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Futureproof your fleet with Northgate’s unique mix of dependability, agility, and innovation

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Northgate has been supporting the commercial vehicle needs of British businesses, the public sector and charities for 40 years. We have supported our customers throughout the pandemic emergency every step of the way. As the country re-emerges, Northgate will continue to be there meeting tomorrow’s fleet needs, too. 

We understand that times are extremely challenging, and our customers’ needs are changing. That is why we are continually investing in our people, technology, systems, and products to ensure that we can address all our customers’ fleet concerns.

Northgate has continued its transformation into a specialist B2B customer-centric LCV mobility provider with a full range of necessary support services for van users. We call it Vans as a Service (VaaS).

Customers can access a wide range of LCVs as standard – and any type of vehicle on request. 

Our telematics options have been upgraded with improved dashboards and the addition of fuel card integration, enabling customers to see locations of fuel fill-ups, better detail on vehicle mpg, and identifying any potentially fraudulent activity.  

Our New Accident Management service manages every aspect of incidents– from First Notification of Loss (FNOL) to vehicle repair, replacement vehicles and legal services – easing the burden of dealing with multiple incidents and helping to get drivers back on the road, whether a Northgate vehicle or not. 

Our Vehicle Inspection App supports compliance through delivering daily vehicle checks electronically, saving administration and turning checks into a safer paperless exercise.

Driver Risk Management includes a 4-stage driver risk assessment to understand where additional training could be beneficial, reporting suite and range of e-Learning modules and bespoke training that can be used at any stage of the driver cycle.

We believe commercial vehicles should enable businesses to do what they do best. Northgate customers benefit from services and agility not possible to those who buy, or contract hire their fleets. Whatever their needs, Northgate customers know they can rely on our dependability and flexibility.

Find out more at northgatevehiclehire.co.uk or call us on 0330 042 0903.

Lightfoot prepares to enter the EV market

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By Lightfoot

Lightfoot was born from developing and electrifying vehicles – from the McLaren P1, to Caterpillar diggers – Lightfoot understand EVs. 

As EV adoption accelerates, Lightfoot is positioning itself to be a market-leading EV technology provider to Fleets thanks to the unique approach of live in-cab feedback optimising the effectiveness of EVs coupled with a rich feed of data enabling efficient management of your EV Fleet. 

Early indicators suggest that Lightfoot could have an even greater impact in EVs than ICE vehicles, based on a number of factors such as increasing range and reducing time spent charging. As is the Lightfoot way, they are coming at this from a very different angle and the driver is, as always, at the heart of it all.

Want to know more? Watch Lightfoot’s EV Teaser video and get in touch with their Fleet Specialists today – Click here.

Reflex Vehicle Hire keeps fleets on the road as suppliers struggle with service, maintenance and repair demand

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By Reflex Vehicle Hire

Reflex Vehicle Hire is keeping our fleet customers on the road with online service booking and mobile maintenance as companies report they are struggling with a shortage of garage SMR capacity for their own vehicles

Fleet operators are experiencing issues booking service, maintenance and repair (SMR) work or MOTs as the garage network struggles to meet demand after lockdown.

More than 40% of fleets have experienced problems since garages reopened following their forced closure during the national lockdown.

Fleet operators say they are facing long waits before vehicles can be fixed, leading to increased vehicle off-road time and higher associated costs.

One Fleet Manager said: “It’s a nightmare getting the main dealers to give us a booking any quicker than two to three weeks. If a warning light comes on, such as for brakes, we end up with a vehicle off the road because we can’t get it seen to.”

Reflex Vehicle Hire is protecting customers from any problems through its award-winning in-house service engineers. They are supported by our mobile servicing fleet, which brings the garage to our customers to keep them on the road.

Our teams can visit customers’ premises, carry out work on vehicles at drivers’ homes, or even visit sites to carry out work during the day.

Our mobile operation covers nearly 700,000 miles each year delivering in-field servicing for our hired vehicles. It has provided essential support to fleets during the lockdown period, protecting them from issues with reduced workshop capacity they would otherwise have faced for their own fleet vehicles.

Even before the pandemic, 71% of van operators in a recent national survey said they found the offer of mobile van servicing attractive.

The potential savings for fleets are significant.

Researchers say demand for mobile servicing has surged in the past year, resulting in much-needed cost reductions worth millions of pounds for UK businesses.

Analysis shows that downtime costs businesses up to £500 per day per van, including ‘hidden’ costs, such as lost working time or spending on replacement vehicles.

Reflex Vehicle Hire services support fleets in several ways. In addition to Reflex vehicles benefiting from dedicated maintenance support from our in-house team of experts, we can also quickly provide cars and vans to replace a company’s owned vehicles if they are off-the-road waiting for service or repair.

Lisa Spong, Reflex Vehicle Hire Sales Director, said: “With fleets facing ongoing disruption, the flexible services we offer can provide vital support to managers to reduce downtime and business costs.”

Customers of Reflex Vehicle Hire can use our website to arrange a service or report a defect at the click of a button.

www.reflexvehiclehire.com

The importance of rental to efficient commercial fleets

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David Brennan (pictured), CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental, explores how rental plays a key role in the running of an efficient commercial fleet… 

The commercial vehicle (CV) industry is the backbone of the UK economy, with vehicles facilitating the movement of people, assets, and goods, stimulating the economy and helping to keep it stable. 

Although often seen as a short-term solution, fleets are increasingly turning to rental – for short, medium, and long-term use – to safeguard against market uncertainty. Rental offers flexibility, enabling fleet capacity to be scaled up to cope with peak periods and scaled back at quieter times of year, minimising costs as you only need to pay for additional vehicles when you need them.

In a deadline-driven industry the right distribution channels are essential, with access to a strong vehicle supply chain to avoid downtime being paramount to keeping businesses moving. 

Through its pioneering rental booking and management platform, IRIS, Nexus has transformed the business mobility industry in much the same way that Uber disrupted taxi services – by providing on-demand access to the UK’s largest supply chain of 550,000 vehicles across 2,000 locations, including commercial and specialist vehicles, EVs, HGVs and one, day autonomous vehicles. Nexus provides businesses with a viable, cost-effective alternative to the outright purchase of new commercial vehicles, which depreciate in value quickly.

IRIS works to minimise errors and enables customers to self-serve, putting them in control of the entire rental process. Automation means that 90% of bookings involve no human interaction, which helps to streamline rental management and allows new bookings to be made in just 30 seconds. 

Along with this, IRIS’ intuitive Management Information (MI) suite also spots trends in vehicle usage to identify inefficiencies in the rental process. This provides complete transparency to all rental vehicle requirements and enables users to make informed decisions on how to reduce business costs. 

By seeking a flexible rental solution, through a third party such as Nexus, businesses are always equipped to meet their changing mobility needs. Nexus is best placed to keep businesses moving with its all-encompassing technology-led mobility solution.

For more information, visit www.nexusrental.co.uk.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: AVG Windscreens

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By AVG Windscreens

AVG Windscreens are a national vehicle glass provider working within the industry for over 25 years. We specialise in fleet & commercial vehicles in a variety of industries, so we understand the importance of getting your vehicles back on the road.

For our trade accounts, we have a 24-hour helpline and operate on a mobile and national same day / next day service. Our technicians are trained to the highest standard and accredited by the IMI (the highest accreditation for a windscreen technician). 

Our Unique Selling Point has always been our hassle-free service. We provide customers multiple booking methods (online portal, phone call, email, etc) and the phones are answered within 10 seconds whenever you call. Most importantly, due to us having a smaller team, everyone you work with will be somebody you already know, and we maintaing that personal touch throughout our business.

www.avgwindscreens.co.uk

WEBINAR: This is the one you don’t want to miss! Let’s Explore Commercial Electric Vehicles

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By Webfleet Solutions

2020 has been a landmark year for electric vehicles (EVs), with pure battery powered car sales increasing over 195% from 2019* While EV is gathering pace in the personal and company car market, commercial vehicle uptake has been somewhat slower. 

Join our team of panellists Jonny Berry (Groupe Renault)Paul Kirby (Vanarama) and Neil Chamberlain (SSE) as they explore the commercial EV landscape, the factors that are driving higher rates of adoption and the new stakeholders that will reshape the ecosystem. Our team of experts will give a realistic view of the challenges the businesses face in adopting commercial EVs.

Register here for the webinar

The benefits of maximising uptime through a technology driven approach to rental

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By David Brennan (pictured), CEO of Nexus Vehicle Rental

Nexus has cemented itself at the forefront of innovation for 20 years and has successfully carved its market niche by applying technology to meet evolving industry trends and the ever-changing demands of its customers.

Nexus is transforming the vehicle rental industry in much the same way Uber disrupted taxi services – by providing on-demand access to the UK’s largest supply chain of 550,000 vehicles across 2,000 locations, including EVs, specialist and commercial vehicles, HGVs and one day, autonomous vehicles. Nexus keeps costs lean for businesses and provides an alternative to purchasing assets. 

Technology remains at the heart of Nexus, and its innovative bookings and management platform, IRIS, works to minimise errors and enable customers to self-serve, putting them in control of the entire rental process. Automation means that 90% of bookings involve no human interaction, which helps to streamline rental management and allows new bookings to be made in just 30 seconds. 

IRIS’ intuitive Management Information (MI) suite also spots trends in vehicle usage to identify efficiencies in the rental process. This provides complete transparency on all rental vehicle requirements and enables users to make informed decisions on how to reduce business costs. Earlier this year, Nexus launched IRIS V5 with a new dedicated electric vehicle (EV) rental portal for businesses. This enables customers to meet the rising demand for alternative, cleaner mobility solutions while avoiding large upfront expenditure – a first for the corporate rental market. 

By seeking a flexible rental solution, through a third party such as Nexus, businesses are always equipped to meet their changing mobility needs. Nexus is best placed to keep businesses moving with its all-encompassing technology-led mobility solution.

For more information, visit www.nexusrental.co.uk  

eVito – Mercedes-Benz from Midlands Truck & Van – Efficient electric drive, combined with proven vehicle strengths

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By Midlands Truck & Van

The eVito panel van is as advanced as modern mobility demands. And it is just as functional, safe and comfortable as you would expect from a Mercedes-Benz Vito. Its highly efficient electric motor with 85 kW (116 hp) and torque of 300 Nm as well as the other electrical components make use of the synergies of the group modular construction kit.

The eVito panel van takes alot on board. The eVito is a professional for demanding tasks and ideally suited to represent companies. Its specialty is volume of cargo: with a loading space capacity of 6.0 m3 and up to 1,015 kg, the electric drive does not restrict the cargo space volume in any way.

But mass is not everything: the eVito panel van can also be loaded very well due to its large load compartment openings and low loading sill. With the sliding door on the left & right, there are 3 accesses to the cargo hold, through which, for example, up to 3 europallets can be loaded. 

Our vans with electric drive can also convince you economically. Depending on the profile of use, the electric drive can already be at the level of vehicles with an internal combustion engine in terms of the total cost of ownership (TCO).

The intelligent operating strategy of vans with electric drive contributes to economy on the road. With 3 driving programs and 4 recuperation levels you can optimize the power consumption and thus the range of your electric powered van. Recuperation recovers energy when the vehicle is decelerating. For example, the battery charges on downhill, instead of losing the energy in the form of heat when braking. That’s how you can go far with Mercedes-Benz electric powered vans – on the road as well as in your company.

https://www.midlandstruckvan.com/pages/vans

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: All electric Fiat 500

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By FIAT

Sixty-three years after the original Fiat 500 was introduced to the world, the stylish, chic and fun-to-drive city car has inspired a new electric generation. Ready to order now, the all-new all-electric 500 will once again set a new standard for urban travel.

Capable of covering 200 miles to a charge, the car uses a 42kWh battery that can be recharged to 80% in just 35 minutes. The on board 85kW fast charger can add 30 miles of range in just five minutes, which should be enough for the average journey minimising range anxiety and ensuring drivers can always get to where they are going. 

Retaining its classic Italian style, the new 500 evolves the look of its predecessor with clean and consistent lines. The retro details are enhanced with new flush door handles, LED headlights and a new 500 badge. The body and wheelbase have grown slightly to give the car a wider stance and greater levels of passenger comfort, yet the 500 remains compact with a length of less than four metres. Step inside the new 500 and you’ll find a new and elegant interior that features distinct references to the original 500, while incorporating the latest in-car technology and clever storage solutions. The car is the first model from FCA to feature Uconnect 5, a new connected platform that promises a greater user experience. It’s controlled via a centrally mounted 10.25-inch high-definition touchscreen. Connected services can be enhanced via a new smartphone app. Drivers can check the status of the car’s battery, schedule charging, activate the climate control to pre-heat or cool the car and send navigation destinations directly to the sat-nav. 

With 116hp on tap, the 500 can accelerate from 0-62mph in just nine seconds. With its instant electric torque the car provides seamless acceleration. While the 500 has driveability at its core, for the first time in the segment it introduces a suite of advanced driver assistance systems including intelligent adaptive cruise control (iACC) that can respond to cars, cyclists and pedestrians. Lane centring does what the name suggests and intelligent speed assist reads the speed limits of signs and recommends applying them. There is also urban blind spot, which uses ultrasonic sensors to monitor the blind spots and warn of any obstacles with a triangular warning light on the door mirror.

The New 500 has three driving modes: Normal, Range and Sherpa. Sherpa mode optimises the available resources to ensure that the car will reach its destination by incorporating any necessary charging stops into the route. This driving mode limits top speed to 50mph, reduces accelerator response and deactivates the climate control system and heated seats. Normal mode is as close as possible to driving a vehicle with a combustion engine, while Range mode activates the “one-pedal-drive” function.

Available in both fixed-roof and convertible body styles, the new 500 will be the first four-seater convertible with zero tailpipe emissions. The electric 500 will start deliveries in the UK in the first quarter of 2021, with production taking place at Fiat’s plant in Mirafiori, Italy. The “La Prima” launch edition, which is available to order now, comes exclusively with a convertible roof. It’s offered in three colours: Mineral Grey (metallic), Ocean Green (pearlescent) and Celestial Blue (three-layer). The launch version also features full LED headlights, eco-leather upholstery, 17-inch diamond-cut wheels and chrome-plated inserts on the windows and side panels.

Fiat’s eagerly awaited 100% electric New Fiat 500 range will be priced from £19,995 OTR (inclusive of PiCG*), with first deliveries expected in March 2021.

If you would like to register interest in the 500e please click here.

Our new issue of Soluzioni is available to read at www.fcafleetandbusiness.co.uk, but if you would like more information about FCA feel free to contact our business centre on 08081685095. 

* Subject to government approvals

When the clocks go back, vehicle attacks increase. Are you prepared?

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By Locks 4 Vans

As a Fleet Manager you are responsible for reducing costs, improving efficiency and ensuring compliance across your operation. As the darker evenings draw in, one aspect that undoubtedly moves up the agenda at this time of year is vehicle security.

We see a sharp increase in vehicle attacks during autumn and winter. These are not only costly to repair but they also negatively impact day-to-day operations due to the downtime of the vehicle off the road. With one van broken into every 23 minutes, it is not a statistic that Fleet Managers can ignore. 

Locks 4 Vans is the UK’s leading manufacturer and supplier of high security van theft deterrents and we are trusted by leading corporate fleets such as DHL, DPD and Network Rail. Our robust supplementary van locking solutions provide added vehicle security and peace of mind for Fleet Managers. 

We work with the leading vehicle conversion companies including Sortimo, Bri-Stor, Modul-System and Edstrom to help provide a seamless service for you. 

Contact us for advice or a risk assessment and we’ll talk you through the right option for your vehicle and budget.