New business mileage rates start September
NEW business mileage rates for company cars have been published by HMRC. These rates – called Advisory Fuel Rates (AFRs) – allow company car drivers to claim for business mileage or repay private mileage.
And not to incur car fuel benefit tax. Because while free fuel is such a lovely concept, HMRC has made pretty sure it’s a terrible one.
But of course, what’s of particular interest this time around is that electric cars get their own rate: the Advisory Electricity Rate. It’s been an issue for some time – pursued by ACFO – that has finally seen HMRC provide a rate for electric cars. Next stop will be plug-in hybrids. But for now, find out the latest Business Mileage Rates.
Ford drones reduce safety risk at Dagenham
This caught my eye as an interesting deployment of drone technology. Ford has fitted cameras to drones to inspect high-rise gantries, pipework and roof areas at its Dagenham Engine Plant. It’s an essential part of the maintenance roster.
Previously, crucial maintenance work was carried out using automated extendable platforms and scaffolding to check 40 metre-long gantries that support the plant’s heavy machinery. Each inspection area would take a laborious 12 hours to complete.
Now, there’s no need for the Ford staff to leave the ground. Controlling drones equipped with GoPro cameras (see video above), maintenance staff can thoroughly inspect each area in just 12 minutes. Ford says the whole production facility can be covered in a day.
“We’d joked about having a robot do the work when there was a lightbulb moment – use drones instead,” said Pat Manning, Machining Manager, Ford Dagenham Engine Plant. “We used to have to scale heights of up to 50 metres to do the necessary checks on the roof and machining areas. Now we can cover the entire plant in one day and without the risk of team members having to work at dangerous heights.” Genius.
Nine per cent of serious van accidents down to parking or reversing
Looking at some stats provided by Volkswagen doesn’t make for good reading. The Commercial Vehicles division has looked at Department for Transport figures which reveal 1,350 parking and reversing accidents involving vans in 2016.
It’s not good enough really. These can range from the minor bump to the deadly. To overcome this, parking sensors are certainly key, but for any van manager speccing a new van, considering a reversing camera has to be a huge priority.
I’ve been driving Volkswagen’s enormous Crafter van recently. I can’t tell you how thankful I was for the reversing camera (left); it’s not standard but is a £264 option. Which must be worth the average £500 cost for a van being off the road for repair. Let alone any human cost. More here.
BMW Group adds weight to industry conference
The BMW Group is adding its support to our Leasing Broker Conference on October 02, 2018.
The company will have a vehicle on display at the National Motorcycle Museum for our conference ‘What does the future look like?’ We have a brilliant line up of speakers with a key part of the day dedicated to electrification.
My thanks to BMW for their support – and for sponsoring one of our Leasing Broker Awards in the evening.
There’s more about the Leasing Broker Conference here and our great speaker line up.
10 easy steps to the all-new Audi Q3
Can SUVs do no wrong? Apparently not. And here’s one of the latest sure to make its mark on the business motoring scene: the all-new Audi Q3.
It’s been nine years since the first Q3 so it’s definitely time for a refresh. Among the innovations are a digital dashboard and app integration; and another feature worth checking out for your aural pleasure is the Bang & Olufsen 3D sound system. If it’s anything like my experience of the Bose 3D sound in the Q7 it will be brilliant.
You can order a new Audi Q3 for your business motoring from this autumn – more about the new Q3 SUV here.