Marathon’s Gateshead warehouse opens on 4th June

Marathon’s fantastic new Gateshead warehouse opens its doors for trading on Monday 4th June.

The new Gateshead warehouse site location has been carefully chosen to give the best possible access to Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton and the other important areas of the North East region.

The new site along with the recently opened Warrington warehouse will be fully supported by Marathon’s Redditch based National Distribution Centre, which offers overnight stock replenishment to every Marathon warehouse and will be enhanced by the company’s unique and innovative EMPOWER business to business platform.

The rapidly growing Marathon component product ranges will all be fully available from day one and the new warehouse will also significantly enhance service levels to EuroFlo customers and stockists throughout the north east of the country.

EuroFlo is the only emissions manufacturer with their own same day logistics platform and this, in addition to their market leading range and quality, helps to deliver the UK’s most powerful emissions control programme of exhausts, catalysts, diesel particulate filters, fittings and consumables.

The new Gateshead warehouse will result in Marathon Warehouse Distribution making their frequent same day delivery service to areas which account for 85% of the UK’s total population.

Further expansion of the Marathon Logistics Platform and new product ranges will be announced later this year.

Your Comments

Plug-in car and van grant extended until October 2018

The Government has announced that the plug-in car and van grant will be extended until October 2018, having previously stated it would only remain in its current capacity until April 2018.

Currently, the scheme provides up to £4,500 towards the cost of a new electric or hybrid car and £8,000 towards the cost of a low-emission van.

The Government stated that the Plug-in Grant will be under constant review and confirmed it will continue in some form until at least 2020.

Notably, the government has also announced it is considering further options for reducing emissions for last mile deliveries, to be set out by Cycling and Walking Minister Jesse Norman in a forthcoming call for evidence, including for the first time providing grants and/or other financial incentives to support the use of e-cargo bikes.

The first three months of this year saw 13,327 new electric and plug-in hybrid cars registered, a 16% increase on the same quarter last year, bringing the total on UK roads to 147,431.

Plug-in hybrids have fuelled the growth so far this year, with more than 10,000 hitting the roads, with registrations of battery electric cars experiencing a year on year dip.

Your Comments

Three months to get licence-checking consents up-to-date

Employers have three months to ensure more than two million fleet drivers have signed new driver licence-checking consent forms.

Documents have to be revalidated under the provisions of new data protection legislation – the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – which came into force on May 25.

GDPR requires businesses to comply with a new set of rules designed to safeguard personal data. Driver consent forms from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for licence-checking by third-party companies fall under the legislation.

DVLA-licensed providers are able to allow employers access to the DVLA driver database using a ‘blanket’ type of consent that can last for up to three years. Known as the D796 driver mandate, it allows multiple checks against the database.

However, the form has been ditched by the DVLA because it doesn’t comply with GDPR. Instead, drivers must sign a new form – the D906 Fair Processing Declaration – for the consent to continue to be valid.

The Association for Driving Licence Verification (ADLV) estimates two million drivers will have to sign the new form. Non-compliance could see firms hit with heavy fines imposed by the Information Commissioner.

A DVLA spokesman told Fleet News: “In readiness for the introduction of GDPR, DVLA has reviewed the Access to Driver Data and Driver Licence Check services which allow employers and other third parties to request driving licence data.

“Consent will no longer be the basis upon which DVLA releases data under GDPR.

“Requests for driving licence data via these services must be supported by a completed and signed D906 Fair Processing Declaration. These forms ensure that drivers understand who is requesting their driving licence data, what the data is, how it is being requested, and for what reason.”

The validity of the new D906 form will expire three years from the date of the driver’s signature or when the driver stops driving in connection with the company, whichever occurs sooner.

The DVLA says that in recognition of the need for employers and fleet managers to meet their duty of care obligations, and the “significant task” in transferring to the new fair processing declaration form, the current consent forms will continue to be valid for a three-month transitional period, from May 25 to August 25.

Employers and fleet managers, who are legally obliged to check a drivers’ entitlement to drive, will be under enormous pressure to hit the August deadline.

For its part, the ADLV says its members are advising customers on the implications of the change and how they can ensure compliance with the new DVLA requirements.

The employer will need to show evidence of a clear process where the driver has agreed and signed off the data processing, with a date and time of the declaration.

The employer will also need to consider how driver information is being stored, along with grey fleet documentation, including road tax, MOT and insurance information.

It is possible that, over time, GDPR will make paper driver records redundant, because of how difficult it will be to “categorise, secure and access”.

Fleet decision-makers will also need to consider what data is passed to suppliers. Partner companies must be asked and confirm what processes they have in place for managing data and be able to show secure data treatment.

Most suppliers will be well advanced, but if ‘no answer’ is received, action must be taken. Contracts should state what data fleets will supply and the frequency and the purpose for which it will be used by suppliers.

Furthermore, fleet representative body ACFO says drivers will need to delete data loaded on to vehicle systems.

Satellite navigation systems and mobile phones contain a wealth of data so it is vital to remind drivers to ‘delete’ the data or reset to ‘factory setting’ ahead of defleet of a company car or the return of a hire vehicle.

Your Comments

TVS to launch rebrand at Automechanika

Martin Butterworth, TVS EAG managing director has reported that following an exciting six-month period within the EAG ranks, they have seen their fair share of ups and downs, along with many other businesses.

As they sit now as part of the TVS Group, their stock levels are better than ever, and they have introduced circa 200 new references. There have also been brand new product groups to launch this year.

It is for this reason, at this exciting stage for EAG, that they have decided it was perfect timing to rebrand under the TVS banner. Martin Butterworth has confirmed that the commitment so far, and plans for the future are phenomenal, and it is a true testament to the EAG team for getting to this stage.

They will be on stand G38 at Automechanika Birmingham.

Your Comments

TRW relaunches public Facebook page – driving ZF Aftermarket further on its digital journey

In a bid to further increase its online presence and in line with its strategic digital development plan, ZF Aftermarket has relaunched its TRW public Facebook (FB) page. Daily, bite-sized posts will balance entertainment and news by actively engaging all TRW stakeholders. Through the page, the business will share its True Originals campaign, fun facts and competitions, and lighthearted promotional highlights from its braking, steering & suspension programs.

This news comes after market research suggests that Facebook is a user generated content platform of choice within the independent aftermarket (IAM). As the industry prepares for Automechanika Frankfurt, customers can keep up to date with the True Originals by following TRW on Facebook.

Figures for April 2018 show that the global digital population consists of 4 billion active internet users; with China, India and the United States in the leading positions. Furthermore, there are 3.3 billion people using social media, with just over 3 billion of these engaging on mobile devices.

Alexander Knorn, Global Head of Digital, ZF Aftermarket explained: “This development is in line with the ZF approach of multi-channel marketing to reach all customer groups at touchpoints most relevant to them.

“With this in mind we have expanded our public Facebook page from its static position – historically used as an advertising platform – to something altogether more exciting. Specifically aimed at our target group and suited to the individuality, personality and tone of voice for TRW’s True Original brand.”

As a means of communication with its customers, the TRW FB page will be used in tandem with existing tools. This includes other online media, such as: Tech Corner, its free online technical resource; the ZF Parts Finder App which allows users to quickly and accurately search for parts on the move; and offline mediums such as the TRW technical helpline and its advertising and marketing presence in industry publications, at trade shows and exhibitions as well as its training initiatives such as ZF’s [pro]Tech.

Your Comments

Most expensive counties for car repairs in UK revealed

The UK’s biggest online garage and repair marketplace has revealed which counties are the most expensive for the average car repair – with Cornwall topping the list. The average cost for Cornwall sits at £303.99 per repair, whilst Derbyshire is the cheapest county in the UK at £172.40 per repair.

The UK’s biggest online garage and repair marketplace has revealed which counties in the UK are the most expensive for the average car repair.

WhoCanFixMyCar.com analysed its internal price data for car repairs over the past four months, excluding MOTs, and has created a nationwide map to represent the varying costs across the county. The car repair platform has also created a postcode cost calculator, where members of the public can find out what the average car repair cost is for their area.

Members of the public can use WhoCanFixMyCar.com’s postcode cost calculator here.

Cornwall is the most expensive county in the UK for car repairs at £303.99, whilst Derbyshire is the cheapest at £172.40. The UK’s capital, London, is only the 14th most expensive at £245.51, and sits just £24.64 more than the national average car repair cost of £220.87.

The most expensive UK counties for cars repairs are as follows:

  1. Cornwall – £303.99
  2. Hertfordshire – £270.51
  3. Lincolnshire – £269.89
  4. Bedfordshire – £267.93
  5. Devon – £263.94
  6. Monmouthshire – £262.08
  7. Perthshire – £258.43
  8. Suffolk – £253.52
  9. Oxfordshire – £249.35
  10. East Lothian – £248.84

The cheapest counties are:

  1. Derbyshire – £172.40
  2. Midlothian – £178.00
  3. West Lothian – £179.91
  4. Lanarkshire – £180.40
  5. Greater Manchester – £181.44
  6. Leicestershire – £184.92
  7. Tyne and Wear – £185.53
  8. Northamptonshire – £187.64
  9. Staffordshire – £188.74
  10. Glamorgan – £189.45

WhoCanFixMyCar.com is an online car garage and repair marketplace connecting 11,400 garage and repair centres with drivers around the UK. The site has 1m users and recently processed more than 170,000 quotes through the site in one month.

Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said,

“It’s always interesting to find out which areas in the UK are the most expensive when it comes to car repairs. It’s come as a bit of a surprise to us that London isn’t in the top 10, however that’s probably because there is more competition there than somewhere like Cornwall, which will often drive down the average cost.

“I think many assume that garages have a flat rate dependent on the repair, but it’s not always as simple as that, it just depends how much damage there is, how much the parts cost and how much labour time is needed. Regardless of the reasons or the most and least expensive areas to get your car repaired, we would always encourage savvy motorists to use WhoCanFixMyCar.com so they compare quotes and reviews to make an informed choice.”

Your Comments

The Pension Regulator spot checks

The Pensions Regulator has announced expanding of its spot checks to the North East of England to identify employers that are not complying with their pension duties. The spot checks are already taking place in Northern Ireland, South Wales, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Greater Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, among other localities.

The Pension Regulator is especially interested in compliance with the employer’s automatic enrolment obligations.

Your Comments