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The potential implications for UK fleets from the VW emissions scandal

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Thursday, October 08, 2015

While the recent VW emissions scandal came as quite a shock to everyday drivers, the news carried even more weight for fleet operators. Currently, fleets are responsible for 2.3 million car registrations in the UK and are incredibly important to both the manufacturing industry and world-renowned brands like Volkswagen.

So, in light of VW’s “defeat device” and the resulting investigations that are currently taking place, automotive intelligence group Sewells asked more than 300 fleet decision makers for their predictions on the potential implications the scandal could have.

The need for clean cars

Of all the company cars that are currently on UK roads, 81 per cent are fuelled by diesel. Although the reason for this choice is largely down to better fuel economy, several fleet decision makers take emission figures into account too. In total, 90 per cent consider CO2 emissions to be important when adding new cars to choice lists, while 84 per cent look to manufactures to cut NOx emissions in their diesel vehicles.

But because of the scandal, more than half (54 per cent) of respondents now say they are less likely to trust claims made by all manufacturers. A further 62 per cent also revealed they are less likely to trust VW Group’s claims too.

Future fleet decisions

With more than two thirds (68 per cent) of fleet decision makers believing that cars in the UK will be affected and a similar number (61 per cent) expecting reimbursement for any resulting recalls in the UK, the scandal could have a big knock-on effect when it comes to future purchasing from VW.

Currently, 41 per cent of those with VW models on their fleet are looking to review their current orders from the manufacturer and half claim they are reconsidering the manufacturer’s position on choice lists. Three in every four (73 per cent) are also looking for reassurances from VW that their vehicles are not affected.

No higher duty

The one bit of good news for fleet owners with VW cars is that the government will not impose higher Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) for models with the illegal software.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "The Government expects VW to support owners of these vehicles already purchased in the UK and we are playing our part by ensuring no one will end up with higher tax costs as a result of this scandal.”

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