A weekly roundup of fleet news from around
the UK and Europe

Santander company car
scheme ‘exceedingly’ popular

More than 160 vehicles have been ordered in
the first month of Santander’s salary sacrifice car scheme
available to all of the bank’s UK employees.

The scheme, managed by Zenith, aims to boost
Santander’s environmental credentials with all vehicles used capped
at 120g/km of CO2 emissions.

Drivers are offered a range of annual travel
from 5,000 to 40,000 miles, over two or three years, with an option
to buy at the end.


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Alphabet’s Romanian

BMW-owned fleet company Alphabet International
has expanded its operation in Eastern Europe through a deal with
UniCredit in Romania.

Alphabet now offers its fleet management
services in Romania in an extension of the existing partnership
with the UniCredit Fleet Management in the Czech Republic and

Nancy Strop, head of marketing and business
development at Alphabet, said the move into Romania through
cooperation with UniCredit was a natural progression: “We can now
support our customer in yet another important market with our
expertise and renowned service offering.”


Commercial vehicles up 7.5% in EU,

New commercial vehicle registrations for
December 2011 were up 7.5% on the same month in 2010, and up 9.9%
year-on-year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’

The 2011 total of 1.94m new units sold,
including 166,739 vehicles in December, was still short of the
pre-crisis level of 2.5m.

Across the EU (excluding Cyprus and Malta),
the biggest growth in 2011 was in heavy trucks (those over 16
tonnes excluding buses and coaches), which saw registrations rise
by 36% on 2010.

Light commercial vehicles were up 7%,
commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes (excluding buses and coaches)
were up 29%, and busses and coaches were down 0.7%.

Overall sales increased significantly in
Germany by 16.3%, 2011 compared to 2010, including a growth in
sales of light commercial vehicles of 22.6%.

Full figures
can be found here


Acfo to run Olympic seminar

Acfo, the association of car fleet operators
in the UK, is to host an Olympic Seminar on 1 March 2012 to advise
companies how best to minimise business disruption during the
Olympics and Paralympics in London this August.

Bodies represented at the seminar include
Portman Travel, Transport for London, the Institute of Travel
Management and the Freight Transport Association, and more than 70
Acfo members have confirmed their attendance.

With traffic management is under scrutiny in
the lead up to the Games, Transport for London has published a
map of expected travel hot spots
, the London 2012 homepage has
Underground stations to avoid
, and the UK press have ran
stories fearing a
variety of road crises
from fines for improper lane use to
supply problems for
emergency blood deliveries


Hourly rental offered by Europcar

Car rental service Europcar has become the
first company in the UK to offer car hire by the hour.

Prices will start at £10 per hour for cars
(for a minimum of two hours) and £11 per hour for vans (for a
minimum of eight hours, excluding all airports).

Ken McCall, managing director, Europcar UK
Group explained the company “wanted to break the rules to give the
motorists more flexibility and take away the barrier of cost.”


Isuzu’s sushi moving

Food distributors Lucky Red, a subsidiary of
the Yearsley Group has added two Isuzu Forward refrigerated trucks
to its fleet.

Lucky Red, who specialise in fish delivery,
were supplied the trucks from Manchester dealer The Hulme Group,
and will use them mostly to supply Chinese restaurants across the
north of England.