Category Archives for UK Fleet news

How to benefit from fleet insurance in 2019

How to benefit from fleet insurance in 2019

The new year is a popular time to buy a new car with most showrooms offer attractive discounts along with easy payment options. Insurance brokers also get on the bandwagon by offer attractive discounts on fleet and car insurance 

Owners of business vehicles including vans, lorries and couriers can look to swapping over to a fleet policy in 2019 to save on insurance costs. According to Fleet Insurance it can be possible to make substantial savings, as much as 20%. Brokers can offer better deals if you can bundle in your business premises insurance and your other policies with your fleet insurance. Now that you have simplified the process with one only one renewal date and the ability to apply simple changes the cover of your entire fleet by a phone call or email to your broker.

Owners of private or business vehicles can reduce their insurance costs by not making trival claims against their policies. In addition remember that paying off the whole premium in one payment is always cheaper than monthly installments. Drive your likelihood of needing to make claims by driving safely in 2019. Never ever text when driving or get distracted by your mobile device. It is a fact that this is a major cause in road crashes.

Prove to your broker that you are a good driver or an occasional driver by fitting  a telematic device. Share this driving data with your broker to prove you pose lower risk and get rewarded with a lower insurance premium in 2019. Help both yourself and your broker by installing a dash cam. This will protect you against fraudulent claims that have been on the rise over recent years.

Check you policy for items in there that you will never need. The classic example is cover for travel to Europe when you know this will never be used. Take time to Identify any such items. Next contact your proposed broker and ask them to provide a new quote. The new quote should only provide cover only for the things that you need. A word of caution this is not an opportunity to lower your cover benefits, but just remove cover that is not required. 

With advances in safe driving technology accidents should be on a downward spiral. The truth is that some types of avoidable accidents have been on the increase. One of the key culprits is the mobile phone. Still too many drivers are being distracted by in car gadgets especially the mobile phone. View it as your social responsibility to follow the rules that apply to hand phones or you could be the cause and victim of an horrific road crash. Make it your sole responsibility to drive safely in 2019.

What Pushes Up Insurance Premiums and How to Avoid Them

What Pushes Up Insurance Premiums and How to Avoid Them

Knowing what pushes up insurance premiums and how to avoid them is critical if you want to save money on fleet van insurance or multi car insurance coverage. This includes what you do when you are driving, extra equipment you can use to reduce the costs and insurance premium tax imposed by the UK government to name a few.

What is the UK Premium Insurance Tax?

This is a tax imposed on most types of insurance policies issued in the UK including automobile coverage. This is classified as an indirect tax that was first imposed on the public in 1994. The reason for the tax was because the UK government felt the insurance industry was not taxed sufficiently so they created this tax to collect revenue from them.

There are 2 different rates.

  • 1
    The standard rate is currently at 12% which most vehicle owners now pay.
  • 2
    The higher rate is at 20% and is applied is special instances.

In truth, the tax is imposed upon the insurance companies. Like all expenses imposed on the insurance industry, they pass it on to the public in the form of higher premiums. This percentage has doubled in the past 3 years.

The only thing that can be done to counter this tax is to get parliament to reduce or remove it.

Does Texting while Driving Increase my Premium Rates?

It is already known that being distracted while operating a motor vehicle is very dangerous and could lead to an accident. With the rise in texting on a mobile devices, there has been a rise in accidents from drivers that are distracted.

To help combat this problem, insurance companies now deploy technology that can tell if the driver was texting or using their mobile during the time of an accident.

The simplest way to prevent an increase in your insurance premium is to not use your mobile device while operating a vehicle. If you are using your mobile device and your vehicle is involved in an accident, your fault or not, your premiums will go up.

Can I Reduce my Premium Cost when taking out a Policy?

When you purchase your policy is a big factor in the overall cost of your premium. By purchasing your insurance in advance by as much as 1 month can significantly reduce the costs you will pay. This occurs because people that are prepared and do not wait until the last minute are viewed as those that take fewer risks.

Are there Other Ways to Reduce my Insurance Premium?

  • Allow your insurance company to install a black box in your vehicle so your driving telemetrics can be recorded.
  • Do not modify your vehicle. By adding a supercharger, alloy wheels and even a modified exhaust system will cause your insurance premiums to increase. Not only do these modifications cause the vehicle to go faster, but the vehicle then becomes a target of thieves.
  • Avoid placing stickers on your vehicle. This is also considered a modification and will increase your insurance premium.
  • Have more than one driver listed on an insurance policy will reduce the premium cost if the additional driver has a good driving record.

These are a few of the reasons on what pushes up insurance premiums and how to avoid them. The best way to reduce your fleet insurance premium is to drive safely, make no claims and get no tickets.

Can Driver Assist Technology Increase Accidents

Levels of Automation

As the race continues for a fully autonomous car Thatcham push back.  A fully autonomous vehicle needs zero human interaction and is level 5  on Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) scale of zero to five. Whilst fully autonomus cars will most likey result in lower multi car insurance, the savings may be offset by the cost to purchase such a high tech car.

The levels below can be viewed as stepping stones to reach this goal. Level 0 is where we started with no driver assist tools to warn drivers for example if they are leaving their driving lane.

Thathcam claim that these driver tools led by steps in both technology and artificial learning can cause the driver to switch off or become disengaged. The point is that until level 5 is reached the driver must always be ready to step in and override the system. However as trust in the technology increases the human driver may believe it is safe to switch off. However, these self drivering cars are still far from perfect and infcat the AI part is still learning.

Colin Grover

principle engineer

“What we see with increasing levels of technology is drivers tend to be distracted and start engaging with other activities,”

How will we know that we have reached level 5 and AI Learning stops

The idea behind driverless cars is that it will make the roads much safer with next to zero accidents. An autonomous system that is just a few percent safer than the human driver will never be accepted. These driverless cars must be close to perfect. This is the dilema until they reach this goal the driverless car will always need a human on stand by.

The drivers of fleet cars are experienced and can use human insights or intuition to predict possible actions of other drivers and take action to mitigate or avoid the accident. Think about how hard that will to achieve by an artificial intelligence

One solution offered is letting the driver designate parts of the route that are fully autonomous. These would be easy driving times, for example motorway driving. During these times the driver can safely disengage. However, stages of a route that are more tricky the driver would be alert and on stand by.   

Take steps now to lower multi car insurance 

As the race continues towards the level 5 car others steps to reduce fleet insurance costs  are available and actionable.

Plans to protect road users released by UK Department for Transport

Fleet insurance experience why it is important

The department for transport in the UK has released new measures on how they plan to further protect vulnerable road users. A total of 50 new and updated measures are aimed at protecting the most vulnerable. The most vulnerable road users include cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders.

The actions are aimed squarely at reduced the number of fatal accidents that involve cyclists and pedestrians.  in 2017 figures show that 100 cyclist and 470 lost their lives on the UK roads.

What are these new measures ?

The full details have not yet been releases, but we do know that they will iclude the following:

Dutch Reach

This requires that car occupants open the car door using the hand furthest away from the door handle. This will better ensure that doors are only opened after checking for oncoming traffic.

Cycle awareness courses

The costs of  future fleet or multi car insurance may be reduced by putting your drivers thru a course aimed at improving awareness of cyclists and pedestrians.

Dedicated Police unit

This has actually been deployed with some success in Wales. The approach is to analyse video footage to identify and take action against blatant dangerous driving.

This an area that machine learning could be used to  teach an AI to learn what is dangerous driving by analysing reams of video footage that is now available. The

AI can then do the legwork leading to many more convictions for dangerous driving and safer roads in general.  When this happens roads will be  safer and costs for personal and business fleet cover will come down as accidents from dangerous driving are greatly reduced.

More Money for local councils

The Dft  have also proposed setting aside more funding for local councils to be sued to make  walking and cycling safer.

Not everyone happy enough is been done

Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Cycling UK says, “ignoring the threat and dangers of speeding is disappointing."

Will AI also be the answer to speeding? I think yes, what do you think? Start the debate below.

Falling Asleep Major Cause of Accidents

Falling Asleep Whilst Driving is Avoidable

Figures released by a survey carried out by the AA in the UK  reveal that as many as 1 in 8 drivers have fallen asleep whilst driving.  The AA charatible trust also discovered that many more have been scared that they would doze off due to tiredness.

It may come as a surprise that you are liable. If you fall asleep you will be prosecuted and can face serious charges, fines  and penalties. After that the you will find it very difficult if not impossible to get any level of cover in the future.

This type of accident is more likely to very serious due to the fact that no preventative action was taken to lessen impact or avoid obstacles. The costs are excessive and it the insurer that must cover these costs and may be in range of 7 figures if life has been lost. 

Don’t let tiredness creep up on you. Stop. Take a break

The AA Charitable Trust

If you are a fleet manager think how this type of accident could negatively impact your fleet insurance costs. Take time to consider if any of your drivers are at risk, regardless plan some inhouse awareness training of the likelihood of serious outcomes if they were to become one of these statistics.  Awarness can only help reduce this avoidable accident cause.

Take preventaive Steps. 

  • Take regular breaks and limit the number
  • Feeling tired pull over to rest station and rest until the drowsiness recedes.
  • If you are planning a long journey , get to bed early the night before.  
  • If the drive is monotonous listen to some music and keep alert to dangers
  • Share the driving: Every 2 hours or less pull over and swap drivers.
  • Driving fast requires more concentration and will tire you quicker so no speeding.
  • Avoid night driving especially between midnight and 06:00 as your body has been conditioned to sleep during these hours.

Be attuned to the danger signs

  • Losing focus on task of driving, mind easily distracted.
  • Feeling irate and restless.
  • Crossing over into wrong lane.
  • Yawning and eye rubbing, hard to keep eyes open.
  • Making unusual driving mistakes.

Fleet Management CheckList

Fleet Management Checklist

The list below compiled by Compare Fleet Insurance is not exhaustive, but you can treat it as a good starting point to review your existing company fleet management procedures and policies.


  • 1
    Do you have a supplier lease agreement in place for acquisition of company vehicles?
  • 2
    Is vehicle safety and cost of repair a factor in purchase decisions?
  • 3
    Do you consider the insurance category during the purchase process?
  • 4
    Do you have a  vehicle replacement arrangement with the fleet supplier or company in charge of vehicle maintenance and repair? 


  • 1
    Have you appointed one person with the necessary skill set to manage the company fleet?
  • 2
    Are staff members made aware of their responsibilities in regards to your fleet policy?
  • 3
    Are all drivers fully aware of the consequences for not following company policy?

Company Fleet Policy

  • 1
    Has senior management endorsed the company fleet running policy including the company fleet insurance policy?
  • 2
    Does your staff induction program include education on the company fleet policy and an employee's responsibilities? 

Driver Training & Education

  • 1
    Do you have a driver improvement education program?
  • 2
    Do you employ software to detect and inform on areas for driver improvement?  
  • 3
    Do you monitor drivers with higher than normal accident rates, do you provide additional training for these identified drivers?

Inspection and regular Maintenance

  • 1
    Have your drivers been trained on carrying out regular safety and vehicle maintenance checks?
  • 2
    Do you maintain a history of maintenance and repair at vehicle level?
  • 3
    Do you outsource vehicle fleet repair to a national company?
  • 4
    Do you have separate agreements for specialist repair service take for example windscreen repair?
  • 5
    Are drivers expected to perform checks prior to taking vehicles out each day, take for  example head and tail light checks, tyre checks and fluid level checks.

In summary following the above checklist will ensure that you focus on the important elements of fleet management, but it is not exhaustive.

Glosssary of Fleet terms

Glossary Jargon of Fleet Cars

The Glossary Jargon of Fleet and Company Vehicles

The world of fleet management and fleet insurance comes with its fair share of jargon. They key terms that will crop up again and again include:

Benefit in Kind : These are extras or perks that are given to an employee the company car being the most cited example, but could also include prizes given by the company. 

Benefit in Kind Tax :  Company car tax is calculated based not only their list price, but also the fuel type and the CO2 emissions. 

Grey FleetThis is the term used for a vehicle that is being used for business, but not owned by the company. For example the vehicles is owned by the employee or a private rental. 

MID: Motor Insurance Database - A central record of all insured vehicles on the roads in the UK that is managed by the Motor Insurers Bureau.  

MID: The Motor Insurance Database contains a central record of all UK insured vehicles updated daily by insurance brokers and accessible via the cloud. The database is maintained by the UK  Bureau of motor Insurers.

Mileage Pooling : Being able to offset low mileage cars that have exceeded site limits imposed on miles driven per annum. 

P11D Value : This  value is used to calculate the amount of company tax that you are liable for. The price comprises of the vehicle list price delivery charges plus VAT. 

PCH : A method of car leasing without ever actually owning the vehicle. The approach is to make an upfront payment followed by monthly payments. An option to buy outright is normally available at the end of payment period. 

Telematics : This a device with a GPS component that enables tracking over the internet or the cloud. Key features include the storing of data that can then be sued to help improve driving of and optium routes when route planning.

VED : Better know as Vehicle Excise Duty is annual tax levied on the vehicle owner. As of April 2017 it is derived from the CO2 emissions level and list price. If your vehicle has zero CO2 emissions the good news is that you pay zero tax.  

VIN – Vehicle Identification Number – A unique number that’s assigned to vehicles during the manufacturing process. VIN numbers are used to do HPI checks to determine the history of a vehicle.

VIN – The is a unique number that identifies each vehicle and is assigned by the manufacturer. These are checked to determine the true history of a vehicle and should be checked before the purchase of any vehicle.

SaaS Tom Tom Fleet Management

A review of TomTom Telematics Webfleet SaaS solution

With the advent of cloud computing your company no longer needs to invest in costly computer hardware and the associated costs of providing an air con room and technical staff. Take the advice of Compare Fleet Insurance and simply search for fleet management and SaaS.

What is SaaS

SaaS is an acronym for software as a service. Which means you no longer buy and host the software, but take advantage of cloud computing and remotely login to the service and let the hosting company take care of software updates and uptime etc.  

So, if you wish to save your company money without a big upfront investment check what services are available under the SaaS model within the fleet management arena.

Costs reduced by a whopping GBP30,000 per annum 

One such provider of fleet management as a cloud service has helped shave off GBP30,000 in fleet costs for Zip Water UK.

Interested? The product from TomTom is named webfleet and incorporates the OptiDrive 360 solution. One big plus of OptiDrive is that it is able to provide real time feedback to drivers on ways to improve their driving and thus reduce the likelihood of being in an accident. 

The benefits have been witnessed by Zip Water UK, see that statement from their fleet manager below. Zip Water run a 120 strong mixed fleet comprising of multiple cars and vans.

".. we have seen a demonstrable improvement in fleet mpg, along with a sizeable reduction in our vehicle maintenance bills, including tyres and brake wear"

Graham Short, fleet manager

Zip Water UK

Another selling point should it be needed is an end to the time consuming manual completion of driver log sheets.  Instead use an app feature that lets you complete this with the assistance of your mobile device. This greatly reduces both paperwork and the time needed at the end of the work day.

Majority of large UK fleets now adopting telematics

Rise of Big Brother

Is your company using technology to reduce fleet insurance and related costs? Research carried out by UK company Arval shows that more and more fleet companies are employing the help of telematic data to reduce fleet costs. The data collected enables fleet managers to make smart decisions based on information provided by these recording devices.

A major survey of UK fleet managers carried out by Arval  found the key reasons for introducing fleet telematics were as follows: “improving driver safety’ (87%), ‘improving driver behaviour’ (875%), ‘reducing fleet costs’ (75%) and ‘optimising journeys’ (70%)”

Why the big uptake? Apart from the above the cost barrier has fallen significantly making it easier to recover costs over a shorter period of time.

In addition the strides being made in machine learning enables the data to be used predictivaley. For example predict the types of driver behaviour that is likely to lead to accidents.

The attraction of telematics is that the collection of big data can be used to improve not only drivers behaviour, but can also be used to help optimise route planning. 

Intelligent Route Planning  

The data collected can be used to intelligently plan optimal routes thus costs associated with time on the road.

Big data is analysed to provide information on ways to reduce fleet accidents thereby increasing driver safety. This information can then be used to pinpoint specific areas of weakness at individual driver level.  The end result should be comprehensive fleet insurance at a lower cost.

Machine Learning applied to fleet management

This is achieved to some extent by the intelligent analysis of data provided by the telematic device(s) and with the help of machine learning algorithms which enables ongoing improvement in these and other key areas that result in lower costs. If you are using telematics  then ask you broker for telematic fleet insurance which will be cheaper than standard cover.