Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles rolls out free four-year care package to Transporter 6.1 customers

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has announced a free £1,200 four-year care package for Transporter 6.1 and Amarok customers in 2020 to take the pressure off and let owners focus on their business.

The bumper deal includes four free services, a four-year warranty and four years of roadside assistance on new T6.1 models, which feature an enhanced specification, improved on road performance and increased safety and driver assistance systems. The care package is also available for the Amarok, recently crowned ‘Best Pick-Up’ at the What Car? Awards 2020.

As part of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Working With You promise, the deal provides owners with total peace of mind with four free services (two interim, two major and a MOT test), a four-year/120,000-mile warranty and four years of roadside assistance to help keep your van on the road.

In addition, returning customers and their families are eligible for the £1,000 loyalty award, which has been continued from last year. Vans included in the “thank you” bonus are the Volkswagen T6 Shuttle, Commerce and Caravelle (£1,000), Amarok (£750) and Caddy (£500).

Both retail outright purchase and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Financial Services customers are eligible for the offers which are running at participating Van Centres until the end of March 2020.

Tom MacIntyre, Brand Manager for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicle Financial Services, said: “We are delighted to offer customers of the exciting new T6.1 model and the award-winning Amarok this comprehensive care package. It gives our customers total peace of mind when it comes to maintenance, ensures they avoid unexpected costs and keeps their vans on the road for four years. Furthermore, the loyalty bonus is just one more way that we’re committed to Working With You in 2020 and beyond.”

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ZF Aftermarket leads with expert training at Autoinform LIVE event

At the Autoinform LIVE event in Wolverhampton, ZF Aftermarket will illustrate how it delivers cutting edge technical training to the independent aftermarket (IAM) through its ZF [pro]Tech garage workshop concept. Visitors to the show will have the opportunity to talk to ZF representatives about membership benefits and can book a place on one of its two interactive condensed training courses: ZF High Voltage Training & Introduction to the ZF 9HP Transmission System which will be repeated throughout the event.

Wayne McCluskey, technical training manager, ZF Aftermarket explained: “Technical training and its importance will form an even bigger part of our business strategy this year. For anyone working within the parameters of the independent aftermarket, this is a matter which needs to be prioritised.”

“We applaud events such as this as they allow the market to demonstrate the OE quality, training, technical information and support available across the sector.”

Repeated throughout the event will be two training courses: ZF High Voltage Training & Introduction to the ZF 9HP Transmission System. Capturing the main topics covered in the full course agendas and featuring hands on demonstrations, these will give delegates a taste of the many IMI accredited courses the organisation offers annually to members of its ZF [pro]Tech garage workshop concept.

Wayne added: “Vehicle Manufacturers (VMs) are producing more electric vehicles, which will soon enter the aftermarket supply chain. Furthermore, future licensing regulations governing the servicing of these vehicles is a real possibility. Those attending the bespoke ZF High Voltage Training course will gain a valuable insight into these systems.

“In addition, those attending Introduction to the ZF 9HP transmission course will witness live demonstrations to understand how this compact design, which weighs 7.5kg less and offers a 16% fuel reduction than the outgoing six speed transmission, works on a practical level.”

Backed by the Original Equipment Suppliers Aftermarket Association (OESAA) and in association with ADS, the leading automotive training provider founded by Frank Massey, Autoinform LIVE will take place on 25-26 April 2020 at the GTG, Wolverhampton.

To find out times, rooms and to book your place on either course, please contact ZF at: [email protected]

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HMRC publishes new advisory fuel rates (AFRs) effective March 1

HMRC has released its latest advisory fuel rates (AFRs) which will come into force from March 1.

The new reimbursement rate for a diesel car with an engine size of more than 2,000cc decreases by 1p per mile (ppm), from 14ppm to 13ppm.

However, the rate for a diesel company car with an engine of 1,601cc to 2,000cc stays the same, as does the rate for a diesel car with an engine of 1,600cc or less.

There is also a 1ppm reduction for the reimbursement rate for a petrol company car with an engine size of more than 2,000cc. It is reduced from 21ppm to 20ppm, while the remaining petrol rates remain unchanged.

Meanwhile, the AFR for LPG vehicles with an engine of 1,400cc or less will stay the same at 8ppm, as will the rate (14ppm) for LPG company cars with an engine size of more than 2,000cc.

However, for LPG vehicles with an engine from 1,401-2,000cc, the rate increases from 9ppm to 10ppm.

Hybrid cars are treated as either petrol or diesel cars for AFR purposes.

The advisory electricity rate (AER) for plug-in cars remains unchanged at 4ppm.

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VARTA – proud headline sponsor of Whocanfixmycar.com Awards

VARTA were the proud headline sponsors of the 4th annual Who Can Fix My Car Awards in Birmingham on 13th February. As the official technical partner for batteries to Who Can Fix My Car, VARTA supported the workshop seminar during the day, and then presented 2 of the winning garages with their awards at the evening event.

During the day Andy Cook, Technical Sales Manager talked to workshops about the complexities of replacing the battery on modern vehicles and emphasizing the importance of testing every vehicle’s battery, which was then followed by a slot from VARTA Brand Ambassador Andy Savva, The Garage Inspector. Savva spoke about the importance of fitting like for like technology and benefits of using OE replacement parts. There was interesting and engaging discussion afterwards, certainly thought-provoking points for the technicians attending on the future of battery replacement.

At the Awards later on, Jeremy Tollman, National Sales Manager talked about the support that VARTA can offer workshops and the technical partnership with Who Can Fix My Car. VARTA also presented the ‘best newcomer award’ and ‘hall of fame award’, won by Manchester Auto Cars Ltd and Express Tyre & Auto Centre respectively. Tollman spoke of the event; “We are thrilled to support the Who Can Fix My Car awards for the 3rd year in a row, and as headline sponsors this year. A big congratulations to all of the garages nominated and to the winners in each category. Our partnership is growing from strength to strength and we are looking forward to helping the 14,000 workshops on the platform with best practice information on battery testing and replacement in 2020 and beyond”.

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Dayco and Politecnico di Torino strengthen hybrid electric vehicle research partnership

Dayco, a leading engine products and drive systems supplier for the automotive, industrial and aftermarket industries, has strengthened its relationship with the Politecnico di Torino to develop hybrid electric systems for vehicle manufacturers across the globe.

The speed of transition to sustainable forms of vehicle propulsion is gathering pace, particularly in the light of global climate change and the shift in public opinion towards environmentally friendly alternatives. This means that high-level collaborations for the benefit of humanity must become a reality.

The objective of the agreement between Dayco and Politecnico is to research hybridization systems and effectively develop the necessary technology innovations supporting vehicle manufacturers as they achieve the transition in an efficient, practical and sustainable way.

“We are enthusiastic to strengthen our relationship with the renowned scientists of the Politecnico di Torino. This new level of cooperation will provide leading hybrid system solutions to achieve a sustainable future of mobility for our customers globally,” said Joel Wiegert, CEO of Dayco.

“Building on our past areas of collaboration with Dayco, we have assembled a powerful innovation interdisciplinary team to enhance our contributions in developing electrified mobility technologies,” said Professor Guido Saracco, Rector of Politecnico di Torino.

The combination of research into the theoretical development of hybrid system solutions by the Politecnico with the specialized knowledge and technical abilities of Dayco, brings together the key elements to make these crucial technological advances a reality.

The arrangement was made official on Friday 21st February, 2020 in a ceremony at the offices of Dayco Europe in San Bernardo di Ivrea, Italy, where the Rector of Politecnico di Torino, Professor Saracco and Dayco’s CEO, Joel Wiegert, signed the Research Agreement.

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Melett grows partnership with Universal Turbos

Melett, the leading UK supplier of precision engineered turbochargers and parts, has expanded its partnership with specialist turbo repairer Universal Turbos.

Universal Turbos, based in Hampshire, supply workshops in automotive, motorcycle, marine, off-highway and agricultural sectors, offering a complete turbo repair and replacement service.

As the turbo repair and remanufacturing market undergoes a resurgence, Melett has been working on a series of new initiatives to support turbo repair specialists when faced with increased demand from independent garages, motor factors, buying groups, and warehouse distributors.

Universal’s technical director James Hard explains: “Universal is relied upon to supply quality turbochargers. The selection of the correct turbo for a vehicle has become more complex and we have to take customers through a process of elimination to find the right product for them. Vehicle manufacturers can change turbo suppliers and, as a result, we can have five different versions of a turbo for one vehicle make and model. To support us, we have complete confidence in Melett parts and the information they provide, offering full traceability on all parts.”

With this increase in demand, Melett – through its “What’s in Your Turbo?” campaign is encouraging the market to question parts quality even more and look beyond price and appearance. It is risky to assume that parts are identical, even if they look the same.

“Fault finding has become tougher due to variations in diagnostic equipment and the mechanic’s ability to interpret the results, and the fact that the industry has been taught to trust the computer with all the answers,” said Hard.

Darren Johnson, Head of Sales at Melett, said: “As a leader in the supply of high-quality turbocharger parts, Melett exists to support companies like Universal who are relied upon to have the relevant expertise and correct specialist equipment to offer the very highest level of turbocharger repairs.”

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Klarius strengthens its partnership with Staffordshire University

The UK’s largest aftermarket manufacturer of emissions control components, Klarius Products Ltd, showed its support for Staffordshire University by taking part in the institution’s Business Breakfast during National Apprenticeship Week. This underlines the company’s commitment to place education at forefront of its strategy.

Staffordshire University’s Business Breakfasts are designed to foster collaboration between the university and local businesses, creating key opportunities for both parties to explore potential partnerships to deliver innovative products and services.

Klarius, based in Cheadle, was one of the key participants at the latest event, which took place in February 2020. Attending the Business Breakfast was another logical step for the organisation, which recognises the importance of apprenticeships and training activities to form new generations of highly skilled automotive specialists and technicians.

In line with this principle, Klarius is dedicated to providing continuing educational opportunities to students and staff, as well as establishing longstanding relationships with distinguished universities and training centres. Currently, the company is working closely with Staffordshire University and is investing in a number of apprentices.

Doug Bentley, Head of Research and Development at Klarius, commented: “We were delighted to attend the event organised by Staffordshire University, during the National Apprenticeship Week. The occasion was particularly important for us, as Klarius’ success and continuous growth is based on the ever-evolving specialised knowledge and expertise of our workforce. This is why we value the collaboration with the local university and are happy to support modern apprenticeships. The event was crucial to identify opportunities, meet new people, discuss joint projects and look forward to future collaborations with Staffordshire University.”

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Hidden costs of EV charging

Charging an electric vehicle using a public charging point can cost almost 10 times more than charging up at home.

This is according to Britain’s new-car buying platform, What Car?

It found that drivers pay an eye-watering £45.89 to charge an Audi E-tron from 10% to 80% at an Ionity ultra-rapid charger. Do the same charge on a domestic charger at an average night-time energy tariff of 7p per kWh and you’ll pay just £4.66.

Using the Ionity charging network makes the E-tron even pricier to run than an equivalent diesel Audi Q7. The E-tron costs 34p per mile, while a Q7 50 TDI, which averages 27.2mpg, costs 22p per mile.

Ionity is one of a small number of extremely fast 350kW charging networks, capable of replenishing an EVs batteries in 30-40 minutes. However, some slower public charging networks are also far pricier than charging at home. Getting the same battery boost for an E-tron at both a 50kW Shell Recharge point and a 50kW Ecotricity socket costs £25.94, although Ecotricity rates are cheaper for its home energy customers.

What Car? found that car owners who regularly need to use public charging networks could save money by signing up for a scheme with a one-off or a monthly fee because these often have a lower energy usage rate.

Consumers also need to watch out for the hidden costs of using public chargers. Some EV-charger equipped car parks in London charge £9 per hour for parking with no discount for those using the chargers, and What Car?’s research found overstay fees levied by charging networks to discourage that ranged from £10 to £21 per hour.

What Car?’s editor, Steve Huntingford, said: “Although there are still a lot of slow (3kW) public charging points that are free to use, you’ll have to pay if you want a quick energy fix. And this is where the costs can rack up if you don’t research the various networks in advance.”

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UK storms could see stocks of reclaimed parts surge

The storms currently hitting the UK could see a surge in the stocks of reclaimed parts, with many of the vehicles stranded in flood waters certified CAT B.

Salvage and recycling company e2e has been recovering flood damaged vehicles across the country and begun dismantling the vehicles and generating reclaimed parts ready for re-use within the market, anticipating an increase of 20% in stocks.

Chief technical officer, Giovanni Adamo said: “Great care must be taken with flood damaged vehicles as the flood water could be contaminated and can also collect in enclosed areas without being obvious.

“Naturally, electrical components cannot safely be relied upon after water exposure but there are a number of parts including wheels, tyres and panels made from plastic or composite components which will not be damaged by water such as bumpers, grilles, front panels and plastic wings. These parts are being professionally dismantled and cleaned, rigorously tested for quality assurance and the provenance of the part recorded including vehicle history and mileage to indicate the work the component has previously done.”

Neil Joslin, chief operating Officer at e2e added: “Recent delays in parts procurement driven initially by Brexit and latterly by Coronavirus has led to e2e seeing insurance related demand for reclaimed parts steadily increase. The floods meanwhile have generated unprecedented levels of recovery instructions. We are in a unique position in the market with our network capability and capacity to recover flood damaged vehicles, dismantle them, clean, test and retrieve reclaimed parts and ultimately offer them back to the market for re-use, warranty assured and delivered within 24 hours of order. We are pleased to be able to effectively support the environment, insurers and their policyholders simultaneously.”

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Ben – Dealing with priority debt

What are priority debts?
Priority debts are those that have the most serious consequences if you don’t pay them. They don’t have to be the largest or have highest interest rates, but if you don’t pay them it could lead to serious problems.

 PRIORITY   NON-PRIORITY 
 Rent arrears  Overdraft
 Gas arrears  Credit card
 Council Tax  Loan
 Water rates  Doorstep lenders
 Electricity arrears  Store cards
 Benefit overpayment  Catalogues
 Telephone  Hire purchase (non-essential, TV, etc.)
 Mortgage arrears  Personal loans
 Court fines and CCJs
 Hire purchase (essential, such as a car to get you to work)
 Secured loans (secured against your home)
 Child maintenance
 TV licence
 Tax
 VAT & National Insurance

Why you should pay off priority debts first
The consequences of not paying off priority debts could be losing your home, receiving a court summons, being visited by bailiffs, facing bankruptcy or having your electricity or gas cut off.

How to deal with priority creditors
Don’t ignore letters or phone calls from your priority creditors. Get in touch with them as soon as possible to explain why you are in debt. There are time limits on when some creditors can go to court to get you to pay a debt. If you think the time limit has run out, you should get advice immediately.

Further sources of help
Citizens Advicewww.citizensadvice.org.uk

Step changewww.stepchange.org

Money advice servicewww.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

Talk to Ben
If you’re suffering with debt and you work, or have worked, in the automotive industry, please get in touch. You don’t have to suffer in silence, Ben are here for you.

You can call, chat online or send an email. And, you can find out more about debt, including tips to cope with it, by going to the Ben Debt page or Top searches page.

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