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

Over the past two decades we have witnessed the introduction of many ‘Clean-technology’ alternatives to the Internal Combustion Engine for the sub-18t commercial vehicle sector. Many have been superbly engineered and evidenced, in small volumes, to provide a genuine proof of concept for urban and suburban applications.

We can look back at the pure EV’s from Smith Electric Vehicles and Modec as prime examples. We have also seen highly credible hybrid solutions using technologies such as fuel-cells, mini-turbines and supercapacitors.

Unfortunately a number of factors conspired against mass-adoption. These included:

  • A lack of infrastructure, from a recharging and/or refuelling perspective
  • An inability to mobilise an immature and specialist supply-chain to produce components in high volumes
  • A nervousness to provide finance from Contract Hire and Asset Finance providers

Lack of volume means higher build/supply costs, and regardless of how ‘Green’ medium and large corporates want to be, the product has to stack up from up from a total cost of ownership (TCO) standpoint. The suppliers have to have a profitable and sustainable business model to ensure they will be around to support the product for the next 10 years. Niche manufacturers didn’t have pockets deep enough to support sale prices at a level that created volume, resulted in critical mass and ultimately a positive TCO to the user. The large OEM’s have the pocket size to develop and support the introduction of low-emission vehicles, but many have hedged until they had visibility of what was to be introduced in terms of regulation and legislation.

HGVs account for 4.2% of UK carbon emissions, so decarbonising the sector is essential to meet the UK’s goal of achieving Net Zero by 2050. An increasing number of UK and European cities are (or are planning to) introduce high tariffs or complete bans on vehicles which do not meet stringent emission levels. Commercial vehicle OEM’s are now realising that a large market is going to open up for load movements and deliveries into cities and are accelerating the deployment of vehicles to fulfil the requirement.

So what is available now and does it fulfil the CSR agenda for large fleet operators?

One such technology that is certainly worth serious consideration is Biomethane-Compressed Natural Gas. The gas is currently sourced from waste feedstocks, such as food waste, and is the most environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to diesel for HGVs.

The Vehicles

Iveco, Volvo and Scania are established manufacturers of CNG powered trucks. Iveco are 20-year veterans of LPG and CNG technologies. They have produced over 32,000 gas powered vehicles, and have supplied to major operators such as Hermes, UPS, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

Iveco has an available range covering

  • 3.5t – 7.2t with a runge up to 300 miles
  • 16t Rigid with a range with a range up to 300 miles
  • 26t Rigid with a range up to 500 miles
  • Tractor 4×2 with a range up to 350 miles
  • Tractor 6×2 with a range up to 300 miles

Infrastructure

CNG Fuels Ltd is a leading operator of bio CNG refuelling infrastructure and is embarking on a major roll-out of new facilities across the UK with current sites in Leyland, Crewe, Northampton (M1) and Warrington (M62). New sites will be opening throughout 2020 in Liverpool and Birmingham and during 2021 in Avonmouth, Bellshill, Wakefield, Newark and Milton Keynes. The Fuel supplied by CNG Fuels is 100% renewable and sustainable Biomethane approved under the UK Department of Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme. It cuts vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 85% and is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel.

BNP Paribas Rental Solutions has experienced a rise in interest for CNG products. We have calculated a TCO benefit for certain age and mileage profiles. We support the deployment of this technology and would be delighted to provide contract hire quotations. If you are interested, contact us.

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

What steps do I need to take?

Where a standard operator temporarily loses access to an operating centre as a result of restrictions imposed during the outbreak, traffic commissioners will give serious consideration to the grant of a grace period to operate from an alternative site.

The Senior Traffic Commissioner has set a starting point of 4 months grace period for qualifying operators. They have allowed for a maximum period of 6 months should the circumstances require.

A traffic commissioner will wish to be satisfied as to where the vehicles will be parked in the alternative site. It is recognised that during the period of the outbreak it may not be practical to lodge an application for a new operating centre, which may only be required for temporary use.

What if I have a Restricted licence?

Restricted licence holders do not have the facility to request a grace period but should notify the traffic commissioner for direction as to how to proceed.

Please see below for further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/senior-traffic-commissioner-issues-a-statutory-document-in-response-to-the-covid-19-outbreak

Media Contact

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

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

The Government says that the cleanest lorries will pay less to use UK roads after it announced changes to the road user levy.  

From February next year, lorries meeting the latest Euro VI emissions standards will be eligible for a 10% reduction in the cost of the HGV levy.

The cleanest lorries generate 80% less nitrogen emissions than dirtier ones, said the Department for Transport (DfT). Those lorries that don’t meet the latest emissions standards will be expected to pay 20% more.

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Media Contact

Suhale Vorajee
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here

The majority of fleet operators believe leaving the EU will increase fleet costs. A Fleet News online poll showed almost 60% of respondents believe Brexit will hurt fleet budgets with higher costs.

The conclusion contrasts with an earlier poll in March 2016 where close to the same number (61%) of respondents believed there would be no negative effect on fleet costs.

A further poll – before the referendum – suggested more than half of fleet operators wanted the UK to leave the EU, with the number backing Brexit significantly higher than the score for remain (51.6% vs 42.8%).

Fleet decision-makers say they lack clear guidance on how to best prepare for the consequences of Brexit, as current talks appear to show little sign of agreement over the UK’s future trade relationships with the EU.

Since Fleet News first guaged audience opinion, trade body Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has expressed concern at uncertainty over the future trading structure with the bloc, as well as the impact of tariffs on goods crossing EU borders with the UK post-Brexit should the Government walk away from talks without a deal.

Not only would this potentially increase the cost of new vehicles, especially those imported to the UK, it would also make UK-built vehicles more expensive for foreign customers, dramatically affecting the competitiveness, and therefore the viability, of UK car plants.

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Media Contact

Suhale Vorajee
Head of Marketing and Communications
BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions UK

T: 01179 100 895
Email here