WLTP – What does it mean?

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WLTP stands for Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (trips off the tongue right?!) and is a new global regulation test for measuring the level of air pollutant, CO2 emissions and energy consumption in light duty vehicles – cars and vans to you and me.

It applies to all petrol, diesel, electric and hybrid vehicles and replaces the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test that has been in place for the last 20+ years. After recent huge criticism of NEDC (remember diesel-gate?) and manufacturers accused of misstating emissions figures and misleading customers, authorities needed to react to restore faith in the system. To underscore that point, it is believed that most cars on sale and on the roads in the UK today do not meet their claimed fuel economy figures by as much as 25% or more.

WLTP tests are carried out in a laboratory which helps to ensure accuracy and repeatability and introduces much more representative testing conditions based on data from “real driving” which will provide a more accurate basis for measuring emissions and calculating a vehicle’s fuel consumption, providing more detailed and realistic vehicle performance data.

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The WLTP tests place more emphasis on the mass and aerodynamics of the vehicle, the rolling resistance of the tyres and the options fitted to the car including alloy wheels, tyres, panoramic roofs, towbars, roof bars, active cruise control, air conditioning and autonomous emergency braking.  This means that a vehicle’s CO2 value can only be finally determined once options have been chosen, even for the same model of car. 

So, testing will become more accurate and as a consumer you will be better informed – so far so good right? Maybe, but there are a couple of key things that you should be aware of.

Firstly, all new vehicles MUST be compliant with the new regulations by 1 September 2018.  So what?

Although manufacturers have been aware for a long time of these changes coming in, many are simply not ready and certainly won’t be come the beginning of September this year.

After the 1st September, the manufacturers legally cannot sell the non-compliant vehicles they have in stock and could actually find themselves in the situation that they may have to scrap them.

If you are in the market for a new vehicle or vehicles over the next few weeks, you could be in line for some amazing deals as manufacturers rush to offload vehicles before the deadline. Watch this space…

So far so good?  That depends.  If you currently drive a company car then a key date for you will be 6th April 2020. This is when the government will be using the results from WLTP testing to calculate new Benefit In Kind (BiK) figures for company car drivers in the UK. Remember the CO2 emissions of your vehicle are a key component of this calculation. Essentially – the higher your CO2 emissions, the more you will be taxed for your company car based on your tax rate and the cost of the car itself.

So, driving the same car that you have been driving up to 6th April 2020, you could find yourself paying a significant amount more in company car tax after this point.

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As with all these things, GDPR, the millennium bug (for those that remember that!), the key message is don’t panic!  The main thing is to make sure that you are making an informed decision about what you are doing now and how this could change in the future.

We’re here to provide you with all the information you need to make the right decision for you and your business. If you’d like to talk to our expert team about your individual circumstances or to get more detailed information on how WLTP might affect you, simply click here or call 01924 790660 or visit www.bluestonevehicles.com

 

Bluestone Leasing Gains Cyber Essentials Certification

Bluestone Leasing are delighted to announce that we have gained Cyber Essentials accreditation as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to cyber security best practice and assurance

Cyber Essentials is a Government-backed, industry-supported scheme to help organisations protect themselves against common online threats and requires companies to implement five technical control themes:

·         Firewalls

·         Secure configuration

·         User access control

·         Malware protection

·         Patch management

“How organisations look after the data they handle has never been more in the spotlight. We are committed to having the very highest standards across our business and achieving the Cyber Essentials accreditation demonstrates this. Being independently audited to the highest standards gives our partners and customers total confidence and reaffirms why they choose to work with us.”

Vineesh Madaan, Managing Director at Bluestone Leasing

 

Funding for Technology

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You and your products are at the cutting edge – innovative, pioneering and new.  So are our finance solutions.

For nearly 22 years we have specialised in financing technology projects of all shapes and sizes. Remember we finance orders from as little as £1,000 up to large, multi-million pound projects for UK organisations and, often, their overseas sites too. Over that time we have built the largest, specialist funding panel in the UK with over two thirds of our 45 banking partners not accessible directly by your customers.

With their support, we can bundle all the costs involved (hardware, software, support and services) into one low, fixed amount every month meaning your clients can benefit from the very latest equipment and solutions, both now and in the future.

Don’t forget 100% software projects are a speciality for us – from one year license renewals through to agreements spanning 3-5 years. Larger projects often benefit from our residual value (RV) product which keeps repayments really low and offers lots of flexibility to the client at the end of the agreement.

Study While You Work at Bluestone

Amy McGarry is one of three employees at Bluestone Leasing undertaking an apprenticeship with Damar Training.

Having just completed her level three BTec diploma in business administration Amy took some time out of her work and studies to tell us about her course and why she chose to study alongside working.

Amy McGarry

“I made the decision to move onto level three of my apprenticeship shortly after completing level two, having enjoyed the modules I completed in levels one and two and seeing how they improved my work on a day to day basis it seemed like the perfect way to continue my progression at Bluestone Leasing.”

“This course involved 13 modules made up of four written exams and nine pieces of coursework as well as on the job observations and discussions between course tutors and my colleagues here at Bluestone. I was also required to create a portfolio of work undertaken in the office with annotations on the changes I made to processes and documents based on my learnings.

The course has focused my mind on best practices, task management and prioritising my workload. I have found that my confidence has increased as I have completed my level three studies which has allowed me to speak up more and put my opinions forwards, which is something I wouldn’t have felt comfortable doing in the past.

One task that particularly helped with my confidence was presenting to my colleagues and delegates; I was asked to deliver a presentation around the modules I was studying and the changes I have and would like to make to certain processes at Bluestone Leasing. As the topic was something I was comfortable and confident talking about it took the initial nerves away and allowed me to focus on my delivery rather than the content of my presentation.

Standing up and presenting in front of people was a big hurdle for me to overcome and since completing the task this is something I would be comfortable doing again, both in one on one situations and in larger groups.

The apprenticeship has led to me having increased responsibility at work with my role having progressed through three different phases as my knowledge has increased. With my level three modules completed I am now managing the running of our brand new office building in Wakefield, looking after everything from stock management, alarm system maintenance and contractor hire. This has again given me a huge boost in confidence as knowing that Bluestone Leasing has so much faith in me gives me the confidence to excel in this new role with the aim of progressing my career here and taking on more and more responsibilities with every passing month”

 

Spread The Cost Of Your VAT & Corporation Tax Bill

Do you struggle with the burden of paying your VAT and corporation tax bill?

In the last two years alone businesses in the UK have paid over £43 billion to the government in VAT and corporation tax payments.

Receiving a large VAT bill at the end of each quarter or corporation tax bill at the end each year can put a huge strain on your company cash flow, especially if you are paying tax on work that is invoiced but yet to be paid.

Using a VAT and Corporation Tax loan allows you to spread the cost of these bills over a period to suit you and helps you with budgeting for the full year.

Get in touch today to discuss, with your dedicated account manager, how Bluestone Leasing can help ease the burden of tax bills and allow you to retain capital.

BSL Services

 

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Kick Start 2016

Every January, at the start of our financial year, the business gets everyone together for our annual Kick Start event. Invariably this is held off-site and over the years we have mixed up domestic locations, such as Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham and York, with more exotic destinations such as Rome and Copenhagen.

The day essentially breaks into three distinct sessions. The morning is made up of presentations that review the year just completed and, more importantly, set out the strategic direction and objectives of the business for the year ahead. After lunch we get everyone involved in team building activities, which vary every year, and the day concludes with a company dinner complete with annual awards and the obligatory night out.

This year we did something quite unique and quite special. Last autumn we helped our client, Bon Coeur Fine Wines, to relocate their business to new premises at Scotch Corner just off the A1. Having been involved with the project throughout, I was delighted to see the finished building. In addition to modern warehousing and distribution space, the property boasts facilities for events and conferences with elegant kitchens and bespoke space for tasting sessions. It didn’t take long for my mental cogs to start whirring and discussions began with the owners…

Three months later, Bon Coeur delivered a fantastic and bespoke event for our business. Split into six teams, each one had to come up with a concept for a new wine – very much in an Apprentice style. Not only did they have to come up with the concept and name, they had to blend the wine from different grapes, complete a wine tasting challenge, design their wine label and even cook a meal from an unknown box of ingredients to compliment their chosen wine! A three minute power pitch to a panel of judges in front of all their peers notched up the tension and created a real buzz as the winners were announced. Great day and a great event – so much so that Bon Coeur intend offering the package to others looking to do something similar.

As the person responsible for these key annual events, I was delighted with the response from the team with many describing 2016 as the “best Kick Start ever”. Its difficult to capture so much of what was great about the day but this tongue-in-cheek “Movie Trailer” will give you a small taste of what we got up to.

Thanks to everyone at Bon Coeur and all the Bluestone team for putting in so much energy to make the day the huge success it was.

Steve Russell