each was driven by four testers, who then scored the vans on a broad list of criteria.

Drivelines were judged on refinement, driveability and noise, as well as gearing and gearchange quality. In the category of dynamics, they assessed ride comfort, road-holding, steering, braking and road noise. Cabins, meanwhile, were scored for driving position, seat comfort, ease of access, visibility, instrument layout, storage and finish quality. Figures for performance and average fuel economy were also taken into account, as were in-cab noise levels. And when all the results were collated, the Mercedes-Benz Vito was the undoubted star of the show. “The Vito won friends thanks to its suave interior, stylish dashboard and ample internal

space,” confirmed the magazine. Refinement, braking and steering were highly praised. With the highest power rating in the test, the Vito also proved the most entertaining to drive, yet delivered the best mpg figure too. The magazine concluded: “The emphasis placed on fuel economy and its consistent performance in every category was enough to see the Vito lead the overall ranking tables. “It’s not surprising then that when pressed to pick their overall winner and put their own money into one of our group, three out of four testers said the Mercedes-Benz would be their van of choice.”

Commercial Training

Gearing Up for the Challenge


good reasons. With years of market change, evolving competition, the harsh reality of the economic climate and increasing pressures placed on private and public sector balance sheets, it was time to step back and adopt a consultative approach to customers’ needs, with a focus on cost reduction and driving efficiency.

Feedback from the field Commercial training packs provide colleagues with all the necessary tools they’ll need in order to deliver the desired business results.

Delegates take in one of the presentations at the Northern Commercial Training Programme, held at the Scotch Corner Hotel.

Over the course of two weeks, an intensive two-day course was delivered in the South, North and the Midlands which concentrated on the key skills needed to operate in the current market. The first focus was Norflex and how it really compares to other acquisition methods available to fleet owners; contract hire, new or used purchase and other rental methods.

and oil. There was also a detailed specification document containing dimensions, payloads, MPG, CO2 emissions and list prices of all of Northgate’s core vehicles.

Mark Emond, Regional Sales Manager said: “The Commercial Training Programme was far and away the most in-depth, relevant and motivational training schedule attended in my The ‘Fact Find’ and ‘Business Review Documents’, tenure with Northgate. The content, delivery and introduced as part of the new CRM development impact which was experienced across the full spectrum of attendees was significant and will were next for review. To really understand how serve only to drive the commercial team to deliver to position Northgate to a business operating the necessary results for the business.” a vehicle fleet, the first job is to gain a full understanding of that business. The teams were given good and bad examples of both, and asked how they would then position a sales proposal. The final objective was to understand the external market conditions which affect both Northgate and its customers, therefore allowing a better positioning of the Norflex product. As part of the information provided to the delegates, there was a pack containing information on commodity price increases such as fuel, tyres

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“Things are tough at the moment, not just for Northgate but for everybody. We now have the tools to once again give us the edge over the competition, and new tools are being added to 'the box' to give us an even greater advantage.” Derek Chambers, Account Manager, North East “A refreshing and inspiring two days that truly utilised best practise and will assuredly give all field based employees essential tools and increased confidence to be successful.” Craig Allen, New Business Development Manager, South West & Wales “It was great to be part of a training course that was so relevant to what we are faced with in the real world. The opportunities in the marketplace clearly outweigh the risks we are faced with and to be equipped with the tools to do my job to its full potential with a company that is moving from strength to strength is very exciting.” Richard Brown, Account Manager, South

driven / winter 2012

winter 2012 | issue 05

It was back to basics in December for Northgate’s Commercial team, but for very

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Norflex – the Real Picture


The rising costs facing fleet managers continue to squeeze the bottom line of businesses across the UK.

Norflex has never been so valuable to so many businesses looking to operate more efficient and cost-effective fleets. But what are the realities, and how does Norflex really provide the solution? Let’s look at the facts. The price of fuel has increased by 34% since 2009 and many anticipate it to increase further during 2012. Thankfully, with Northgate’s fleet you are benefiting from the most modern and fuel efficient vehicles in the marketplace.

Fuel UP 34%

Another major consideration for fleet managers is maintenance and servicing costs and the logistics of managing those requirements in line with a fully utilised fleet. With Norflex, servicing, maintenance and replacement vehicles are all included. The value of this is highlighted when fleet managers running ‘owned’ or ‘non-maintenance contract hire’ fleets are facing year on year increases in parts and consumables. Tyre costs have increased on average by 15%, oil and lubricants by 25%, breakdown and recovery services by 15% and braking parts and consumables by 5%.

Tyres UP 15% Oil and Lubricants UP 25%

Utilisation is a key measure for fleet managers and this is where Norflex offers real value against contract hire and leasing in the fact that fleet size can be managed in line with workload. The ability to hire and off-hire as work dictates, and without penalty, takes away risk from fleet planning. With contract hire or leasing you simply don’t have this flexibility.

Breakdown and Recovery UP 15%

With the consultative approach taken by Northgate to understand the pressures under which businesses are operating, combined with the network, service and vehicle quality available, Norflex offers a strong proposition in an increasingly changeable and volatile marketplace.

o f e call: 0844 8266 555


Economic Pressures

Braking Parts and Consumables UP 5%

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winter 2012 | issue 05

For over 22 years Northgate Vehicle Hire has offered Norflex to businesses across the UK, selling the benefits of completely flexible fleet solutions. As we are all well aware, in the last few years UK business has had to combat increasingly harsh economic pressures, and none more so than those operating vehicle fleets.

Infrastructure Investment


The Investment Continues••• Snodland and Milton Keynes are the most recent depots to undergo refurbishment, following the blueprint set by the likes of Glasgow, Grantham and Cannock, to the benefit of both colleagues and customers. With an overall investment of around £200,000, the Milton Keynes depot now benefits from a 6 bay workshop area as well as new waste oil tanks and exhaust extraction equipment. The hiredesk includes an improved seating area for customers, and colleagues can enjoy a revamped working area separate from front of house and new look break-out areas. Chris Tudge, Depot Manager of Milton Keynes, commented: “It’s clear that much thought has gone into the layout of the depot areas. It’s unmistakably Northgate, only a shinier modern version. The hiredesk team are really enthusiastic about their new work station and now that the administration area has been set back, it makes for a real professional feel to the front of house. The whole project is creating ripples of anticipation amongst Depot Managers, which is ultimately having a positive impact on teams.” Snodland has also benefited from serious investment; the dated workshop pit of old has been filled in, making room for a 7 ramp workshop area, with a mixture of 2 post and 4 post ramps. New brake tester equipment and a tyre fitting bay, further add to the workshop capabilities. Hiredesk and workshop have been moved to one building and the original workshop building is now being used by colleagues as a new break-out area. Attention has also been given to the office space, improved layout and new fixtures and fittings make for an enhanced working space for colleagues. Colleagues at the Snodland depot are equally impressed with their new surroundings. Vanessa Leach, Hiredesk Manager commented: “The refurbishment has given the team a real boost and created a real sense of pride in their place of work. The layout works really well and the whole atmosphere feels so much more professional. From a customer perspective, this shows us in the best possible light. Not only do we appear more professional but the fact that the workshop and hiredesk are now homed in one building makes it more convenient for customers who need to visit both.” With the desired effect being achieved at the depots and staff enthusiasm high, the plans for 2012 continue. Sheffield, Bristol, and Croydon have been recently selected for redevelopment, with Sheffield and Bristol scheduled to complete by mid March 2012 and the completion of the Croydon depot expected to follow in April. Charles Starr, Business Improvement Director, commented on the progress of the project: “So far we have met every major milestone that we have set ourselves, and we have achieved this through the commitment of the Operations teams and the hard work of those driving and managing

driven / winter 2012

It’s clear that much thought has gone into the layout of the depot areas. It’s unmistakably Northgate, only a shinier modern version... ...The whole project is creating ripples of anticipation amongst Depot Managers, which is ultimately having a positive impact on teams.”

all aspects of the project. We are well on our way to developing our network in a manner that we believe reflects the professional perception of the Northgate brand. We are determined to reinforce our reputation as 'Industry Leader' in the LCV rental industry.” Infrastructure investment will continue to be a key focus for Northgate Vehicle Hire for the remainder of 2012 and work has already begun to identify the next batch of locations. The new financial year will see a further 12 depots identified as suitable for refurbishment.

One of the new 4 post ramps at the Snodland workshop.

The new look hiredesk area complete with on screen workshop planners and customer seating area.

10 Things You Didn’t Know About...

The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Introduced back in 2008 as part of efforts to improve air quality in the capital, the Low Emissions Zone (LEZ) has now introduced tighter emissions regulations to force heavy polluting diesel vehicles to become cleaner.


Since January of this year, thousands of vehicles have had to comply with a minimum Euro 3 emission standards when travelling within the LEZ. Non-compliance is clearly not an option, with the government imposing stinging daily charges and hefty fines.

As many as 85,000 or 37% of vehicles already operating in the capital may be affected. UK wide it is estimated that as many as 1 million LCVs out of 3.75 million could be affected by these new regulations.


Daily charges can be up to £200 for larger vehicles such as buses and coaches - an unappetising option for many. However, fines for non-compliance can be as high as £1000.


Even for those travelling into London on the odd occasion, it can still result in prohibitive operating costs. A van travelling into the capital once a week and paying the £200 charge on each trip can result in an annual pay-out of £10,400.


One option to avoid paying charges would be to have a filter fitted. However, be aware that the lead time to have one fitted and certified can be up to 3 months.


Converting an existing van to ensure compliance is not always a viable option. For example, converting a 2002 VW Caddy with 210,000 miles on the clock could be anything from £1,800 to £3,500 - more than the value of the vehicle itself, making the acquisition of a newer vehicle a more effective prospect.


The stringent emissions standards will for the first time affect vans, lorries, buses and coaches registered before 1 October 2006.


The LEZ emissions standards affect all roads within the Greater London area, including those at Heathrow and parts of the M1 and M4. However, the M25 is not included (even where it passes within the Greater London Authority boundary).


Euro standards were introduced in 1992 for passenger vehicles, with light commercial vehicles following in 1994, to ensure that the new vehicles being produced were ‘cleaner’ than previous models.

As a result, many fleets will be forced to upgrade to newer compliant vehicles. Some may have to choose short-term hire to cover them for occasional visits to the capital. For others, long-term hire is a more effective option, when operating a heavy diesel vehicle in the capital is a daily occurrence. Where larger fleet operators are likely to have laid out a significant initial investment in order to ensure compliance, smaller operators may find it more challenging, not necessarily having the disposable capital to invest in new vehicle purchase. Northgate takes a closer look at the facts, to see what the new regulations mean for the fleet operator.

For comprehensive information on the new LEZ emissions standards visit our website: LEZ

09 10

call: 0844 8266 555


An army of cameras within the LEZ are able to read vehicle number plates, checking them against a database compiled using data from the DVLA and VOSA. Avoiding the new regulations is clearly not an option. The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including Bank Holidays and should not be confused with the Central London Congestion Charging Zone. Which operates 7.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday excluding Bank Holidays. Remember, congestion charges still need to be paid even if you comply with LEZ standards or have paid the daily charge.

driven / winter 2012

19 winter 2012 | issue 05

10 Things You Didn't Know About•••

Editorial Feature

The business partner you didn’t know you needed. You don’t just get a great vehicle from our range of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles; you get a great partnership too. One that provides vital help from a dedicated Van Centre network and support from one of the most professional corporate fleet and aftersales teams, ensuring you get the right vehicle for your needs and your business is kept running as efficiently as possible.

It’s not (just) about the money…

Keeping your business on the road.

Dedicated Van Centres.

Although Volkswagen vans will never be the cheapest to buy, their enviable heritage, durability and more desirable image mean they can achieve stronger residual values when it’s time to sell, which can make whole life costs competitively lower than expected. This is demonstrated by some of the well-known companies, such as British Gas and Coca-Cola who’ve already done the sums and chosen Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Although difficult to measure, most customers also benefit from very positive feedback from drivers who often spend many hours in their Volkswagens.

Commercial vehicles are not a luxury item but an essential part of a business, so reliability is key. Every business needs to keep their Commercial Vehicles working hard on the road. If any problems occur, they need to be resolved quickly and professionally. That’s why every new Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle comes with the peace of mind of a comprehensive threeyear warranty, with unlimited mileage for Crafter models, or up to 100,000 miles (whichever is sooner) for all other models.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles strive to make the whole ownership experience comparable to the level of quality found in the vehicles themselves. Through its network of dedicated Van Centres, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is able to provide the highest standards of care, expertise and customer service. This level of commitment is rare in the commercial vehicle industry.

Editorial Feature

The Volkswagen Van Centre network offers: • E xperienced, specialist staff, fully trained by Volkswagen • S pecially equipped workshops with the latest technology • C omprehensive stocks of genuine Volkswagen parts • E xpert advice on finance, accessories and other areas of support • A ccess to a variety of demonstration vehicles • O ften more flexible, longer opening hours

Business Centre. Volkswagen recently expanded its fleet team by adding a dedicated business centre, enriching the level of service available to its customers and ensuring any queries are handled as efficiently and quickly as possible. The business centre can be contacted on 0800 808 9998 or by emailing ‘Our vision for the fleet team is to offer industry leading knowledge and solutions that give a direct benefit to our customers through trust, integrity, knowledge and professionalism’ –reassuring words from Alastair Hemmings, National Fleet Manager, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK, who leads a fleet team of 15 people with a total of over 80 years’ experience. Alastair Hemmings National Fleet Manager

Editorial Feature Conversions experts.

Crafter Tipper

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has a dedicated conversions team, offering specialist engineering support and supplier relationship management. Its range of off-the-shelf ‘Engineered to go’ conversions includes tipper, dropside and Luton bodies, plus an extensive list of converters who qualify for its ‘Engineered for you’ programme, supplying an infinite range of bespoke conversions such as minibus, wheelchair accessible vehicles, refrigerated carriers or curtain-sided bodies.

White paper and roundtable. To get a better insight in to the current pressures on many of its customers, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles recently commissioned a white paper – Evolution of Van: Efficiency and Fleet Operation. It focused on legislation and understanding more about improving efficiency, such as how to utilise fleets more effectively, and how to implement simple measures to cut operating and whole life costs. With more than three million vans on UK roads, representing nearly 10% of all vehicles registered, they play a vital role in the economy, but the report highlights plenty of room for improved efficiency. As Alastair Hemmings explains, ‘This means better fuel use, better maintenance, better van choice and better utilisation, while a good, franchised van dealer is increasingly important,’ A full copy of the white paper is available to download from: The results of the white paper were subsequently discussed by industry experts at a roundtable hosted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Awards. Awards from across the fleet industry give valuable proof that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles provide the winning combination of products and service. One of the awards that it was extremely proud to receive recently was to be named the most reliable van manufacturer in the annual Fleet News FN50 reliability survey. The Caddy and Transporter were rated among the top five van models, with the Crafter finishing a respectable sixth overall. The FN50 reliability survey is compiled from the feedback and opinions of the UK’s top 50 leasing companies, giving an impartial and valuable account of how commercial vehicles operate and perform in the ‘real world.’

Editorial Feature Van Centre strategy. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles adopted an innovative approach to selling its vehicles, providing high quality customer service with its unique network of 73 Van Centres, and authorised repairers. Around 60% of Volkswagen Van Centres are on standalone sites. The most recent Van Centres to be opened include Chelmsford, Derby and Liverpool, representing a significant investment in the brand and strong business confidence in the future.

Essential elements of the Van Centre Network. Dedication:

There is always a degree of separation between Volkswagen Van Centres and their passenger car counterparts. When vans are sold on the same site as passenger cars, they’re either in a separate building or in a clearly separated section of the showroom.

Environment: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles believes its customers should enjoy the same attractive, friendly showroom and service reception as any other brand from the Volkswagen Group. This goal has been achieved as part of the Van Centre Network. All vehicles are displayed in contemporary showroom environments, with helpful and expert staff, relevant sales literature and a cup of tea or coffee available. Every effort is made to keep customers on the road. Servicing hours are geared as much as possible around customer demand, with workshops often open early and closed late. In addition, many are open at the weekend.

Courtesy vehicles of equivalent size are readily available. And in the unlikely event that a required part is not stocked at the Van Centre, it can be rapidly dispatched from Volkswagen’s central warehouse at Dordon in the West Midlands.

Used vehicles: Before the implementation of the Van Centre Network, there weren’t many used vehicle sales at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle retailers. Now that’s all changed with plenty of space allocated for the display of vehicles. Plus our Assured Used scheme has similar warranty packages to new vehicles.

Van Rental: Volkswagen Van Rental operates at an increasing number of sites. This allows businesses to hire an appropriate Volkswagen vehicle (van or people carrier) from the range when needed.

Financial Services:

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Finance helps customers choose the correct type of finance for their particular needs, offering surprisingly competitive costs

with an extensive range of finance products available. Two of the most popular for business customers are Contract Hire and Finance Lease. We also have Personal Contract Plans for private buyers where the monthly payments are kept low and manageable. Other optional products include fixed cost maintenance, combining guaranteed quality care of the vehicle through the Volkswagen Van Centre network with excellent value for money. The customer can choose the level of cover to suit their requirements such as Service only, Service and Maintenance or Service, Maintenance and Tyres. This flexible product offers periods of cover from 12 months to 60 months and mileages up to 200,000 in total, allowing businesses to budget more accurately through fixed monthly payments.

RIGHT VAN. RIGHT NOW. 2008 VW Transporter from

2008 Vauxhall Combo from

£6395 +VAT

£3495 +VAT

2008 Ford Transit from

2007 Ford Tipper from

£6395 +VAT

£8750 +VAT

2007 Mercedes Benz Sprinter from

2007 VW Caddy from

£7995 +VAT

£4795 +VAT

THE VANS OF THE TRADE. Find the right van, right now at Van Monster. Being part of the Northgate group means we have one of the biggest ranges of top-quality ex-fleet vehicles at extremely competitive prices. And, what’s more, each van comes with a comprehensive customer charter.



policy 48-hour return ile warranty m 3 month/3000 assistance de si Free RAC road Vehicles shown for illustration purposes only.

Van Monster Road Show

Let’s Get the Show on the Road


Two specially refurbished Mercedes-Benz Sprinters, fully equipped with a customer seating area, plasma screen, internet access and refreshment facilities will tour the UK visiting various trade and retail locations. Gary Sullivan, Managing Director of Van Monster commented: “The idea of taking the brand to our target market and engaging with them in an environment where they feel comfortable and at ease is a key element of the initiative. We don’t take an aggressive approach to sales, nor do we sit back and expect customers to come to us. We appreciate that you have to work hard to drive customers to the brand, but that you have to do this in a way that is inviting. The road show has been designed with these considerations in mind.” Shelley Emery, General Sales Manager for Van Monster Cannock jumped at the opportunity to board the van, commenting: “When I heard about the idea, my instant reaction was excitement. What a fantastic and unique way to engage with customers. The van contains everything needed to make the visitor feel welcome and at ease and the hope is that customers in the market for a replacement vehicle will jump aboard, enjoy a brew and view our stock online. They will be able to chat with us and ask our advice in a comfortable and relaxed environment.”

One of the specially refurbished Mercedes-Benz Sprinters that will take to the road this spring.

call: 0844 8266 555


The van contains everything needed to make the visitor feel welcome and at ease and the hope is that customers in the market for a replacement vehicle will jump aboard, enjoy a brew and view our stock online.

Look out for the branded Van Monster vans in your area and let us know how you like your coffee!

Plenty of ‘freebies’ and information for visitors to take away.

The customer seating area where the public can settle down, enjoy a brew and view stock online.

driven / winter 2012

winter 2012 | issue 05

Northgate’s commercial vehicle sales brand Van Monster will be hitting the road in spring of this year as it launches the Van Monster Road Show. The road show aims to engage with UK trades people and the general public and build on the success of the recent ‘Vans of the Trade’ campaign that positions Van Monster as the brand for ‘trades people.’

In the Van with...


In the Van with••• Kelly Group

Kelly Group is one of the UK’s leading national telecommunications and utilities service providers. A highly diverse business, operating in telecommunications, rail, metro, highways and brewery installation. With a fleet of 1,300 vehicles across the UK, ranging from Fiesta vans to 3 tonne tipper vans, fleet operations play a key part in its service delivery. Northgate Marketing speaks with Dermot Coughlan, Operations Director, to gain an insight into its business operations. Northgate Marketing: What are the key challenges facing your drivers on a day-to-day basis? Dermot Coughlan: The key challenge facing our drivers is battling traffic and dealing with the different obstacles that urban and rural driving present. City driving can be a minefield of one way systems, heavily built-up areas, heavy congestion, bus lanes and cyclists. For more rural locations, drives between jobs can be a lot longer and drivers have to take this into consideration. Getting our drivers to the jobs on time and in the most efficient way is a constant challenge. Northgate Marketing: In what way does Northgate support your existing fleet?

Northgate Marketing: How do you monitor your drivers? Dermot Coughlan: Using fuel cards allows us to monitor fuel expenditure by driver and by vehicle, but we also have a profiling system which includes driver MPG. So, if we have a driver that has a particularly heavy foot then he will be flagged up and actions can be put in place to re-address the balance. More often than not, further defensive driver training can help educate drivers on efficient driving. Sometimes it can be that a driver is carrying a lot of unnecessary weight around with them. The hoarders of the world will carry along with them tools and equipment that they might not necessarily need. It doesn’t take much to improve the fuel efficiency of these drivers. The backs of the vehicles are designed for the individual job that they are doing, so that everything has got its place, all the safety aspects are covered but the drivers aren’t carrying around with them unnecessary load. Northgate Marketing: How often do you get out into the field visiting depots? Dermot Coughlan: I’m not out on the road as much as I used to be, but I still get to see the vehicles passing through Dunstable every day. I regularly spot check to ensure that the basic standards are being adhered to. The vehicle is clean, the guy is wearing his seatbelt and the livery is on properly.

Even when I’m out on the road and I’m passing one of our vans I can’t help Dermot Coughlan: Traditionally we have operated an owned fleet. This but check that it’s clean and that the driver is wearing their seatbelt. It is has always worked well for us as it has allowed us to maintain control. something that is inbuilt into myself and other colleagues at Kelly Group, as However, the spot rental product that Northgate provides us with is we are very conscious of brand image. The first thing that a customer sees excellent in terms of being able to give that added flexibility to our fleet is the van and then the man. If both do not appear smart and professional size. We use the Northgate vehicles as a buffer for a sudden increase in then what customer is going to want them in their property? After all, they demand and it also works really well for our short-term contracts. Six to are ambassadors for the company. nine month contracts do not warrant purchasing additional vehicles, spot rental fills this short-term need brilliantly and we can hand back whenever we see fit, without penalty. Northgate currently supplies us with 400 vehicles, the remaining 1000 To read about are owned.

how Northgate is helping businesses combat Northgate Marketing: In the current economic conditions, what measures have you taken in order to the tough economic maintain efficient fleet operations? environment go to Dermot Coughlan: Fuel is our biggest cost. We currently page 17. utilise BP’s expert system on a daily basis in order to control our fuel expenditure. However, the most effective thing we can do is to train our drivers. All of our drivers are assessed on an annual basis, as a minimum. Defensive driver training not only ensures that risk on the road is reduced, but also that the cost to the company is controlled. All the good things that make a good driver also make a greener driver.

driven / winter 2012

Dermot Coughlan, Operations Director, Kelly Group

Editorial Feature

Peugeot introduces a world-first, the

3008 Diesel HYbrid4 As the world’s first full diesel hybrid vehicle, the Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 provides both fleets and fleet drivers with a new generation of ecofriendly, sporty and safe motoring. The new Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 marks a new chapter in motoring history, as the brand brings its advanced diesel technology together with a sophisticated electric motor to create the optimal combination for a hybrid engine. The result is a truly pioneering crossover that delivers space, refinement, practicality, specification and low running costs. The recent announcement from HMRC that diesel hybrids will be exempt from the 3% surcharge on conventional diesels further heightens the cost benefits of running the Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4. Phil Robson, Director – Fleet and Used Vehicle Operation at Peugeot, explains: “The clarification by HMRC that customers of our HYbrid4 cars will not incur the 3% diesel surcharge and benefit from the 10% threshold for personal BIK taxation is excellent news. It is the final piece in the HYbrid4 jigsaw and means that both individuals and businesses will benefit from the best possible environmental and fiscal position.” “As a company car owner Peugeot’s HYbrid4 means low fuel costs, low emissions, low BIK and for the company lower Employer National Insurance contributions, alongside an allowance for the company to offset 100% of the list price, in the first year, against its taxable profits. Let’s not forget, in addition the 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 delivers 74mpg, 200bhp, four-wheel drive and electric mode, a truly unique and innovative vehicle in the market.” advertisement feature

Peugeot’s HYbrid4 means low fuel costs, low emissions, low driver BIK and lower Employer NICs for the company

Editorial Feature

Advanced environmental benefits without compromise

Peugeot’s worldfirst 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 provides fleets with all the benefits of alternativelyfuelled vehicles, with all the gains of diesel technology too. Phil Robson, Director – Fleet and Used Vehicle Operation at Peugeot, looks at the advanced new technology and the numerous fleet advantages that it brings. “For many companies, the environment and cost concerns are the two over-riding issues that are impacting their fleet operations. “With more firms recognising the need to go greener, especially as

part of a robust Corporate Social Responsibility programme, there is an increased focus on switching fleet cars to more eco-friendly vehicles. “And of course such vehicles have the twin benefit of delivering muchreduced costs thanks to the lower tax and running costs in many cases. “This can lead to a dilemma as to whether to opt for more ecofriendly conventional engines, such as Peugeot’s e-HDi diesel range, which uses latest-generation Stop & Start technology to enhance

driveability and cut CO2 emissions, or to opt for an all-electric vehicle such as the Peugeot iOn – which is capable of covering more than 90 miles on a full charge whilst delivering zero tailpipe emissions. “However, there is another, stateof-the-art engine option that provides fleets with the benefits of alternatively-fuelled vehicles but with all the advantages of diesel technology too – the new Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4.”

TABLE 1 Comparison against petrol hybrids

This table shows that the Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 stacks up well for costs compared to petrol hybrids whilst offering much better performance.

Model OTR price P11D price Power (bhp) 0-62mph CO2 BiK bracket Combined MPG Annual driver BiK rate (20%) Annual VED rates Whole-life costs (PPM)

Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 £26,995 £26,940 200 9.1 99 10% 74.4

Honda CR-Z GT Auto £20,820 £20,765 124 10.1 117 10% 56.5

Toyota Prius T-Spirit Auto £24,285 £24,230 136 10.4 92 10% 70.6

Lexus CT 200h SE-L CVT Auto £25,650 £25,595 136 10.3 94 10% 68.9

£538.80 £0 36

£415.30 £20 34

£513.71 £0 39

£511.90 £0 38

SOURCE: Whole-life cost data – CAP

Editorial Feature

Peugeot HYbrid4

the optimal combination

By marrying up a fuel-efficient 2.0-litre 163bhp HDi diesel engine with a 37bhp electric motor, the 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 offers the optimal hybrid combination. Compared to other hybrid vehicles that use less-efficient petrol engines, the Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4’s engine provides far superior fuel consumption and CO2 figures – on the Combined Drive Cycle fuel consumption is up to 74.4mpg while CO2 emissions are from 99g/km – figures on a par or better than most superminis – yet the 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 offers full crossover practicality for fleet drivers not looking to compromise. With its combined power output of 200bhp and maximum torque of 500Nm, and the option of “ZEV” – 100% Electric Mode, “Four-wheel drive”, “Sport” or “Auto” modes, the 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 offers a level of performance that will delight even the most demanding customers in terms of road holding, responsiveness, driveability and peace of mind. Diesel HYbrid4 technology will be introduced in the Peugeot 508 RXH and 508 Saloon from mid-2012 with CO2 from just 95g/km, maximising Peugeot’s fuel-efficient fleet proposition.

Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 THE KEY POINTS • 74.4 mpg (combined) • From 99g/km CO2 means 10% BiK for company car drivers • 100% WDA against Corporation Tax in the first year • London Congestion Charge exempt (99g model) • £0 road tax

TABLE 2 Comparison against standard diesels

Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 is much more cost-effective than standard diesel models from competitors whilst still offering exceptional performance.

Model OTR price P11D price Power (bhp) 0-62mph CO2 BiK bracket Combined MPG Annual driver BiK rate (20%) Annual VED rates Whole-life costs (PPM)

Peugeot 3008 Diesel HYbrid4 £26,995 £26,940 200 9.1 99 10% 74.4

Nissan Qashqai+2 1.6 dCi Tekna 4WD £26,745 £26,560 130 10.9 149 22% 49.6

Renault Grand Scenic1.5 dCi £20,900 £20,845 110 13.3 128 18% 57.6

Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi £22,945 £22,725 134 11.3 154 23% 47.9

£538.80 £0 36

£1,168.64 £130 42

£750.42 £95 45

£1,045.35 £115 44

SOURCE: Whole-life cost data – CAP

One Vision Housing


Public Sector Expertise At a time when local governments are forced to cut budgets, public sector organisations have never been under as much pressure to cut costs and improve efficiencies. Transportation can be an unavoidable necessity and if not managed effectively it can also be a very costly aspect of business operations. However, Northgate Public Sector is proving that this doesn’t necessarily have to be so. Having developed a firm and loyal customer base through the provision of cost saving transport solutions and a service second to none, Northgate Public Sector is perfectly equipped to assist these organisations in meeting the increasingly stringent cost saving targets. Most recently, Northgate Public Sector has secured a three-year contract with One Vision Housing (OVH), a property services company based in Merseyside, providing it with a flexible fleet of more than 80 vehicles. After a highly competitive tender process, Northgate is now providing OVH with a core fleet of vehicles, as well as supporting this with spot rental during busier periods. With OVH having consistently grown over the past five years, the company was in need of the support of a fleet provider that could offer flexibility and quality service. Paul Broadbent, Director of Operations at One Vision Housing, commented: “During the tender process we were very impressed with Northgate’s flexibility, as well as its quality of service, attractive terms and flexible rates. As a growing company we often need to increase our fleet during busier periods, as well as decrease in size at quieter times of the year and Northgate’s service allows us to do so as and when required.” He continued: “Since working with Northgate the staff have continually impressed us with their dedication to customer service. We are thoroughly impressed with the service offering and look forward to maintaining our relationship throughout the next three years.”

Nick Cash: Head of Northgate Public Sector

driven / winter 2012

Nick Cash, Head of Northgate Public Sector, said: “We are thrilled to be working with One Vision Housing. Not only is the company renowned for customer service, which is an area we take extremely seriously, but it’s great to be involved at such an exciting time with their current plans for growth. As always, we are proud to offer such a flexible and reliable service to all of our public sector customers. We have no doubt that our relationship with OVH especially

As a growing company we often need to increase our fleet during busier periods, as well as decrease in size at quieter times of the year and Northgate’s service allows us to do so as and when required.

will go from strength to strength over the coming years and are looking forward to the journey.” The Northgate Public Sector team is confident of further success in the year ahead, and the introduction of Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles to the Northgate fleet improves further, its service and product proposition.

Northgate Sales Leagues

Movers and Shakers

Nora Curry (WAS) Head of Central Operations (NOW) Operations Manager – Customer Support Centre (CSC)

Jonathan Pearce (WAS) Campaign Manager (NOW) Marketing Manager

25 years’ service

Clive Miller, mechanic and mobile fitter at Northgate Vehicle Hire Darlington has recently celebrated 25 years’ service. Clive started his career at Northgate as a fitter for Nobles Self Drive at Barton Street, Darlington, one of the first Northgate depots to open, and has remained with the company ever since.

First Place Ian Hughes Second Place Ian Fairweather Third Place Louise Carolan

Van Monster Sales League for Q2 (August - October 2011) was presented with a holiday gift voucher by Simon Ridley, Fleet Services Director. Of the occasion, Clive commented: “I’d like to say a huge thank you for this acknowledgement and gift. For me personally, I have remained with Northgate because I love the job that I do and the people I work with and I plan to remain here Did you read about for many years to developments with come.”

the refurbishment programme? Turn to page 18 for the update.

As a sign of appreciation for his commitment to the job and his loyalty to Northgate, Clive

call: 0844 8266 555

Second Place Darren Thompson Third Place Craig Wells

National Accounts

Mark Hughes (WAS) Sales Executive (Van Monster) (NOW) General sales Manager (VAN MONSTER)

First Place Stacey Williams

Second Place Sue Holmes Third Place Aaron Haskell


Rob Peachey, Sales Executive for Van Monster, Colchester takes the lead, knocking Paul Armitage off the top spot.

First Place Rob Peachey - 97 Second Place Paul Armitage - 88 Third Place Brian Findley - 83

Northgate Vehicle Sales League Q2 (August - October 2011) Brain Marlborough secures first place for the second consecutive quarter.

First Place Brian Marlborough - 750 Second Place Nigel Gray - 698 Third Place Jean Kershaw - 529

driven / winter 2012

31 winter 2012 | issue 05

Colin Wilson (WAS) Head of Fleet Management (NOW) Commercial Manager – Non rental Products

First Place Derek Chambers

New Business Managers

Position changes

Hire league results for the three departments: Business Development Managers, New Business Managers and National Accounts.

Business Development Managers

Movers and Shakers

Hire League Top 3 for Q2 (August - October 2011)

vehicle monitoring

Run your fleet more efficiently with the fleet manager that never sleeps. • Reduce fuel costs by up to 20% • Reduce overtime claims by up to 15% • Instantly locate your vehicles 24/7, 365 days a year.

Ask us today how we can help your business. Give us a call on 0844 8266 555 email or visit


It’s All for a Good Cause


Tickled Pink for Breast Cancer Campaign

Northgate’s West Midlands team get into the spirit of things for Wear It Pink Day.

In October 2011, Northgate colleagues were encouraged to take part in the ‘Wear it Pink Day’ in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign. The response from colleagues was fantastic, with lots of donations coming in from across the UK. Northgate’s previous Cannock site Willenhall, Northgate Dublin, Van Monster Wakefield and Head Office all played a key role in the national fundraising event. Activities included pink fancy dress, cake stalls and raffles. At Head Office staff also held a raffle, cake stall and a sponsored Wear It Pink Day. In total, the Northgate group raised in excess of £1000 for Breast Cancer Care.

Children in Need In November, Northgate colleagues at locations across the North of the UK took part in Children in Need. Northgate Leeds set about fundraising in their local area. Driving around Leeds in fancy dress to raise money from customers, suppliers and local businesses. They also had a raffle with prizes donated by suppliers and customers. The team and their van were even invited to the live show. A great effort resulting in a total of £1,107.

call: 0844 8266 555

In the North West the Kendal depot supplied the BBC with a Ford Transit van liveried with The One

The eye catching Ford Transit supplied to the BBC for Matt Baker’s Rickshaw challenge.

Show and Children in Need logos, which was used as the support vehicle for Matt Baker’s Rickshaw Challenge, an eight day charity cycle challenge from Edinburgh to London. There was even activity in the Head Office, with VSL holding a tombola and raffle in order to raise funds, raising a total of £436.38 for the charity.

Kenya Cycle

climb of the day was 5,156ft which was split into bronze, silver and gold sections, this unleashed the competitive side in me! When I eventually hit the summit the view was spectacular.

Lisa Davis stops for a breather at Nyandarua on her way to Lake Victoria.

Thank you to those who supported this event. I have now agreed to cycle with a friend the 387 miles from London to Paris in just 3 days for Everyman, Bob Monkhouse’s charity which raises funds and awareness for testicular and prostate cancer.” The cycle group raised in excess of £1.6 million for the women’s cancer charity of which Lisa raised a total of £12,876. If you would like to support Lisa in future events email Lisa directly.

In the last edition of Driven we reported on Lisa Davis, Account Manager for Northgate East Midlands, and her plans to take part in a massive challenge; a 470km charity cycle from Mount Kenya to Lake Victoria, involving 5, 10 hour days of cycling in 30 degree heat on tough terrain. Before heading off, Lisa raised in excess of £12,000 for Women v Cancer, a charity which divides its funds equally between Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action. Of the gruelling cycle, Lisa commented: “Temperatures hit 30 degrees in the day, altitude and the undulating terrain all made for a very punishing journey. Day 3 was the shortest cycling day, just 58 miles, but proved to be the toughest as we had an elevation gain of 7,734ft. The main


In this edition of Driven, employees at Northgate have raised a whopping...

Congratulations to all who have taken part in a fundraising event!

driven / winter 2012

winter 2012 | issue 05

Northgate colleagues show what they’re really made of, going to extreme lengths to raise cash for some very worthwhile charities.

Commercial fleet livery Full colour vehicle wraps Chapter 8 livery Nationwide coverage Design Service Accident repair management system

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35 winter 2012 | issue 05

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0 mi



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driven / winter 2012

Driven Issue 5  

Northgate's quarterly magazine

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