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Gerry Keaney took over as chief exec of the BVRLA after John Lewis retired last year

I WENT along to the BVRLA’s splendid annual shindig for the great and the good of the leasing and motor fleet industry earlier this month at the London Hilton Hotel, situated on swish Park Lane. It’s a black tie affair and I was on the vice-chairman’s table so I was on best behaviour.

And all credit to Gerry and his team. It was an excellent evening made better by the brilliance of guest speaker Andrew Marr.

I’d been to visit Gerry at the BVRLA’s HQ late last year to learn more about his plans for the association since taking over from former chief John Lewis. One of his thrusts was to help guide government policy in relation to fleets, particularly the take up of electric and ultra-low emission vehicles.

“BVRLA members can play a key role in driving this change, provided the government creates the right policy and tax environment,” Gerry told me.

However, Gerry is realistic that this is not going to be an easy task. “Fleet take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles will be a marathon, not a sprint,” he confided.

Let’s hope Gerry and the BVRLA can help everyone get their running shoes on then.

For a review of the latest electric car to hit the streets – the BMW i3 – read this: BMW i3 car review – could this be the car to convince your business to go electric? 


Skoda to launch SE Business model range

Also at the BVRLA dinner was Skoda national fleet sales manager Henry Williams. This time last year Henry had just been appointed to the role.

SE Business models are promised across the Skoda range – they combine business friendly kit like sat nav and Bluetooth with low company car tax rates

And Henry had some good news for SME small fleets. Skoda is planning to launch SE Business models across their range this spring. The SE Business models will have a good level of business specification (Bluetooth, satnav, alloys and so on), low emission CO2 engines, with a really competitive P11D value for maximum business car value and low company car tax.

Sounds like a winning combo to me. 


Mike Potter with his restored award

Broken trophy wins car leasing deal 

I had a rather sheepish email from Fleetdrive boss Mike Potter, winner of our Best Small Fleet Green Leasing Award in our Small Fleet Leasing Awards.

“Could we have another trophy please, ours has had a mishap,” read the sorry email. And, to accompany it, was a photograph of the broken trophy.

Turns out that a new staffer, in his first week, was on the phone to a prospective client and was explaining about the award and then accidentally swiped it off his desk. Mortification followed.

However, the client at the other end of the phone was won over and a new leasing deal was confirmed Mike told me when I went down to present the replacement at their Marlow, Bucks, HQ.

As you can see in the photo, Mike is pleased to have his trophy back in one piece.


A Bentley Flying Spur for your company car? If you’re on the council…

What do you think your council representatives drive around in? I know in the London Borough of Richmond the Mayor plumped for a hybrid Toyota Prius some time ago.

A survey by Intelligent Car Leasing found that the cheapest spender was the London Borough of Hillingdon with a sub-£7k Smart car. But not all councils have such a CO2 conscious attitude to company cars it seems.

Cheshire East Council, and Cheshire West and Chester Council own between them a £140k Bentley Flying Spur.

But before you splutter moral indignation, remember who builds cars at Crewe. Yes, that’s right: Bentley. And I wonder how much the two councils actually pay for the car?

If you want more info – and the majority of councils choose Fords – check out the infographic below on the spending habits of UK councils  (and sorry it’s a funny shape).

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