Fleets say electric vehicles will become “dominant” in next 10 years

Electric vehicles are expected to become dominant in 89% of fleets before the end of the next decade, according to a new study by Geotab.

Almost half of today’s surveyed fleets (46%) in the UK have no electric vehicles but nine out of 10 UK-based fleet managers expect them to play a dominant role in their company’s fleet before 2028.

According to the study, government incentives (48%), improvements in charging infrastructure (48%) and an improved selection of models by vehicle manufacturers (32%), are the leading motivators in the transition to a fully electric fleet.

The majority of fleet managers (88%) also anticipate the government to bring in regulations regarding the implementation of EV fleets – similar to the ‘Road to Zero’ initiative.

With sustainability top of mind, one in six respondents agree that the main benefit of electrification is the environmental impact.

Fleet managers are still facing major barriers, including high vehicle costs, long charging times and the low distance range of today’s vehicles, however.

Less than 2% of all fleet managers surveyed claimed there are no benefits to electrifying their fleets

“These survey results help to demonstrate that the government’s call for an EV future is not something businesses are taking lightly,” said Edward Kulperger, VP Europe at Geotab.

“With most fleet leaders looking to have a fully EV-dependent fleet over the next few years, it’s no longer a question of if, but rather how soon a complete overhaul can take place.

“Based upon the outcome of this survey, it’s clear that businesses and fleets feel they now need additional government initiatives and smart updates to critical infrastructure across the UK. If this can be made a priority, as a nation, Geotab is confident that the UK can take a spot as one of the most innovative global leaders trying to help push the widespread adoption of green transportation in the coming years,” he added.

The research, conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Geotab, was a UK-wide study of 250 fleet managers. The majority of those surveyed are in charge of fleets of over 25 vehicles, which range from passenger cars, vans and also trucks.

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New tax returns legislation to come into effect from April 2019

HM Revenue and Customs is to change the way businesses submit VAT returns to meet the Making Tax Digital for VAT legislation, which comes into effect from 1st April 2019.

Businesses with a turnover above the VAT threshold, which is currently £85,000, will be required to keep their records digitally, and provide their VAT return information to HMRC through Making Tax Digital (MTD) functional compatible software.

Preparing for Making Tax Digital
The IGA has said MTD does not require businesses to keep additional records for VAT, but they will need to keep records digitally from the start of their accounting period.

Introduction to Making Tax Digital
Making Tax Digital is a key part of the government’s plans to make it easier for individuals and businesses to get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs.

HMRC’s ambition is to become one of the most digitally advanced tax administrations in the world. Making Tax Digital is making fundamental changes to the way the tax system works.

HMRC’s pilot service is open to around half a million businesses whose affairs are up to date and straightforward, and this will be extended to most other business types over the coming months.

VAT-registered businesses with a taxable turnover above the VAT threshold are required to use the Making Tax Digital service to keep records digitally and use software to submit their VAT returns from 1 April 2019.

The exception to this is a small minority of VAT-registered businesses with more complex requirements. As part of planning for the VAT pilot, HMRC has continued to engage with stakeholders and listen to their concerns about business readiness for Making Tax Digital and has made the decision to delay mandation for these customers until 1 October 2019 to ensure there is sufficient time to test the service with them in the pilot before they are mandated to join.

Income Tax
Some businesses and agents are already keeping digital records and providing updates to HMRC as part of a live pilot to test and develop the Making Tax Digital service for Income Tax. If you are a self-employed business or landlord you can voluntarily use software to keep business records digitally and send Income Tax updates to HMRC instead of filing a Self Assessment tax return.

Helping businesses, self-employed people and landlords get it right first time
The majority of customers want to get their tax right but the latest tax gap figures show that too many find this hard, with avoidable mistakes costing the Exchequer over £9 billion a year. The improved accuracy that digital records provide, along with the help built into many software products and the fact that information is sent directly to HMRC from the digital records, avoiding transposition errors, will reduce the amount of tax lost to these avoidable errors.

Having listened to concerns about the pace of change, particularly for small businesses, the government announced in July 2017 that the pace of mandation would be slowed and that Making Tax Digital will not be mandated for taxes other than VAT until at least April 2020.

The primary legislation for Making Tax Digital relating to VAT and Income Tax is contained in the Finance (No.2) Act 2017, providing certainty about the broad framework in which Making Tax Digital will operate, with secondary legislation for VAT laid in February 2018, coming into force from April 2019.

HMRC has published a VAT Notice which explains the rules for Making Tax Digital for VAT and about the digital information that must be kept.

They have also published a communication pack which supports their partnership working arrangements with stakeholders, who can use the contents to inform their own communications activity and key messages for their clients, customers or members.

Help and support
HMRC provides a wide range of digital services and support for businesses and the self-employed.

For further information, CLICK HERE.

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The Turbo Guy makes significant investment

The Turbo Guy, who are based in Glasgow, have recently made a further significant investment in a unique custom designed MASTER SHOT BLASTER which is manufactured in the UK. Bill Barrett, The Turbo Guy’s Production Manager, is pictured left by the new machinery.

The business carried out extensive testing with different processes and established that this new method produced the same finish as OE, and allowed them to increase their productivity.

The Blaster has a multi-directional feature and cleans many units in a far faster timescale than their other machine, and produces a fine finish.

The Turbo Guy disposes of all waste professionally via an approved contractor.

By investing in this new machine, The Turbo Guy is able to dramatically speed up the processes, thus enabling orders to be processed and despatched same day, so that they can live up to their tagline “If we are out of stock, we will source and produce for our customers”.

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Digraph adds Carwood and Haco brands to its expanding CV offer

Digraph, the UK’s fastest-growing commercial vehicle (CV) motor factor, has added two of the biggest names in the CV aftermarket – Carwood and Haco – to its expanding product portfolio.

Stocking quality remanufactured diesel pumps and injectors from Carwood provides commercial vehicle fleet and bus operators, and truck and trailer repairers with an invaluable source for quality assured and approved (ISO9001:2015 & FIE manufacturer) diesel systems for the VM’s using Bosch, Delphi, Denso and VDO diesel fuel injection systems. A Test and Report Service is also available via all Digraph branches and a dedicated end user Technical Help Line is available to anyone fitting Carwood products by calling the number printed on, or in product packaging.

Providing a genuine ‘all makes, all vehicles, all systems’ service, all Carwood non-common rail products come with a 12-month warranty, while High Pressure Common Rail and SMART/DCMI products enjoy two years of cover.

Hot-on-the-heels of this partnership comes news of Digraph’s agreement with specialist tail lift parts provider Haco, which brings the confidence of 100% interchangeability for hydraulic parts of all brands of tail lift. Whether it be hydraulic or electrical tail-lift parts, Digraph can deliver parts for same-day delivery, with less popular parts available via its reliable next-day delivery network.

Bill Stimson, Sales and Marketing Director at Digraph, said: “From the very outset, our vision was to work with the very best in the CV market to grow the Digraph network. Clearly great aftermarket brands such as Carwood and Haco fit into this category.

“As leaders in their respective fields, these two companies add more value to our mission to provide CV workshops with the very best products off-the-shelf – right when they need them.”

Anthony James, General Manager at Carwood, added: “It is Carwood’s mission to develop long-lasting relationships with some of the most established manufacturer brands and aftermarket service providers, such as Digraph. Our facility in Birmingham remains at the forefront of diesel fuel injection remanufacturing services within both the UK and Europe and we are delighted to be supplying our high-quality range through Digraph’s fast-growing network of dedicated UK branches.”

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IAAF looks forward to welcoming delegates and guests to the DoubleTree Milton Keynes

The IAAF is looking forward to welcoming all the delegates and guests to its 2018 IAAF Annual Conference & Awards Dinner, at The DoubleTree by Hilton, Milton Keynes on 6th December. Both the Annual Conference and the Awards Dinner are a sellout, and the IAAF would like to thank everyone for their generous support.

Alliance Automotive UK (AAUK) is once again the proud sponsor of this year’s IAAF Annual Awards and Dinner and PR and marketing agency, Impression Communications, is the new headline sponsor of this year’s IAAF Annual Conference.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive said: “We’re genuinely delighted to be welcoming AAUK as sponsor of this year’s Annual Awards and Dinner. They are represented at all levels of the supply chain and are an active supporter of IAAF’s activities, including the Your Car, Your Choice Campaign.”

The evening ceremony will be attended by around 600 aftermarket personnel, where industry-leading motor factors and suppliers are once again competing to win the coveted awards in recognition of their services, as voted for by fellow IAAF members, from a shortlist of aftermarket companies and this year includes a brand new award for Service Suppliers. For this year’s Awards, the voting was simplified to make it easier for members to vote and the IAAF has reported a significant increase in the number of people voting, saying that more members than ever have engaged with the Awards. Guests will be entertained by author, comedian and broadcaster Tony Hawks.

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New acquisitions for Alliance Automotive Group

Alliance Automotive Group UK has recently completed the acquisition of two existing GROUPAUTO members.

Discount Car Spares Ltd (DCS) is a two branch LV business based in Leatherhead and Ashtead, and GL Motor Factors Ltd. is a single branch LV business based in Bolton.

These acquisitions follow hot on the heels of that of Lloyds Motor Spares based in North London.

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IAAF welcomes JRP Distribution

Automotive distributor, JRP Distribution, has joined the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF).

Launched in 1984, JRP Distribution is a family-run company that has grown to become one of the leading automotive distribution companies within the UK, employing almost 40 staff, supplying branded automotive and allied products to nationals and independent automotive accessory shops. JRP Distribution has a portfolio of 5,500 products and growing, including brands such as Simply, FRSH, California Scents, JB Weld, Refresh, Pro-Seal and Tecniks. These are all dispatched from its current distribution centre based in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, which will soon be moving to its new purpose-built distribution facility in June 2019.

Ollie Page, JRP Distribution managing director, said: “Now we’re a member of IAAF we look forward to developing stronger relationships within the sector as well as being able to keep up to date with industry developments and news. We’re very pleased to have joined and recognise the important role that the association plays in supporting the key elements of the UK automotive aftermarket.”

Regular, weekly e-bulletins from IAAF will provide the distributor with the latest aftermarket news and updates, while JRP Distribution will now also be eligible to attend IAAF’s many industry briefings throughout the year, as well as its annual conference set to take place on Thursday 6 December 2018 at DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes.

Wendy Williamson, IAAF chief executive, said: “We are delighted to welcome JRP Distribution to our burgeoning membership. We are continuing to see leading aftermarket businesses come on board and support the critical work we carry out for the sector. As our annual conference is just around the corner, we will share our latest activity with members to ensure they remain updated on industry threats and the future of their businesses is protected.”

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DVSA targets older truck tyres in new crackdown

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has begun a crackdown on tyres that are more than 10 years old.

As part of Road Safety Week, the DVSA has updated its Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness, to ensure large vehicles remain safe to drive by limiting the use of old tyres.

From Friday November 23, if the DVSA finds a tyre more than 10 years old as part of its routine enforcement work, it will carry out follow up investigations on the vehicle operator.

Operators may be referred to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner if they are unable to provide an adequate explanation for using an old tyre, or their tyre management systems aren’t up to standard.

Roads Minister Jesse Norman said: “This is an important step forward in our efforts to improve tyre safety. The Department for Transport is continuing to work with experts to collect robust evidence on older tyres. This research will report back in the spring.”

The updated Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness builds on previous guidance issued by the Department for Transport in 2013 which strongly discouraged the use of tyres older than 10 years on coaches.

“Tyre safety is vital and DVSA has always taken strong action to protect the public from unsafe tyres of all ages.

“By changing our approach, we’re sending the message that no one should use tyres more than 10 years old,” said Gareth Llewellyn, DVSA chief executive.

Earlier this year, the Department for Transport announced a study into the safety of ageing tyres – the first publicly funded research of its kind in the UK.

In 2013, the DfT issued guidance to all operators setting out that tyres that have reached the age of 10 years should not be used on a steering axle, and stipulating strict conditions if they are to be used at all.

Since then, staff from the DVSA routinely check the age of tyres on these vehicles every year, as well as in fleet and roadside inspections.

“Tyre condition is of critical importance to the safety of the vehicle’s driver, their passengers and to others road users.

“Although commercial drivers are responsible for ensuring they check the general condition of their tyres daily, a more in-depth inspection should be undertaken by vehicle engineers or tyre inspectors.

The Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness has also been updated to help resolve bridge strikes which cause significant disruption for the rail network and are often caused by drivers failing to appreciate the height of their vehicle.

The revision provides further guidance for drivers to help make sure they record the height of their vehicle during their daily walk around checks. By improving guidance in this area, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency aims to see a reduction in disruption to travellers.

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Automotive businesses fear Brexit future

Three quarters of UK automotive businesses fear a ‘no-deal’ Brexit will threaten their future viability, according to a new member survey announced by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

74.1% of companies with UK operations responding to the survey said that a ‘no-deal’ scenario would damage their business, with fewer than nine per cent foreseeing any positive impact. More than half said their operations have already suffered as a result of uncertainty about future trading arrangements. Almost a third said they had postponed or cancelled UK investment decisions because of Brexit, with one in five having already lost business as a direct consequence.

More than half of firms said contingency plans are being executed, with over one in 10 (12.4%) relocating UK operations overseas and the same proportion already reducing employee headcount. Many have also made alterations to logistics and shipping routes, investment in warehousing and stock and adjustments to production schedules.

SMMT members also outlined the further and long-term damage that a ‘no-deal’ Brexit would do to their businesses. Almost seven in 10 (68.5%) said their profitability would be negatively affected, with 53.9% concerned about their ability to secure new overseas business and a similar number worried about maintaining investment in their UK operations. A further half said a ‘no-deal’ scenario would undermine their ability to maintain their existing workforce.

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WAIglobal comes to rescue of independent garage

WAIglobal has come to the rescue of independent garage Lodge Motors when its aftermarket window regulator range proved a perfect fit over the original equipment part.

Peter Wrathall, Workshop Manager of the garage, based in Lutterworth, explains: “We’d been using original equipment window regulators from the dealer for many years and on a visit to Automechanika Birmingham, I came across WAI. After listening to what the company had to say, I thought okay, next time I would give them a try.”

Shortly after, Peter encountered a fitting issue with the original equipment window regulator of a vehicle he was working on. “I contacted my local motor factor – All Vehicle Parts – and they supplied me with a WAI window regulator, which fit perfectly – and I’ve be using them ever since.”

News of this triumph for the aftermarket came after Lodge Motors, an AutoCare garage, visited the WAI stand at the recent AAUK Trade Show in Liverpool, providing much welcomed feedback to the team.

Research carried out by WAI has identified vehicles prone to window regulator failure and, as a result, 50 percent of the range covers fast-moving part numbers for General Motors, Nissan, Mercedes, Volvo, Renault, Ford, PSA Group, Volkswagen, BMW, and Fiat applications. Highlights of the range include Asian models such as Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, as well as popular North American and European cars.

As vehicles begin to exit their manufacturer’s warranty and look to independent garages for cost-effective vehicle maintenance and repair, WAI has been working to focus minds on the sales potential of its window regulator product range.

WAIglobal UK managing director, Richard Welland, said: “This news is another victory for the independent automotive aftermarket and underlines the hard work the company puts in to its development of window regulators. As garages are unaware of this product group via aftermarket distribution channels, there is a real opportunity for motor factors throughout the UK.”

In total, the WAI window regulator range offers 1800 parts covering 73,000 vehicle applications, quickly establishing the company as a leader in the supply of all types of window regulators namely: Scissor, cable, Bowden and double bowden offers a quality aftermarket solution for window regulators.

WAI window regulators are available on a same day supply from Marathon branches, which are strategically located to cover most key UK conurbations and offer a service to motor factors of up to 8 times a day. The expanding distribution centre network is supported by a national distribution centre situated in Redditch, West Midlands.

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