Car Leasing Blog

Electrification of cars and the 2040 deadline

Earlier this year, the UK Government announced their plans to ban the sale of all new conventional diesel and petrol engined cars by 2040.

Some were initially alarmed- after all, the take up for electric cars is still very low, and the infrastructure still sadly lacking in many places.  Read carefully however, and you’ll be reassured to know petrol and diesel hybrids are still going to be available.

The exact detail of what will and won’t be allowed come 2040 is not yet known, but it signals the beginning of the move away from burning fossil fuels in order to get around on the road.

Electric cars, and their plug in hybrid cousins are improving all the time. Their range is ever increasing due to advances in battery technology. Charging is also getting easier, as more charging stations become available, some in innovative locations such as built into street lamps (addressing the issue of charging at home if you don’t have a driveway).

While all-electric cars are still somewhat niche, the range of plug in hybrids is bigger than ever. There’s a great choice of cars from the humble Toyota Prius, to the impressive BMW X5 hybrid.

At Skyfleet, we have two plug in hybrids in our car park- for a team of hitherto petrol heads, the tide has certainly turned!

We’re excited for the changes ahead, car makers will continue to innovate- especially when legislated to do so. 2040 is some 23 years away, you only need to look back 23 years from today to see how far they’ve come in terms of design, technology and efficiency!

Posted in Car Leasing and Contract Hire News | Tagged , ,

What is AdBlue and who pays for it?

AdBlue technology is now fitted to more diesel cars than ever before

If you’re looking at leasing a new diesel car, the chances are increasing that it will come fitted with AdBlue technology, and therefore require AdBlue refills in the course of your motoring.

What is AdBlue?

Despite having the word “blue” in its name- AdBlue is actually colourless. It’s a non toxic liquid that contains water and urea (yes, urea!).

How does AdBlue work?

The liquid is sprayed into the exhaust gases as they go through the exhaust system. The AdBlue combines with the exhaust emissions, and in doing so it breaks down mono-nitrogen oxides into harmless nitrogen and oxygen.
It’s a good thing for improving air quality (the days of smoky diesels are behind us), which is much publicised at the present time.

How can I refill the AdBlue?

In much the same way as windscreen washer fluid or fuel- there’ll be a filling hole on the vehicle where it can be refilled. Some vehicles require a nozzle to refill, but this is widely available and often comes with the liquid. The location of the filling tank varies by vehicle, usually it’s in the boot or next to the fuel filler hole.

How do I know if my new car required AdBlue?

It’s easy to check- ask your account manager or check the manufacturers website for details. Remember, it’s only for diesel engines so if you’re looking at petrol engined vehicles, you needn’t worry.

Who refills the AdBlue?

You do. In the same way as fuel or oil, the AdBlue will need to be monitored and refilled as necessary. Don’t worry, the car will give you plenty of prior warning to fill it up in good time. Depending on the size of the AdBlue tank and how the vehicle is driven, the refill interval is normally quite long, into the thousands of miles.
Often the AdBlue is an item on the service checklist, so when your vehicle has it’s periodic service it may well be refilled then as well. In the case of leased vehicles, this is the only occasion when an AdBlue refill cost may be covered within the lease.

Where can I get AdBlue?

Due to the massive increase in vehicles that require it, AdBlue is now widely available. You can order it online, purchase it at petrol stations, motoring supply stores, or even dealerships (although be prepared to pay a heavy premium especially if you ask them to refill it for you!). Some filling stations have AdBlue pumps so you can purchase only as much AdBlue as you need.

Is AdBlue expensive?

At the time of writing, a 10l container of AdBlue costs around £10, so it’s not expensive.

What if I don’t refill my AdBlue tank?

This is not recommended, and will likely result in the cars management system either severely limiting or disabling the engine- so it’s important to keep it topped up.

To conclude, AdBlue helps to clean the gases from your exhaust and reduce harmful emissions at a fairly minimal cost. So if your new car comes with AdBlue tech, don’t worry!

Posted in Driver Information | Tagged , , ,

New penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving

From today (1st March 2017), new rules have been introduced imposing tougher penalties for using your mobile phone whilst driving.

If you’re caught- you can now expect to receive a fine of £200 and 6 penalty points on your licence. If you’ve passed your driving test within 2 years of receiving those points- that could mean losing your licence.

If your case goes to court- you could be disqualified or charged a fine of up to £1000.  Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could be fined up to £2500.

The police are out in force for the introduction of these rules- and will be on the look out for any offending drivers on a 7 day crackdown, with extra patrols in place.

The majority of modern cars include Bluetooth, hands free telephone connections; meaning there should be no need to touch your phone at all while behind the wheel. The advice to remove any temptation is to stow your phone in the glovebox. Fines and penalties aside, it’s for your, and other peoples safety after all.

Posted in Driver Information | Tagged , ,

Changes to VED (road tax) from 1st April 2017

Road tax (or Vehicle Excise Duty/VED as it’s officially known) is changing this April

If you’re considering a new car it’s important you read on!

In just two months time a major overhaul of VED is due to take effect- and depending on the car you’re considering, could make quite a difference to the cost (and that’s the same whether you buy or lease).

In recent years the amount of tax paid was linked to the cars CO2 emissions. With Co2 emissions falling (on paper, at least), the tax take has of course reduced. Cue a big change to the structure of road tax.

What are the VED changes?

For the first year of registration, the tax is still linked to CO2 emissions. Cars with zero emissions (such as full electric) get to keep a rate of £0. Those with emissions of 1g/km CO2 and upwards- will pay a rate for the first year banded depending on how much CO2 it emits. The tax increases quite steeply for those emitting 151g/km and above, to a maximum of £2000 for the most polluting of cars.

From year two and onwards- any CO2 emitting car pays a flat rate of £140 per year.

There is a sting in the tail, however- if the car you choose has a list price of over £40,000, an additional rate of £310 per annum is charged, for 5 years.  This applies irrespective of CO2 emissions, so high value full electric cars will also attract the additional rate.

Here’s a table of the new tax rates:

CO² emissions (g/km)

First year rate

Standard rate*

0 £0 £0
1-50 £10 £140
51-75 £25 £140
76-90 £100 £140
91-100 £120 £140
101-110 £140 £140
111-130 £160 £140
131-150 £200 £140
151-170 £500 £140
171-190 £800 £140
191-225 £1200 £140
226-255 £1700 £140
Over 255 £2000 £140
* Cars with a list price of over £40,000 when new pay an additional rate of £310 per year on top of the standard rate, for five years

 How do the new VED rates affect car leasing?

The VED changes will affect leasing a car the same as any other way of funding or purchasing- that is, if the amount of tax due for the period you lease the car is more on the new system, the lease rentals will increase proportionately. It’s important to remember that in recent years, road tax has fallen for most cars due to the ever decreasing CO2 emissions emitted, and we have of course gotten used to high powered, high value cars having very low VED charges!

Here’s a table to illustrate, approximately, the impact the changes will have on 24, 36 and 48 month leasing agreements from one of our finance companies, Leaseplan:

Rental Impact from VED Changes

The majority of the vehicles we supply have CO2 emissions of less than 151g/km, so the impact to customers is not going to be especially significant, providing the list price is below £40,000. Those vehicles with a list price over £40k will see a noticeable increase. When choosing your car, do pay close attention to any additional accessories you select, as that could be all it takes to tip it over the £40,000 threshold.

What about cars registered before the 1st April 2017?

Any car registered up until and including the 31st March 2017 will be on the old VED scheme. In the vast majority of cases, this is cheaper. You can expect to see offers for vehicles registered in March but available for delivery April and onwards for a short while after the 1st April.

If you’re considering a new car in the next few months- we recommend you get in touch now. It might be we can find you the car you want in time to beat the VED changes and save you some money!

If you miss the boat, don’t fret- it’s the same for everyone, and the changes to rates will quickly become the new normal…

Call us on 01233 730260 to find out more.

Posted in Taxation | Tagged , ,

Mercedes Coupes- Spot The Difference

New Mercedes E Class Coupe pictures released

This week, images were leaked online of the new Mercedes E Class Coupe. Due to hit the roads next April, it follows the current design philosophy of Mercedes-Benz- externally borrowing many design cues from the S Class Coupe, and more recent C Class Coupe.

In fact, put all three side by side and you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference- so here’s a little game of spot the difference (OK- I’ve helped you by telling you what each one is!). I’m sure you’ll agree, they have more than a passing resemblance to each other?

Is that good or bad? Only you can decide, what’s for sure is they’re all very good looking cars indeed.

Mercedes C Class CoupeMercedes C Class Coupe

New 2017 Mercedes E Class CoupeThe new 2017 Mercedes E Class Coupe- available from April 2017. (Please note- at the time of writing the pricing shown on our website is for the old model- new model pricing to follow as soon as it is available)

 

Mercedes S Class CoupeMercedes S Class Coupe

Posted in Mercedes Car Leasing | Tagged , , ,