Fleet Management Blog

04 Aug 2015

Hiring a Car Abroad

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If you’re planning on hiring a car whilst you are on holiday this summer, you must be aware that all endorsements and fines are now computerised, replacing the paper counterpart. Therefore, if you were looking to hire a car abroad you will need to take a code with you to allow you to do this.

How do I get a code?

In order to get your code, you just need to log in to the DVLA Website (www.gov.uk/view-driving-licence), follow the instructions then present the code to the rental supplier at the time of the booking. Please Note: This code is only valid for 21 days, therefore this must be requested close to the time the booking needs to be made.

What will this allow the rental company to see?

With the code, the rental company will be able to see what vehicles you can drive, any penalty points or disqualifications and the last 8 digits of your Driving Licence Number.

Will a PDF copy of my driving record be acceptable?

Whilst it is recommended that you download your driving record from the DVLA, it is currently unclear as to whether rental suppliers accept this as an alternative to the code.

What if I still have the old-style paper licence?

The old-style licences issued prior to 1998, will remain valid.

Please note that this does not apply to Driving Licences that have been issued in Northern Ireland. If you have already booked your rental vehicle, you will need to produce your code when you go to collect the vehicle.

25 Jun 2015

Guidance for Fleet Managers during Ramadan

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Ramadan is one of the most important religious celebrations in the Islamic calendar during which participants observe strict rules that include fasting between sunrise and sunset and additional prayers.

It is important for managers to be aware of Ramadan and its possible impact on employees’ driving abilities.

Prayers during the night time and skipping meals coupled with eating at different times can have a significant effect on drivers who are observing Ramadan.

Your business needs to be aware of Ramadan and its effect on the driving ability of those who are observing the festival.

 

So what are the issues?

The mental and physical stresses of this regime can cause challenges for Muslim drivers and result in a higher than average accident rate.

 

To summarise:

  • Low blood sugar levels and dehydration cause loss of concentration, dizziness and headaches.
  • Prayer times can disrupt sleep patterns and this can cause daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and reduced alertness.
  • Research shows that tiredness has been found to increase impatience with other drivers; yawning and daydreaming, which can result in drivers missing road signs and turns at junctions.

 

Actions for Fleet Managers

Managers should familiarise themselves with the additional driving stresses introduced by observing Ramadan. It is suggested that managers meet with Muslim drivers to discuss the ways in which Ramadan can affect driving.

Details of the festival should also be communicated to non-Muslim employees to ensure a ‘team approach’ of support and awareness.

 

Other recommended steps include:

  • Manage drivers’ schedules effectively to reflect the effect on drivers who are observing Ramadan. Remember, longer journeys will be more challenging for Muslim drivers.
  • Encourage drivers to take more regular breaks and ‘power naps’ if necessary.
  • Encourage open communication between the management team and Muslim drivers.
  • Give drivers a reminder on defensive driving.
23 Jun 2015

Driving During Ramadan – Guidance for Drivers

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Changes in sleeping habits and fasting during Ramadan may impact on a driver’s ability to concentrate and remain alert on the roads. It is important to address the issues drivers may face to stay safe on the roads.

 

What are the issues?

  • Blood sugar levels will be low during the late afternoon and evening as a result of fasting. Along with dehydration, this can cause loss of concentration, dizziness and headaches.
  • Prayer times can disrupt sleep patterns causing daytime drowsiness, poor concentration and reduced alertness.
  • Research shows that fasting affects spatial awareness as well as reaction times including the speed of braking and the speed of reading road signs. Tiredness has been found to increase impatience with other drivers; yawning and daydreaming can result in drivers missing road signs and junctions.

 

Actions for Drivers

We recommend that drivers:

  • Adopt a robust schedule to maximise night-time sleep.
  • Avoid travelling to work at peak commuting times where possible.
  • Give consideration to increased use of public transport.
  • Keep a safe distance away from the vehicle in front.
  • Take regular breaks when driving and take a walk away from your vehicle if possible to improve circulation.
  • Focus on driving home responsibly at sunset.
  • Guard against dehydration.

 

To Summarise

Drivers should pay particular attention to their driving performance during Ramadan. Practising defensive driving and keeping to a structured routine to maximise the amount of sleep you obtain can help in reducing the risk of fatigue. Talking openly with your colleagues and managers as a team approach can provide you with additional support during your fasting period.

17 Jun 2015

Summer Driving: Guidance for Managers

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Summer driving brings unique driving challenges:

Journey times are longer and traffic jams more likely as more vehicles take to the road, more children playing, outside, more tractors, cyclists and motorbikes.

As well as planning journeys for the eventuality of holiday traffic jams, there needs to be a focus on vehicle condition and detailed information should be provided to drivers on allergies, preventing fatigue and minimising glare from the sun.

The following information should prove useful for all managers to communicate to their drivers.

Following this guidance note can help you prevent accidents by keeping your drivers focused on the road through managing vehicles, fatigue and allergy reactions effectively. Driving in the summer introduces hazards for your drivers in the same way as winter driving.

 

The Key Points are:

  • Consider the possibility of traffic jams caused by holidaymakers when planning
  • Check that drivers who need corrected vision have sunglasses that have prescription lenses tinted to an acceptable standard
  • Talk to drivers about taking additional breaks and remind professional drivers about fatigue prevention techniques
  • Look at vehicle maintenance and inspection regimes from a summer driving viewpoint and check that air conditioning systems are working effectively
  • Monitor pollen count forecasts and work with drivers to ensure they are best placed to control the effects of hay fever.

 

Vehicle maintenance

  • Check vehicle coolant levels more regularly
  • Keep washer bottles full and keep an additional bottle of screen wash in the vehicle. Windscreen smears caused by insects can impair visibility so windscreens need to be kept clean
  • Check tyres regularly for damage and tread depth
  • Ensure that your air conditioning is maintained and effectively working.

 

Allergy time

Hay fever causes itchy and watery eyes, blocked and running noses and sneezing, which present a real distraction to drivers:

  • Use non-drowsy Antihistamines such as loratadine and cetirizine
  • Dehydration can make symptoms worse so keep a bottle of water in the vehicle
  • Keep a good supply of tissues in the vehicle
  • Wear sun glasses to keep pollen away from your eyes
  • Use the air conditioning system where possible to keep the vehicle cab cool.
  • Regularly vacuum the vehicle cab to remove pollen

 

Warm Weather Fatigue

Drivers are more likely to feel fatigued in warmer summer months. Fatigue can be reduced by following these simple steps:

  • Break a 3 hour journey with a 20 minute stop
  • Take a break every two hours for longer journeys
  • Regular short stops of 20 minutes are better than one long
  • Avoid eating a heavy meal before driving
  • Drink a couple of cups of strong coffee

 

Glare

Glare from the sun can cause road accidents. Wearing the correct sunglasses can help reduce glare and keep the drivers seeing clearly. It is recommended that your drivers have their eyes tested by an optician every 2 years. If a driver requires prescription lenses their sunglasses should also have the same prescription lenses.

Class 4 lenses let through little light and are not suitable for driving use. Class 1,2 and 3 lenses let through adequate light for use in the day but not at night and Class 0 lenses have no limitations but have over 80% light transmission.

Managers should check that drivers have the correct type of lenses in their sunglasses. Design features like deep arms should also be avoided as they obstruct periphery vision.

 

 

 

17 Jun 2015

Guidance for Drivers – Driving during the Summer

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Summer driving brings unique driving challenges:

Journey times are longer and traffic jams more likely as more vehicles take to the road, more children playing outside, more tractors, cyclists and motorbikes.

As well as planning journeys for the eventuality of holiday traffic jams, there needs to be a focus on vehicle condition whilst paying attention to allergies, preventing fatigue and minimising glare from the sun.

Following this guidance note can help you prevent accidents by keeping your  focused on the road through managing your vehicle, fatigue and allergy reactions effectively. Driving in the summer introduces hazards in the same way as winter driving.

 

Vehicle Maintenance

• Check vehicle coolant levels

• Keep washer bottles full and keep an additional bottle of screen wash in the vehicle

• Check tyres for damage and tread depth as hot weather increases the risk of puncture and sudden summer showers can leave road surfaces flooded or slippery.

 

Allergy time

Hay fever can cause a real distraction to drivers.

• Use non-drowsy antihistamines such as Loratadine and Cetirizine

• Keep a bottle of water in the vehicle to avoid dehydration

• Wear sun glasses to keep pollen away from your eyes

• Use the air conditioning system (where possible) to keep the vehicle cab cool

• Regularly vacuum the vehicle cab

 

Warm weather fatigue

• Take a break of 20 minutes at least every two hours and have some fresh air

• Avoid eating a heavy meal before driving.

 

Avoid the glare

• Sunglasses with deep arms obstruct your periphery vision

• Class 4 sunglass lenses are not suitable for driving

• If your vision needs to be corrected ensure that your sunglasses have prescription lenses.

29 Apr 2015

Diesel Engines Face Pollution Crackdown

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The Government has been ordered to act immediately to comply with European air pollution limits. A panel of five judges unanimously ruled that the Government must submit a new air quality plan to the European Commission by the end of the year.

 

This decision could lead to tight controls on diesel vehicles in Britain’s largest cities.290415-air-pollution-map-1-480x360

 

The case was brought against the Environment Secretary by campaign group ClientEarth. 

 

ClientEarth argued that cities including London, Birmingham and Leeds would not meet EU pollution limits until 2030 – 20 years after the 2010 deadline, and that only enforcement action would remedy “the ongoing breach by the UK of EU law on nitrogen dioxide limits”. They claim air pollution in the UK causes 29,000 early deaths a year; more than obesity and alcohol combined.

 

Speaking after the verdict, ClientEarth’s environment lawyer Alan Andrews told Sky News: “We are delighted with the verdict that the Supreme Court has made which will save thousands of lives in the UK.

 

“The next government needs to make air pollution a top priority and they need to come up with a comprehensive plan to tackle pollution from road transport and especially diesel vehicles.”

 

Mr Andrews said he was “baffled” the issue had not been mentioned by political parties during the election campaign and that a comprehensive plan was required to tackle diesel pollution.

 

“We think a national network of low-emission zones which keep the most polluted diesel vehicles out of our towns and cities is the best and most effective option,” he said.

 

A spokeswoman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “Work is already under way on revised plans – since February 2014 – to meet EU targets on NO2 (nitrogen dioxide) as soon as possible.”

15 Apr 2015

Abolition of the Paper Counterpart to Photocard Driving Licences

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Abolition of the Paper Counterpart to Photocard Driving Licences

The paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence was brought in to display driving licence details that could not be displayed on the photo card, such as endorsements/penalty points. From 8th June 2015, this will no longer be valid and no longer issued by the DVLA.

Please note: Northern Ireland remains unaffected by this.

This change aligns in the DVLA’s commitments to simplifying our services, as well as the Government’s Red Tape Challenge.

Customers with existing counterparts

From 8th June 2015, this will no longer hold legal status and should be destroyed after this date.paper-counterpart

Customers with paper driving licences

These licences issued before the photo card licence in 1998 should not be destroyed as they remain valid. When you update your name, address or renew your licence, you will be issued with a photo card only.

Penalty Points (Endorsements)

From 8th June 2015, any penalty points for a motoring offence will be held on a driver’s record with the DVLA and can be checked online, phone or post. You will still be required to pay fines etc. in the usual way, however the way the court handles the paperwork will change. Any motoring offence will still require you to submit your driving licence (paper and photocard) to the court, however they will be recorded on the individual’s record and will not be recorded on the paperwork.

 

Whilst every effort has been made by Total Motion to ensure that information given is not misleading, this material is provided only as an overview of the subject and is not a substitute for professional advice. No responsibility can be accepted by Total Motion for any loss nor liability occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this Fact Sheet.

 

 

 

 

 

01 Apr 2015

Budget 2015

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Budget 2015

The announcement of the 2015 Budget meant the implication of a few changes impacting on fleet.

These changes have a substantial impact on fleet, which may encourage companies of all sizes to reassess how they fund their company vehicles.

The key changes are as follows:

  • Company Car Tax
  • Fuel Duty
  • Annual Investment Allowance
  • VAT fuel scale charge
  • Vehicle Excise Duty

 

Company Car Tax

The changes in Company Car Tax is to encourage companies to use more low CO2 emissions on their fleet, which in turn would generally produce better performance figures.

Fuel Duty

The plans to increase fuel duty in September 2015 has been scrapped, which means a welcome relief for companies. Despite this, companies should still look at ways to maximise fuel efficiency and review fuel expenditure.

Annual Investment Allowance

From 1st January 2016, the current AIA will drop from £500,000 to £25,000. This gives companies the opportunity to source new ways to fund their vehicles.

VAT fuel scale charge

The scale charges to be used from 1st May ’15 onwards is as follows:

C02 Emissions (g/km) Current VAT fuel scale charge, 12 month period From 1 May 2015, VAT fuel scale charge, 12 month period
120 or less 627 536
125 939 802
130 1004 857
135 1064 909
140 1129 965
145 1190 1016
150 1255 1072
155 1315 1123
160 1381 1179
165 1441 1231
170 1506 1286
175 1567 1338
180 1632 1393
185 1692 1445
190 1757 1501
195 1818 1552
200 1883 1608
205 1943 1660
210 2008 1715
215 2069 1767
220 2134 1822
225 or more 2194 1874

 

Vehicle Excise Duty

Vehicle Excise Duty rates will increase from the 1st April 2015, this aims to make higher emitting vehicles more expensive to run. This therefore impacts on the Whole Life Cost of running the vehicles. Total Motion can help you understand how your choices affect the cost of running your fleet, and help you to make the right decisions in the future.

 

These changes continues to support the Government’s objectives of a low carbon economy, which in turn implicates car policies, fuel provision and choice of vehicle.

 

 

Whilst every effort has been made by Total Motion to ensure that information given is not misleading, this material is provided only as an overview of the subject and is not a substitute for professional advice. No responsibility can be accepted by Total Motion for any loss nor liability occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this Fact Sheet.
26 Mar 2015

Changes to the Drug Driving Law

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Changes to the Drug Driving Law

On 2nd March 2015, the Drug Driving Law was changed meaning it is now illegal in England and Wales to drive with legal drugs in your body if it impairs your ability to drive. It is also an offence to drive if you are over the specified limits of certain drugs in your blood and you haven’t been prescribed them.

This new law covers some prescription or over-the-counter drugs, so it’s important to check with your doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional before driving.

Talk to your doctor about whether you should drive if you’ve been prescribed any of the following drugs:

 

  • Clonazepamddl
  • Diazepam
  • Flunitrazepam
  • Lorazepam
  • Methadone
  • Morphine or Opiate and Opioid-based drugs
  • Oxazepam
  • Temazepam

 

 

You can drive after taking these drugs if you’ve been prescribed them and followed advice on how to take them by a healthcare professional, provided they are not causing you to be unfit to drive even if you’re above the specified limits.

Penalties for drug driving

If you’re convicted of drug driving you’ll get:

  • a minimum 1 year driving ban
  • an unlimited fine
  • up to 6 months in prison
  • a criminal record

 

Your driving licence will also show you’ve been convicted for drug driving, and will remain on there for 11 years.

The penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is up to 14 years in prison.

A conviction for drug driving also means:

  • your car insurance costs will increase significantly
  • if you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your license
  • you may have trouble travelling to countries like the USA

 

Whilst every effort has been made by Total Motion to ensure that information given is not misleading, this material is provided only as an overview of the subject and is not a substitute for professional advice. No responsibility can be accepted by Total Motion for any loss nor liability occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this publication.
31 Dec 2014

Driving licences to display Union Flag

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Driving licences to display Union Flag

British motorists will be able to fly the flag with pride in the new year thanks to government plans to display the Union Flag on driving licences, transport minister Claire Perry announced today (30 December 2014).

Anyone applying for a new licence or changing their personal details will be issued with a licence showing both the British and European Union flags.

The changes will apply to motorists in England, Scotland and Wales and provide road users with a symbolic sign of their national identity.

Transport Minister Claire Perry said:

People in this country rightly take pride in our national flag which is why I am delighted it will now be displayed on British driving licences.

Celebrating Britain strengthens our sense of national identity and our unity. I will feel proud to carry my new licence and I hope others will too.

The inclusion of union flags on licences is one of a number of improvements being made for motorists. On 25 October this year, the DVLA announced a dramatic drop in licence fees for those who apply online. In the interests of reducing unnecessary red tape, since 1 October this year the paper tax disc is no more and motorists can pay their vehicle tax by direct debit. From 8 June next year the paper counterpart of the photocard licence will no longer be required.

DVLA has also introduced a service to allow the public to check the most up to date information on their driving record.

The European Union flag has been displayed on full driving licences since photocards first came into use in July 1998. More than 127 million photocard licences have been issued since they were introduced.

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