The importance of partnerships has never been more prevalent than in today’s uncertain world. Without doubt the key to a solid partnership is trust, transparency and communication. So often we see commercial factors take centre stage within tender processes and it’s very difficult to see how a true partnership approach is evaluated during the buying phase. In business KPI’s are reviewed and evaluated, however these do not challenge the key question which we are all facing today…

How will your partners support you in times of real need?

BNP Paribas Rental Solutions prides itself on being a trusted, transparent and stable partner. 3 areas of focus which underline the strength of BNP Paribas Rental Solutions are:

Supporting Our Customers

We manage mission critical fleets. Our Operational and Account Management teams consistently deliver our 3 key pillars: UptimeCompliance and Cost Control. We place a strong emphasis on communication and ensuring our partners know we are there to support them.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis some of our partners have temporarily closed, forcing fleets to be stood down. This has prompted a number of payment deferral requests which we have supported with 3 month rental breaks to ease the strain during this lockdown period.

Valuing Our Suppliers

We recognise the day to day challenges that our supply chain is facing and the value of these partnerships who continue to support our operational fleets. We are committed to our industry leading payment terms which will remain at 14 days from receipt of invoice. This will ensure our partners are paid quickly and uptime is maximised throughout this time of need.

Protecting Our People

We successfully moved our 500+ strong workforce to remote working and all staff are focused on delivering for customers during this extraordinary period. Cross team collaboration ensures focus is applied in the areas most needed by our customers and suppliers.

If you would like to discuss how we can support you as a future partner or require any advice through this challenging period, contact us.

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Motorway and major trunk road services remain open 24 hours a day following advice from the government deeming them as ‘essential services’.

The welfare of commercial drivers is a priority. While some service stations have reduced their opening hours, fuel, toilets, food and drink remain available at all service stations 24 hours a day.

Drivers are able to plan their rest stop breaks using the below Highways England link. This information is updated every day.

http://www.trafficengland.com/motorway-service-areas

Please ensure you refer to the link below, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up-to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.

https://www.gov.uk/search/guidance-and-regulation?parent=%2Ftransport%2Fprofessional-driving-of-lorries-buses-and-coaches&topic=b4e41212-77b8-44ba-8fb5-6aa479b20d36&order=updated-newest

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

In normal circumstances, an application to renew a lorry or bus licence at age 45 or over must include a medical examination report (D4) which is signed by a doctor. NHS doctors cannot currently carry out these examinations therefore lorry and bus drivers are unable to obtain D4 medical reports required to support their application.

In these special circumstances, a D4 will not be required when applying to renew a lorry or bus licence until further notice. This will only apply if the licence has expired or is due to expire on or after 1 January 2020.

Please note: A bus or lorry licence renewed without the production of a valid D4, will only be valid for a period of one year.

This will not affect applications for renewal of licences made by those aged 65 or over, as these licences are already only valid for one year.

This notice does not apply to any application to renew small lorry (C1) and minibus (D1 (101)) entitlements included on car licences issued before 1997.

Please ensure you refer to the link below, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up-to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.

https://www.gov.uk/search/guidance-and-regulation?parent=%2Ftransport%2Fprofessional-driving-of-lorries-buses-and-coaches&topic=b4e41212-77b8-44ba-8fb5-6aa479b20d36&order=updated-newest

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Transport for London recently announced that all road user charging schemes in London will not be in operation until further notice.

Following a request by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, TFL took action to help ensure London’s critical workers are able to travel round the capital as easily as possible during the national emergency.

In addition to the NHS staff, the suspension also helps other critical workers get to work, and allows essential deliveries to take place with more flexibility for fleet operators.

For many critical workers, driving is the simplest option to travel especially when roads should only be used by those taking essential journeys.

We are currently supporting many customers 24/7 as they operate to support the medical, food and infrastructure demands that this crisis brings; the news of the charging suspension is therefore very well received.

During these unprecedented times the suspension of these charging schemes could be subject to change at any time. Please ensure you refer to the link below for the latest information from TFL.

https://tfl.gov.uk/campaign/coronavirus-covid-?cid=coronavirus

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has led to Birmingham City Council delaying the introduction of its Clean Air Zone until 2021.

Following a request by the Council to the UK Government, the postponement was granted after serious concerns were raised about the impact the Coronavirus is having on the economy.

The official new launch date is yet to be confirmed, however, Birmingham Council have stated it will be under constant review while the impact of the Coronavirus is monitored.

The introduction of Clean Air Zones were also due in Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton, but are all now set to be delayed until 2021.

Clean Air Zones are part of the Governments strategy to improve Air quality across the country. Once the schemes are launched, all vehicles need to meet set criteria to avoid a daily charge for operating within a CAZ.

We’ve experienced a high uptake in Euro6 diesel powered vehicles as they meet the requirements set out in CAZ. Our customers have benefitted from future proofing their fleet on a finance package with manageable monthly payments, without a large outlay capital.

The latest information is available here: https://www.birmingham.gov.uk 

For useful information on Birmingham Clean Air Zone click here: https://www.brumbreathes.co.uk

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

Public Health England (PHE) has published advice for different scenarios of how social distancing and other measures can be implemented by employers in England to help protect workforces and customers from Coronavirus while continuing to trade.

Advice for transport businesses

  • Social distancing should be maintained where possible but we recognise that on many forms of transport, staff will not always be able to stay 2 metres away from each other or passengers. Here are some examples of the advice given:If workers have to share enclosed spaces such as vehicle cabs, they should keep the window open for ventilation and they should be careful to avoid touching their face at all times. On leaving the enclosed space, they should wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more, or use hand sanitiser when they cannot wash their hands.
  • For the use of private vehicles or when car-pooling, if the journey is essential, such as travel to work, and there is no option but to share a car with people who are not part of the same household, journeys should be shared with the minimum number of people at any one time. Good ventilation (i.e. keeping the windows open) and facing away from each other may help to reduce the risk. Private vehicles that are used by people from multiple households should be cleaned regularly using gloves and standard cleaning products, with particular emphasis on handles and other surfaces that passengers may touch.

Click the link below for all the different scenarios and advice for all sectors: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/social-distancing-in-the-workplace-during-coronavirus-covid-19-sector-guidance

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

During the Coronavirus outbreak, drivers may not be able to complete the required periodic training to maintain a Driver CPC card. Therefore, the Department for Transport has issued the following temporary changes for professional driver qualification requirements:

  • Where a Driver CPC card expires between 1st March 2020 – 30th September 2020, drivers can continue driving.
  • During the same period, military drivers (who follow a different training programme), will be allowed to drive in civilian situations.
  • Driver CPC regulations will not be enforced by the DVSA during this period. Police forces have been informed.
  • Enforcement Officers can still stop and check to see that a Driver CPC card has been recently held.
  • Drivers should still carry expired Driver CPC cards.
  • From 1st October 2020, drivers affected by this temporary change will be required to comply with original Driver CPC rules.

These legislative measures are subject to change periodically. Please ensure you refer to the link below, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up-to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-temporary-changes-to-driver-cpc-requirements

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

It is always recommended that a pre-use inspection is carried out prior to putting vehicles that have been stood idle back into service. The traffic commissioners recognise that operators will want to start using vehicles as soon as possible, but they’re may experience delays due to the demand experienced by vehicle inspection services.

Therefore, for fleets that are unused during this period the following principles can apply:

  • The PMI schedule is frozen or paused during the period that the vehicle is not used.
  • The time to the next inspection can include any relaxation that applies to relevant vehicles.
  • If the vehicle has exceeded its normal or, if it qualified for relaxation, it’s extended PMI period, a technically competent person (technician if possible), is to carry out an enhanced walk around check, which includes tyre pressure measurement and brake performance test. The brake performance test, if not undertaken on a roller brake tester, will need to include a measured temperature check of the brakes after a road test. The temperatures are to be recorded and retained.
  • Vehicles over 12 years old and more than 50% or 4 weeks, whichever is greater, over their PMI cycle will receive a full preventative maintenance inspection before use.
  • Regardless of the combination of relaxations applied, no vehicle will be put into service if more than 17 weeks has elapsed since the last full PMI.

These legislative measures are subject to change periodically.

Please ensure you refer to the link below, or speak to your local traffic commissioner to keep up–to-date with any changes which may affect your fleet.

https://www.gov.uk/search/guidance-and-regulation?parent=%2Ftransport%2Fprofessional-driving-of-lorries-buses-and-coaches&topic=b4e41212-77b8-44ba-8fb5-6aa479b20d36&order=updated-newestt

Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

DFT have announced that heavy goods vehicles will be exempt from dangerous goods (ADR) annual inspections until further notice. 

If your vehicle is due for its ADR annual inspection and you are continuing to use it, you will need to download and complete a declaration of compliance. A copy can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-dangerous-goods-vehicle-adr-annual-inspections#what-you-need-to-do

For each vehicle, at least 10 days before the inspection expires, you must return the completed document to the DFT by emailing adrbooking@dvsa.gov.uk. The declaration allows DFT to issue a waiver for the technical inspection.

To ensure your journeys are covered by the waiver, you must carry a copy of the following documents in the vehicle:

  • The DFTs confirmation email
  • ’Authorisation 945’ issued by the Department for Transport

It is important that you continue to comply with the ADR requirements while the exemption is in force. You must make sure:

  • All required equipment and equipment for personal protection is carried on the vehicle and available for use
  • The vehicle has the correct number and size of serviceable fire extinguishers – these should be easily accessible
  • The driver carries the right documentation, including instructions in writing, transport documents and drivers’ training certificate
  • All the required vehicle documents are in the vehicle

When does the waiver process not apply?

You cannot get a waiver for:

  • A new non-type approved dangerous goods vehicle being put into service for the first time
  • A vehicle where the details on the ADR1C document have changed – for example, a change of owner or the products it’s allowed to carry
  • A dangerous goods vehicle which is not covered by The Goods Vehicles (Plating and Testing) Regulations 1988 – for example, a vehicle or trailer (including the maximum load it can carry safely when it’s being used on the road) that’s less than 3.5 tonnes (this is sometimes called the ‘gross vehicle weight’)

For further information visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/annual-inspection-waiver-for-tank-vehicles

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Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

There is a saying that ‘if you bought it, a lorry brought it’ which reflects the critical role of commercial vehicles as the lifeblood of any economy.

The essential daily work carried out by lorries and trucks, often operating to strict schedules and tight margins, requires specialist support and expertise to ensure vehicles are fit for purpose and effectively managed.

For a supplier to succeed in this market, they require expert in-depth knowledge and a commitment to customers that recognises the unique challenges facing the sector.

This is exactly what drives the leadership team at BNP Paribas Rental Solutions, part of the global BNP Paribas group.

The company’s commercial vehicle contract hire offering has been built around BNP Paribas Rental Solutions’ reputation for expert knowledge in its core markets of France and the UK, where it has 10,000 vehicles under management.

With a commitment to providing stability and support to its clients, the right leadership is essential to carefully balance continuity, innovation and growth. In the UK, Benoit Laflamme is leading the way, after taking over the helm of the Rental Solutions business last year.

Laflamme joined the business from Element Fleet Management, a North American leader in vehicle fleet management, where he was vice-president of global business development, based in Paris. He has also held business development roles at Volvo Financial Services and GE Capital.

At BNP Paribas Rental Solutions, Laflamme is responsible for maintaining and enhancing its reputation for service and driving future growth.

Among his goals for strategic development of the business is the introduction of digital tools to give customers more insight and awareness about their fleet operations.

Laflamme said:

Our BNP Paribas Rental Solutions business is going through a period of rapid growth and it is crucial we have the right team in place that will be instrumental in delivering against our ambitious targets. The business has an ambitious growth plan in place. I am confident my previous experience in fleet cost optimisation and strategic business development will be invaluable to my role.

Jean-Michel Boyer, chief executive officer of BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK, said:

Benoit has a proven track record in enhancing the customer experience through effective process improvement and strong leadership skills. These skills are of paramount importance to our successful future growth.

Laflamme is one of several new appointments at BNP Paribas Rental Solutions, including Ged Mellish, who has joined as head of operations, with responsibility to introduce lean operational processes that deliver best-in-class customer experiences.

Mellish joined the business from Saint-Gobain, where he was regional fleet engineering manager jointly responsible for the management of 3,000 heavy and light commercial vehicles, including the company’s MHE fleet leased to internal customers in the UK.

As a specialist in commercial vehicle contract hire, BNP Paribas Rental Solutions offers a nationwide maintenance network and financial solutions that have the backing of one of the world’s major banks, which also owns global vehicle leasing company Arval. Executives say the business has a strong commercial collaboration with the ability to cater to customers’ needs from LCV to HGV.

What sets BNP Paribas Rental Solutions apart is its commercial vehicle focus and expertise, which can support more complex vehicle specifications, including ancillary equipment, in demanding operational environments.

It focuses on direct relationships, rather than relying on brokers for growth, as it needs to work closely with clients to maximise the benefits of its services.

Customers typically opt for four to five-year funding cycles, but then may extend their contracts because of the specialist nature of the equipment, which takes substantial management time to specify and replace.

As part of its growth plans, BNP Paribas Rental Solutions will be extending its product range to offer standalone fleet management services, with a focus on minimising downtime for customers and driving down running costs.

Laflamme said:

We will offer our fleet management expertise to handle uptime, compliance and cost control, so we become a hub for our customers as fleet manager.

Demand for its expert advice is growing as the operational environment for large vehicles becomes more complex, including the introduction of Ultra-Low Emissions Zones and alternative fuels.

This is affecting schedules for replacement cycles and leading companies to consider alternatives to outright purchase as a funding option to protect cashflow.

With the introduction of Ultra-Low Emission Zones, fleets don’t know whether to defleet or move vehicles. When the energy choices expand, there is greater uncertainty over residual values, so they might turn to us for support rather than outright purchase.

We are very engaged with suppliers about new equipment and the complexities of the changing supply chain, which we see as an opportunity for us. The market is changing faster than the supply chain, so we are making customers aware of the consequences and the potential solutions.

It is an exciting period to be in the market as it is far from business as usual and that makes it particularly challenging and rewarding.

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Media Contact

Lauren Goodfellow
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here