Business Motoring

Tread with Care: proposed change to minimum tyre tread depth

Tread with Care: proposed change to minimum tyre tread depth 1000 600 Anthony Anthony

Calls by the tyre industry for increasing the minimum tread depth to 3mm, or even 4mm, have been met with strong resistance – surprisingly, by Michelin. They argue that their tyres are made to guarantee effectiveness right down to 1.6mm, and that premature replacement is a waste of money, harmful to the environment and potentially reduces its overall safety performance.

Keeping track

The legal limit remains at 1.6mm across the central 75% of the tyre (a threshold set by motoring experts some 25 years ago), with a recommendation by RoSPA in 2005 to replace tyres at 3mm due to their diminished performance particularly in wet conditions – as the depth decreases stopping distance in wet weather will increase.

Recent research reported by tyre retailer KwikFit has shown that 73% of our blue light services (police, fire & ambulance) change their vehicles’ tyres at a tread depth between 2.6 to 3mm, some 10% in fact change them as early as 3.1 to 4mm. This is of course encouraging, understanding how greater tread depth can reduce stopping distances in wet conditions – and KwikFit’s view was that motorists should follow their example.

Michelin however, are challenging this move with their own new research: they are in favour of not replacing tyres at 3mm, but rather waiting until they are close to the 1.6mm limit. Their study has shown no link between tread depths of 1.6mm and accident rate, and perhaps surprisingly that a premium tyre worn to this limit can perform as well as a brand new lower-performing tyre. Changing a tyre early therefore doesn’t guarantee safety and they are advising against premature replacement.

All new tyres are not equal, nor do they wear or perform in service at the same levels. Differences in casing design, tread pattern, materials and rubber compounds all affect wear and performance. Lower quality tyres which may perform well and meet standards when new, in tests, can slide 30% in performance when tread reduces to below 3 or 4mm. Higher quality tyres can perform well through to the legal limit.

They are promoting wider testing of tyres as a guide to in-life performance, rather than going by a blanket rule which may waste tyres with many more safe miles left in them.

The cost of change

Michelin commissioned Ernst & Young to investigate consumer costs and they determined that replacement at 3mm would cost EU drivers almost an extra €7bn in purchase costs and fuel consumption. It would also require an extra 128 million tyres in Europe per year, with 9m tonnes of additional CO2 released.

Furthermore, new tyres with greater tread depth are less fuel efficient than those with lower depth: ‘rolling resistance’ reduces with depth, so fuel economy will improve with wear.

They also found that a worn tyre is capable of stopping more quickly than a new tyre in dry conditions – in fact becoming safer with wear.

All Weather

Critically, when we think of tyre safety, we think of driving – and stopping – in wet weather. Michelin’s tests showed that some worn tyres can perform as well as new tyres in wet conditions.

The original MIRA (Motoring Industry Research Association) data from 2003 showed that wet stopping distances start to increase dramatically at tread depths of below 3mm. At the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, the wet stopping distance increased by 36.8% on asphalt vs 44.6% on concrete. Tyres with a 3mm tread had a 25 per cent better stopping performance than those at 1.6mm in the wet.

stopping distance vs tread depth

Michelin’s stand is one of balancing the tyre’s performance in all conditions, not just the wet, and their data clearly supports extended wear beyond the 3mm limit can be beneficial in terms of cost, fuel consumption, and safety on dry roads. That said, given the levels of rainfall we can see here in the UK, and how wet conditions are better handled with more tread depth, whether this view will stand its ground remains to be seen.

“I just can’t agree with Michelin’s stance. I’ve conducted exhaustive tests, measuring cars’ braking distances in the wet on tyres with 8, 3, and 1.6mm tread depths. The 1.6mm tyres took much longer to stop… Admittedly I wasn’t using Michelin tyres – but they were from a premium rival.”

Kim Adams, Auto Express products editor

Losing Grip

Only 1 in 8 drivers check their tyre tread depths regularly according to a KwikFit survey, showing that the majority of points issued in 2015 were to drivers with tread levels below 1.6mm. Road safety charity TyreSafe’s research found that one third of all UK tyres were illegal – either below 1.6mm tread or with other defects. Bristol’s tyres fared worse with over 46% found to be illegal, with Greater London faring best at 13.8%.

“Well maintained tyres significantly reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.”

Stuart Jackson, TyreSafe chairman

N.B. This video is dated 2011, prior to Michelin’s recent study.


Until new guidelines are published, the 1.6mm minimum, and 3mm advisory limit will remain. The key point is to check your tyres regularly; not only is it one of the top three MOT fail items, risking 3 points and fine up to £10,000 is surely an incentive to keep a watch. The AA recommends checking more frequently when tread depth reaches 3mm, and consider replacing the tyre when it approaches 2mm. Always allow extra room for braking in wet conditions, and don’t forget to check your pressures too. Most importantly, maintaining your tyres could prevent you losing grip on the road surface or suffering a blowout – the consequences of either being potentially catastrophic.

Tyres are included with WVL’s Full Maintenance Packages!

No need to worry about the cost of replacement tyres when you lease your vehicle from WVL with a maintenance package – tyres are covered! Whilst it’s still your responsibility to monitor their wear and condition between scheduled services, the cost of replacement is fully included in the deal. Click here for details:

See our current lease deals here or call us on 01753 851561 for more information.

ULEZ London April 2019

London Drivers – Get Ready for the ULEZ Starting 8th April 2019

London Drivers – Get Ready for the ULEZ Starting 8th April 2019 660 300 Anthony Anthony

In just over a month’s time, on 8th April 2019, the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) will come into force in London as part of Mayor Sadiq Kahn’s longer term plan to tackle the dangerously high levels of air pollution in our Capital.

At present, motorists driving in London face the long-established Congestion Charge as well as the more recent Emissions Surcharge, or Toxin-Tax for vehicles not reaching the required emissions standard.

Next month, the Toxin-Tax will be replaced by the Central London ULEZ. It will operate continuously, 24/7 across the existing central London Congestion Charge Zone, and drivers’ vehicles must meet a strict emissions standard, or pay a charge.

ULEZ 2019 map

The vehicles affected are:

  • Cars (petrol and diesel)
  • Vans, minibuses and lighter specialist vehicles
  • Motorcycles, mopeds and more
  • Lorries, coaches and other larger vehicles

The emissions standards are:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (roughly more than 14 years old in 2019)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (roughly more than four years old in 2019)
  • Euro 3 for motorcycles and mopeds
  • Euro VI for lorries, buses and coaches

The charges are:

  • £12.50 per day for cars, motorcycles and mopeds, and vans with £160 fine for failing to pay on time (reduced to £80 if you pay within 14 days)
  • £100 per day for lorries, buses/coaches, with a £1,000 fine for failing to pay on time (reduced to £500 is paid within 14 days)

Check your vehicle now on the TFL website: click here.

There are some exemptions – see here including a grace or ‘sunset’ period for residents extending to 24th October 2021.

Don’t forget

The ULEZ is in addition to the £11.50 Congestion Charge which applies from 7am-6pm Monday to Friday (excluding public & bank holidays), and the LEZ (Low Emission Zone) Charge for heavy diesel vehicles which operates 24/7 across most of Greater London.

The Next Phase

The ULEZ will be expanded from the 25th October 2021 to the North and South Circular roads, covering all the inner London boroughs.

ULEZ map

The 2019 and 2021 ULEZs – click to download PDF

“We’re doing everything in our power to tackle this issue and are starting to see improvements in air quality with the wide-ranging action we’ve taken already on tackling the most polluting cars, and cleaning up our bus and taxi fleet. An expanded Ultra-Low Emission Zone, in conjunction with the Central London ULEZ, will really help transform the air that millions of Londoners breathe.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Clean sweep

A £23m scrappage fund has been set up but only for small businesses with no more than 10 employees to encourage them to switch from their dirty vans to cleaner vehicles. Grants of £3,500 are available for every older van replaced by a Euro6 vehicle, and a £6000 grant towards the purchase and running costs of an electric van. Full details can be found here on the TfL website. Kahn is pressuring the government to extend this to low income households.

Real World Benefits

Whilst TfL predicts just a 5% drop in car traffic in central London in response to the ULEZ, they anticipate that after one year, harmful emissions of NOx and Particulate Matter will have been reduced by 45% in central London and 40% in the surrounding areas. When the ULEZ expands in 2021, this should give a further 20% reduction across London. In real terms, this means over 100,000 fewer people will be living in areas with NO2 pollution exceeding legal limits, and 71% fewer schools will be in areas of illegal air pollution.

Combine this with significant investment in fully electric buses, London’s taxi fleet on track to be the greenest in the world, and ULEZ-style roll-outs across other key cities including Birmingham, Leeds, York, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Manchester and Newcastle, Sheffield and Bath, London is paving the way in the greening of our cities.

Taking Charge

Thankfully the vehicle manufacturers are redoubling their efforts to including hybrid and electric vehicles in their ranges – indeed, they’re the hot topic in this year’s Geneva Motor Show currently taking place.

Here at WVL we have a number of low emission vehicles for you to test drive, including the fantastic hybrid MINI Countryman PHEV, and the 2019 European Car of the Year: the electrifying Jaguar I-PACE. Call 01753 851561 to talk to us about eco options for your next vehicle and join the growing movement towards cleaner air and sustainable motoring!


ULEZ, New Charges & Changes to Drive Air Pollution Down

ULEZ, New Charges & Changes to Drive Air Pollution Down 660 300 Anthony Anthony

Plans, legislation changes, and charges are stepping up a gear in London as Mayor Sadiq Kahn has revealed new proposals for the ongoing improvement to air quality and emissions standards across London. The Toxin Charge already in force is to be replaced on 8th April 2019, by the ULEZ – Ultra Low Emissions Zone – a clean air zone monitored 24/7 across the capital’s existing Congestion Charge Zone.

This new charge will affect a far wider range of vehicles than the current restrictions – for example, two-wheel vehicles are to be included – and vehicles not meeting the ULEZ standards will be charged £12.50 per day to drive into the Zone.

ULEZ phase 1

The ULEZ standards are proposed as follows:
• Euro 3 for motorcycles & mopeds
• Euro 4 for petrol cars, vans & minibuses
• Euro 6 for diesel cars, vans & minibuses
• Euro VI for lorries, buses & coaches.

As a guide, nearly all petrol vehicles manufactured since 2005 will be ULEZ compliant; your V5C (vehicle registration document) will give information on your vehicle’s Euro emission standard.

Check your vehicle now on the TFL website: click here.

ULEZ – Phase 2

Restrictions will be tightened across a wider range of heavy vehicles from October 2020, and, as a further drive towards cleaner air in the capital, Kahn has announced that the ULEZ will be extended outwards as far as the North and South Circulars by October 25th, 2021.

ULEZ phase 2

Full details can be found here – including information on transition discounts for residents of the areas being incorporated.

The new measures are predicted to affect over 100,000 cars, 35,000 vans and 3,000 lorries every day. Critics say it will be the final straw for small businesses. But for the 100,000+ Londoners who will no longer live in areas where the air they breathe exceeds the legal limits for pollution, it’s a vital move forward. Further data shows over 9,000 Londoners die prematurely each year as a direct result of air pollution, and that it creates a £3.7billion drain on London’s economy – there’s a clear and necessary drive towards cleaner air.

Drivers should note that the ULEZ charge will be in addition to the existing weekday Congestion Charge (7am – 6pm Monday to Friday; two-wheeled vehicles are not affected ) as well as the LEZ (Low Emission Zone) charge for heavy diesel vehicles.

Full details on the various charges applicable when driving in London can be found here.

Ban on New Petrol and Diesel Engines

Further acceleration to air quality improvements were announced this week as talks between Sadiq Kahn and a number of leaders from major cities across the UK focused on the government’s proposed 2040 ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles. They motion to bring the ban forward ten years to 2030.

It remains unclear whether this includes Hybrid engines too, but further details on this ‘Road to Zero’ initiative are due to be released soon.

“Banning the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, providing support to deliver Clean Air Zones in cities and introducing a national vehicle renewal scheme will dramatically improve our air quality and our health.”

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

The Diesel Debate

Not surprisingly, there remains much confusion over the diesel/petrol debate in the aftermath of Dieselgate – but manufacturers are working hard to ensure modern diesel engines are as clean if not cleaner than petrol equivalents. This is certainly the case in terms of their lower CO2 emissions. The sector faces a perhaps unfairly accelerated decline, especially across Europe where tax hikes and clampdowns on diesel vehicles are gaining traction – but the greater fuel economy and pulling-power of diesel engines can’t be disputed.

Take Our Advice

If you’re looking for a new vehicle, come and talk to us about your requirements. With changing legislations, charges, and accessibility into London (and soon other city centres) choosing the right vehicle has never been more important, particularly when driving for business. Leasing is the future-proof solution – it makes the very best sense for minimising your emissions, as well as your outgoings – all with minimum commitment.

We can offer new and nearly-new vehicles available on a range of contracts from short-term to four-year deals, so call our team on 01753 851561 – we’ll help get you moving… and keep you moving!

For more background, read our previous post on The T-Charge, Toxin Taxes, and Diesel Engines.

Hand it back early

Hand It Back Early!

Hand It Back Early! 660 300 Anthony Anthony

Hand It Back Early is WVL’s ultimate deal in future-proof motoring.

Choose one of our selected in-stock vehicles on a 2-year Contract Hire deal and you’ll have the option to walk away from the vehicle at 6 months, 12 months and 18 months – no catches, no penalties.

We all know how life can throw surprises at us, so we understand that committing to longer lease terms can be daunting – especially in the current financial climate. But Hand It Back Early gives you the peace of mind that should your circumstances change and you’d prefer not to keep the vehicle to the end of the contract, you can Hand It Back Early!

We’ll miss you… but we’ll understand.

See the currently available vehicles here, and call our team on 01753 851561 to talk about this fantastic opportunity.

Out of hours, please contact us online, and don’t forget, you can see and test drive these vehicles at our Windsor showroom, where you can also speak to us in person to get things moving!

The small print: Two year contracts only on Nearly New and Used vehicles in stock, with a minimum of 10,000 miles per annum based on full maintenance contract hire with a payment profile of 6+23 months. No ownership option, Contract Hire; eligibility conditions apply.

Hand it back early


The T-Charge, Toxin Taxes, and Diesel Engines

The T-Charge, Toxin Taxes, and Diesel Engines 660 300 Anthony Anthony

Hot on the heels of the new Crit’Air Emissions scheme for driving in Paris (see our recent blog post for details), and after news of elevated parking rates for diesel vehicles in some London Boroughs, the UK has taken recent vehicle emissions data and made plans to further penalise drivers of the most polluting vehicles during peak hours.

“The air in London is lethal and I will not stand by and do nothing.”

Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London

“Despite the hype in the media, we should keep in mind that the modern Euro6 Diesel engines with their Catalytic Converters, Diesel Particulate, AdBlue technology and attractively low CO2 are much cleaner than the old diesel engines and are not being targeted with the T-Charge.”

Peter Fletcher, Account Manager at WVL

In the turbulent wake of Dieselgate, the emissions scandal seeded by significant discrepancies in test-conditions emissions versus real-world-driving emissions, the UK has also received a ‘final warning’ from the European Commission for breaching air pollution limits. In one street in London, air pollution levels were measured at the annual limit in just the first week of 2017. And with 40,000 premature deaths caused each year from long-term exposure – over 9,000 of those in London at the last count – action is swiftly being taken.

Recent independent analyses have yielded data which turns the tables on the petrol vs diesel debate. Previously, the key marker was the amount of CO2 generated (a ‘greenhouse gas’ implicated in global warming). On that front, diesel burns more cleanly that petrol, emitting around 20% less CO2 per km than petrol, hence the government’s tax breaks to encourage the sales of diesel engines in 1998. In fact, back in 1990, diesels represented just 6.4% of the vehicles on the road; by 2015, every other vehicle was a diesel. The data, however, overlooked other serious pollutants and real-world analyses has shown diesels to produce 4x the levels of Nitrous Oxides (NOx) as petrol, and 22x the levels of sooty particulates. Policy is changing as a direct result – but not just for diesels, for older petrol engines too.

Emissions testing

The T-Charge

A ‘Toxicity Charge’ will come into force 23rd October, 2017 in London where drivers with pre-Euro4 diesel and petrol engines will face a £10 daily fee on top of the existing £11.50 Congestion Charge in order to drive in the that zone 7am–6pm weekdays; that’s £21.50 per day.

Use this checker to see if your vehicle will be affected:

This will be superseded in April 2019 when central London becomes an Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) with daily charges ranging between £3–£12.50 dependent on your vehicle model’s emissions in a bid to reduce London’s NOx emissions by 50% by 2020. Diesel cars over four years old in 2019 and petrol cars over 13 years old will face the charge 24 hours a day, year-round (in addition to the existing Congestion Charge during weekday hours), in a bid to cut air pollution whilst buses, coaches and HGVs could face charges of £100 per day to operate in the ULEZ. Plans thereafter exist to extend the ULEZ to the North and South Circulars after 2021.

Sadiq Kahn and Anne Hidalgo, the Mayors of London and Paris respectively, are launching the ‘Cleaner Vehicle Checker’ website this autumn where independently assessed, real-world emissions data will be published. This will give consumers and fleet managers crucial information when considering a new vehicle in light of ULEZ fines and restrictions, and it’s hoped this new transparency will incentivise manufacturers to reduce their vehicles’ emissions long ahead of the EU ‘real-world driving emissions’ standards deadline in 2021.

“By having ‘on the road’ testing I believe we will help Londoners make an informed choice and incentivise manufacturers to build cleaner vehicles sooner. The toxicity of the air in London and many other big cities is an outrage and schemes of [this] type have the potential to make a massive difference to the quality of air we all breathe… [London] will have the toughest emissions standard of any world city.”

Sadiq Kahn, Mayor of London

“Every motorist who uses the capital’s roads needs to be ready for some pretty big changes that are coming up as London acts to cut harmful emissions which will either hit drivers in the pocket or force them to rethink their choice of vehicle.”

Nick Lyes, RAC


Low Emission Zone signOther polluted cities across England will also face the new restrictions with Toxin Taxes up to £20 per day, or even bans for the heaviest polluters during peak times. These measures are planned for up to ten more town centres, another 25 more where commercial diesels will be the targets, along with increased parking fees in at least 15 towns and cities. The finer details are yet to be worked out, but Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom has suggested the rules for each location will be written on a case-by-case basis and will announce outline measures imminently.

What about Diesels?

Diesel engines are being hardest hit; there are 11.9 million on the road in the UK and a scrappage scheme has been suggested but remains in debate as the £2billion cost has been deemed too high. Nevertheless, Theresa May has said she is conscious of past governments encouraging people to buy diesel cars and that this would be taken into account in plans made, but it does remain likely that pre-September 2015 (Euro6) diesel cars will be devalued at resale as a result.

Diesel cars aren’t the only emitters of problem NOx and particulates – nearly a quarter comes from coal and other energy plants, and cargo ships too: fifteen of the largest pump out more oxides of Nitrogen and Sulphur than all the world’s cars combined. And even Electric vehicles with their heavier battery packs have been shown to wear their tyres faster and release more rubber-derived particulates.

Manufacturers are quick to point out that Diesel will still have a place, perhaps moreso in vehicles and developing countries, but given the R&D costs involved, those engines will likely render smaller consumer models as uneconomic purchases. That said, with the advances made already in achieving Euro6 standards, diesel is very much still in the running and manufacturers are standing by it.

“It’s a pity diesel got so much miscredit in the past two years, because we all desperately needed to achieve our goals. It can be a really clean engine, and the new diesels really are. And it can also be, and is, the most efficient combustion engine in terms of CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. But I think social acceptance of the diesel is going down, and that the ban from city centres of diesels is bad for consumer confidence. So I see diesel penetration is going to decline.”

Karl-Thomas Newmann, Opel/Vauxhall

“You get high mileage, you get huge torque, but it will get more expensive and it will probably mean in the entry-level cars there will be a shift from diesel to gasoline. But it is still a great engine, and with the addition of after-treatment it will be very clean. Our Euro6 diesels are the best cars you can buy in the industry when it comes to emissions. Diesel is not at its end.”

Herbert Diess, Volkswagen

The Way Forward

Advances in technology are enabling engines to be made more efficient – both petrol and diesel, and with hybrid and all-electric vehicles becoming more mainstream and affordable, drivers have an array of options to consider when making a vehicle choice. Vehicle purchases are significant investments, and with technology moving so fast, it’s getting hard to future-proof that investment.

Now, more than ever, Leasing is the ideal option when considering a new vehicle as it affords you complete flexibility. Motoring doesn’t need to involve the long-term commitment of ownership: trying to select a model now which will still suit you – and not be hit with emissions taxes – in another ten years time.

WVL offer vehicle lease contracts from 1 month to 4 years. Call us on 01753 851561 to discuss the perfect vehicle for your requirements.

Information correct at the time of publication.

Thames Valley Expo 2017

Thames Valley Expo: 11th May 2017… see you there!

Thames Valley Expo: 11th May 2017… see you there! 660 300 Anthony Anthony

Come and say “Hello” to us on-stand at this year’s Thames Valley Expo – Thursday 11th May, 9:30am–3pm at Windsor Racecourse. Once again, we’re delighted to be exhibiting at this prime networking event, billed as the Thames Valley’s largest business show, and given the numbers attending last year’s event, it promises to be another unmissable opportunity for local businesses to come together and connect!

With over 70 businesses exhibiting this year at the last count, we’ll be in very good company, particularly with such a wide diversity of industries represented. Visitors are sure to glean insights and knowledge about new products, services and suppliers, and there’s no better way to start new conversations than meeting in the traditional way… face to face!

Registration is FREE, and via the Expo’s website you can also learn about the industry-leading Seminars and Workshops on offer for gaining top tips and hands-on experience on topics from social media to protecting intellectual property.

There are six keynote speakers coming to the region for the first time to share their inspirational stories and some of  the secrets of their success. These include Andy Street CBE – former CEO of John Lewis, entrepreneurs Nigel Botterill, Roslyn Bell, Steve Clark, James Sinclair, and Michelle Mills-Porter who’s an expert in sub-conscious communication… so no slouching at the back!

With something for everyone, and lots to learn, make a date for Thursday 11th May and come say “Hello” to us on-stand at Windsor Racecourse. We’d love to hear about your business and its vehicle requirements… and feel free to pick our brains about how leasing your next car or van can help make the most of your motoring budget, and drive your business forward.

Thames Valley Expo website
Royal Windsor Racecourse – Maidenhead Road, Windsor SL4 5JJ

WVL's Bodyshop is BSI Kitemarks accredited

Our Bodyshop passes another BSI Kitemark™ Spot Check!

Our Bodyshop passes another BSI Kitemark™ Spot Check! 660 300 Anthony Anthony

You may not realise, but WVL also has an in-house bodyshop, fully equipped and in the very capable hands of a team of experts to undertake your vehicle’s repair to the highest of standards. We put this expertise to the test back in 2014 when we invited British Standards to inspect. We were thrilled to pass, becoming PAS125- and now BS 10125-accredited and have proudly held and displayed the BSI Kitemark™ for Vehicle Damage Repair ever since.

BSI Spot Checks

Once achieved, a Kitemark™ – like the high standards it represents – must be maintained through an unwavering commitment to quality, tested twice-yearly in unannounced BSI spot checks.

We are delighted to announce that the WVL Bodyshop has passed yet another BSI spot check – with flying colours – continuing our track record for excellence!

It’s worth mentioning that these inspectors really do give no notice… they turn up at 9am and are here for the entire day. To say the inspections are thorough is very much an understatement!

The inspectors check:

  • all the vehicles currently in the workshop to ensure we’re using and following the correct repair procedures;
  • all our training records to ensure all our staff have the necessary, and up-to-date, qualifications;
  • all our equipment to ensure it’s on live maintenance contracts and has been correctly maintained and calibrated.

Man, Method, Material & Machine are all scrutinised!

What does this mean for our customers?

The Kitemark™ is a renowned badge of quality, reliability, safety and integrity. In holding this accreditation, our customers are assured that any repairs to their vehicle will be undertaken to the industry standard, or better, and that customer satisfaction and safety is delivered every time.

84% of drivers said they would feel more comfortable if the car body repair centre had the BSI Kitemark™ for Vehicle Damage Repair*, and the Kitemark™ scheme is also recognised by most major insurers too. WVL also have our own recovery vehicle so we can collect your vehicle no matter how bad the damage.

WVL's bodyshop is BSI Kitemark accreditedWVL's bodyshop is BSI Kitemark accredited

“From vehicle graphics to resprays and accident repairs, our BSI 10125 Kitemark accredited bodyshop complements our showroom here in Windsor, Berkshire.”

Martin Ryan, Bodyshop Operations Manager

An industry-leading all-round service

…From our showroom and expert team to help you select the very best vehicle and the very best deal… to our ongoing customer service, fleet management, vehicle servicing & maintenance… through to our on-site BSI Kitemark™ accredited bodyshop covering every eventuality.
We’re the one-stop-shop for your motoring needs.

Learn more about our Servicing and Bodyshop here.
Bodyshop Hotline: 01753 801904 Leasing Hotline: 01753 851561

* An independent study conducted in Great Britain via OnLineBus, an internet omnibus survey, for BSI in 2012.

Changes to Car Tax from 1st April 2017

Road Tax Reform: new prices from 1st April 2017

Road Tax Reform: new prices from 1st April 2017 660 300 Anthony Anthony

Announced in July this year, the Treasury has revised the current Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) payments for vehicles registered 1st April 2017 onwards to account for the growing number of tax-exempt cars being purchased – the current system, according to Osborne, being unsustainable.

Under the new rules, only Zero Emissions vehicles will remain tax exempt. If your chosen vehicle is emits 1g CO2/km or more, a one-off tax charge will apply to its first year based on a 13-band CO2 emissions based scale ranging from £10 to a staggering £2,000. Then, year 2 onwards, a flat annual rate of £140 will apply.

New VED system – for cars registered from April 1st, 2017
Emissions (g CO2/km) Year 1 rate Standard rate thereafter *
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 £1,200 £140
226–255 £1,700 £140
over 255 £2,000 £140
* Cars costing over £40,000 pay a £310 supplement in years 2 to 6

It seems that over 60% of vehicles which currently pay zero tax in their first year of ownership will likely see their costs rise.

Furthermore, if your vehicle costs over £40,000, an additional £310 supplement will be payable for five years once the Standard Rate kicks in, i.e. years 2 to 6.

Vehicles registered before 1st April 2017 will be taxed under the old system, i.e. on a scale ranging from £0 – £1,100 based solely on CO2 emissions.

Whilst these new payments will be earmarked solely for road repairs, maintenance and improvements – the first time since the 1930s, many are disappointed that the new rates may disincentivise manufacturers to produce low emissions vehicles as they strive for zero emissions.

How will current models fare?

AutoExpress have published an enlightening list highlighting the highest and lowest proportional increases. Surprisingly, certain Peugeot 208, Ford C-Max, Lexus IS300h and VW Passat models all suffer 950% increases in road tax over 3 years – from £40 to £420. At the other end of the scale, the SEAT Alhambra increases around 10% from £435 to £480 and the Ford Mondeo EcoBoost by 23% from £390 to £480, again, over a 3 year ownership period from new.

Seeing how the elevated tax for first year ownership is likely to cost us all more for the vast majority of vehicles, once again, leasing comes into its own with those initial outlays and losses (depreciation) associated with driving a brand new vehicle, being reworked into affordable, fixed, monthly payments.

Talk to us at WVL about your vehicle requirements, the new road tax implications, and how we can help you drive your choice of vehicle at the best possible price.

WVL's month-long Test Drive Event

#TestDriveYourBestDrive 2016 – the Results are in!

#TestDriveYourBestDrive 2016 – the Results are in! 660 300 Anthony Anthony

The start of September marks the end of our month-long test drive event – from the early days of #SmallCarWeek through to the grand scale of #7SeaterWeek – our forecourt has been what feels like an Olympic-scale arena for this first-of-a-kind showcase of motoring might!  Now a time for reflection on proceedings, did Windsor Vehicle Leasing also strike gold? It’s a firm ‘YES’ as far as we’re concerned.

Firstly, we’re extremely grateful to all the manufacturers who have provided vehicles for the event – Audi, BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Lexus, Mahindra, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Peugeot Citroen, Renault, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Volvo. The collaboration has been much appreciated and the key-for-key swaps worked seamlessly. It showed the strength of our relationships and the confidence all the manufacturers have in their brands. No-one is afraid to stand comparison with anyone else. There seemed to be a consensus that what we were doing was a great idea, with more than one manufacturer pointing out that they couldn’t understand why no-one had come up with this concept before.

We would also like to thank the customers, existing and potential, who made the effort to come along and do the test drives. Hopefully they found the unique opportunity to compare brands and technologies worthwhile. In some instances, it was enough for visitors to sit in the cars; get that feeling which no amount of online research can replace.

WVL Test Drive event Small Car Week

WVL Test Drive Event, week 2 - Family Saloon Week

We’re aware that WVL may not necessarily see the direct benefits of this unique event, though it can only be a positive that we had so many visitors and enquiries. It was our intention to shake the tree during the traditionally quiet month of August and if the fruit fell elsewhere, then the industry was still the winner. It’s a bonus that we have quoted for and won business as a result.

The event was publicised through the local press and via social media across our Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts where each individual car’s arrival was posted online. If some of the puns which accompanied the postings were excruciating, please allow for wordplay fatigue by Week 4! Nevertheless, good old footfall played a key part in us getting as many bookings as we did. Our position on Clarence Road usually guarantees interest from passing customers and there’s nothing like a line of new, gleaming cars to catch people’s attention.

WVL Test Drive Event, week 3 - SUV Week

WVL Test Drive Event, week 4 - 7-Seater Week

There’s no doubt, weeks three and four – the SUV and 7-seater weeks – provoked huge interest, as well as testing our forecourt organisation and parking skills. However, all four weeks, including small cars and family saloons, provided excellent opportunities, both for customers and the staff of WVL to familiarise themselves with the very latest models and technology, meaning Windsor Vehicle Leasing can continue to provide the most comprehensive and tailored customer experience.

There seemed to be a consensus that what we were doing was a great idea, with more than one manufacturer pointing out that they couldn’t understand why no-one had come up with this concept before.

It’s fair to say, the vehicles supplied showed that nowadays, there’s not really such a thing as a bad car. Probably the area of greatest change and progress is the on-board technology. Time in a vehicle is important. It would be easy to become a nervous wreck without exposure to and proficiency in the safety systems, including lane control, collision alerts and integrated braking systems. Even knowing how to start a car these days can be an adventure, though it’s always simple enough once you know! Interestingly, no-one seemed inclined to try the self-parking modes! Seems we still like control!

Of course the selection of vehicles not only gave many of our visitors the opportunity to have a fresh look at classic models, but also a first close-up look at relatively new technologies such as hybrids and electric cars.

For us at WVL, there was the bonus of a visit from a sporting icon. As you may have seen in our posts on the day, West Indian legend Gordon Greenidge, one of the finest opening batsmen of all time, took the opportunity to come by. Just for a while, the gleaming cars were outshone and talk of the off-drive replaced the test drive!

It is our firm intention to repeat this event in the future. Of course, others may try to do so in the meantime… but we’ll always know we were first!

If you’ve spotted something in the line-ups above, or would like a quote on a particular vehicle, please get in touch. Our Configurator allows you to spec-up a vehicle to your exact requirements, though we’d be happy to offer advice and suggestions if you’re at all unsure. Either way, try our online Quote Form, email us at [email protected], LiveChat with one of our leasing experts using the tab at the bottom of the screen, or simply call us on 01753 851 561, and let’s talk leasing!

Test Drive your Best Drive this August at WVL

The Ultimate Test Drive Event at WVL this August!

The Ultimate Test Drive Event at WVL this August! 660 300 Anthony Anthony

This August at WVL, we’re hosting an unmissable motoring event! We’ve invited over 20 of the leading manufacturers to provide their latest, greatest vehicles for you to drive in what can only be described as the ultimate test drive event!

Test Drive Your Best Drive

This August at WVL: Test Drive your Best Drive – over 50 vehicles, from over 20 manufacturers over 4 themed weeks.

WVL have always put excellent customer service and insightful advice at the top of the list when it comes to winning and maintaining long term customers. Our event acknowledges that when a customer is in the market for a new vehicle, they’re faced with having to visit countless different dealerships, trying to coordinate test drives between them all, and having to remember all the facts and figures about each vehicle – not to mention how the look and feel of one compares to another. We also understand that brand-specific sales staff are of course obliged to favour their own when customers ask comparative questions.

What’s missing in the usual process?

Customers rarely – if ever – have the opportunity to compare different manufacturers’ vehicles side-by-side, test drive them back-to-back, and to gain objective advice and opinion about the pros and cons of each from truly impartial experts.

And that’s why, this August, we’re hosting this multi-marque, near-‘Olympic’-scale test drive event!

Each week we’ll focus on a particular category of vehicle, starting with Small Cars on the 1st August, on to Family Saloons, SUVs and 7-Seaters, week on week. Customers will be able to view and drive their choice of vehicles from our Windsor Showroom and gain a unbeatable opportunity to pitch them head-to-head.

4 Themed Weeks

Leasing Experts

Don’t forget, we’re leasing specialists and with a savvy team well-versed in how best to make the most of any motoring budget, we’re here to help you find the perfect vehicle for the ideal monthly payment.

Leasing is the smart, depreciation-beating way to drive a new car, and our month-long event this August gives you access to a full range of makes and models – and the very best deals – all under one roof here at WVL.

Book now!

We’re taking bookings already to ensure we can guarantee customers’ choice of vehicles and ample appointment time, so please register your interest now!

Click through to for a full listing of all the vehicles available each week. Spot your favourites, complete the enquiry form, and book your test drives today!

Click through to full details