A weekly round up of European and UK fleet stories featuring LeasePlan values, Spanish data, French deals, Villanueva police, Arval and FLI appointments, UK workshop, SME rentals, Manheim qualifications and Fiat sales.

LeasePlan expands partnership with BCA

BCA will provide wholesale market valuations and remarketing trade-in vehicles for LeasePlan’s German-based used car retail outlets, in addition to an ongoing programme of end-of-lease sales.

LeasePlan appraises trade-in vehicles and BCA uses this information to provide a precise wholesale valuation.

The partnership with BCA allows LeasePlan to increase transparency in the remarketing of part-exchange stock, with a complete audit trail for every stage of the process.

Wolfgang E. Reinhold, senior vice-president for car remarketing, operations and procurement at LeasePlan, said: "It gives us confidence that the vehicles we take in part-exchange are valued accurately which gives us additional flexibility within our retail used car operations."

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…and releases guidance on UK company car taxation

In the UK, LeasePlan has published a guide to company car taxation following this year’s budget announcements.

With the cost of running a 560-vehicle contract hire fleet expected to rise by £102,683 over a four-year cycle, The Inside Track: a guide to company car taxation explains how businesses can reduce their bill.

The report, produced in association with Deloitte, explains the impact of new tax provisions such as re-calibrating CO2 thresholds for Capital Allowance, new Company Car Tax Bands including ultra low emission vehicles and the cancellation of the planned September 2013 fuel duty increase.

David Brennan, managing director of LeasePlan, said: "With greater awareness in society of the need to curb pollution and up to three million company cars on the road, the Government is using the UK taxation system to incentivise lower-carbon fleets. It will come as no surprise that carbon emissions are a key factor influencing the tax structure, and should be a central consideration for employers when designing company car policies or choosing which vehicles to lease."

Spanish vehicle fleet leasing down 8.4%

The number of fleet vehicles on long-term rentals in Spain fell 8.4% year-on-year to 419,351 units for the first half of 2013, according to the Asociación Española de Renting de Vehículos. Turnover in the sector for the second quarter of the year was down by 7.9% to €1.85bn (£1.6bn).

The drop was attributed to persistent economic uncertainty, reducing the activity of businesses, particularly their willingness to invest in fleet renewal. The average lease term for the first half of the year was 46.42 months, up from 46.15 for H1 2012.

Rental registrations totalled 70,460 units, 16.31% of all registrations in Spain for the first half of 2013, worth €1.28bn.

The market penetration of leasing companies stood at 29.69%, up from 28.69% from H1 2012, despite the number of vehicle lease registrations dropping 18.51% year-on-year to 35,541 units.

Arkema Group signs with GAC Technology

French chemical production company Arkema Group has chosen GAC Technology to manage its vehicle fleet and fleet telecommunications in France and other European markets, covering 9,000 employees at 30 sites. Globally, Arkema has 14,000 employees at 91 industrial sites in 40 nations, with a turnover of €6.4bn (£5.5bn).

The agreement follows those with restoration distributor The ECF Group, agricultural cooperative Elva Novia and audit and consultancy firm Mazars, which have all recently taken on GAC to manage their respective fleets.

Jean Charles Martin, business development director at GAC Technology, attributed the deals to the ease of use of his company’s cloud-based software to save both time and costs for fleets.

Villanueva constabulary leases two Ford C-Max

The police of Villanueva, in Extremadura, Spain, have leased two Ford C-Max minivans as part of the constabulary’s vehicle fleet renewal.

Miguel Angel Gallardo, Mayor of Villanueva, who presented the vans to the police, said the lease agreement ensured the covering of repairs and expenses for local law enforcement vehicles.

The acquisition, worth €88,285 (£76,182) over 48 months, was financed by Banco Santander.

Arval UK appoints executive

Arval, the vehicle leasing and fleet management arm of BNP Paribas, has appointed Bart Beckers, as chief commercial officer of its UK operation.

Beckers is currently the managing director of Arval’s UK business.

Benoit Dilly will replace Bart as managing director of Arval UK.

FLI appoints business development director

Fleet Logistics International (FLI) has appointed David Raponi as Business Development Director.

Raponi brings with him over 12 years of experience in the UK leasing and a further five years in both the UK and US daily rental industries.

FLI was acquired by German firm TÜV SÜD in September 2012.

BVRLA and PwC fleet workshop

The vehicle rental and leasing sector can help the government meet its transport and emissions targets, according to workshop hosted by the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The event was organised to raise awareness of the fleet leasing market, assess the impact of government tax policy and explore ways in which policymakers and industry can work together productively.

BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney said "there was widespread agreement on some key issues."

Europcar offers wider services to small businesses

Europcar plans to provide small businesses with access to many of the vehicle hire services usually available only to higher volume users.

The service aims to give local businesses and SMEs more choice and flexibility within a wide range of Europcar’s vehicle hire services.

Ken McCall, managing director of Europcar UK, said: "We know that SMEs have to be even more conscious of costs but can often find that they are excluded from the discounts and benefits that are afforded to big volume rental users."

Manheim staff achieve FTA qualification

Manheim, the commercial vehicle remarketing specialist, has encouraged staff to achieve the Certificate of Excellence in Van Operations from the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

The FTA qualification requires taking an intensive one-day course, followed by an exam, and is retested every three years.

James Davis, director of commercial vehicles at Manheim, said: "By the end of the year, all of our key customer-facing CV specialists, across remarketing sales, operations and other group businesses, will have been through this training."

Fiat Professional strong sales growth in 2013

Fiat Professional, the commercial vehicle arm of Fiat Group Automobiles SpA, has posted strong UK sales growth in 2013.

Sales from January to the end of June 2013 were 7,150 units, an increase of more than 50% over the same period in 2012.

The increase in sales has led to an increase in LCV market share of 1.3ppts compared with last year.