Latest News

Nov 19
ALD Automotive announces new CEO in Ireland
ALD Automotive announces new CEO in Ireland ALD Automotive is pleased to announce the appointment of David Wilkinson as Chief Executive Officer of ALD Automotive in Ireland. Currently Commercial Director, he replaces David Hurley, who is retiring on 31st December 2020. This appointment is effective on 1 January 2021. Serving large corporates, SMEs and private individuals, ALD Automotive in Ireland, previously Merrion Fleet Management, has been present in the country for over 20 years and is the 2nd largest player in the Irish market. Merrion Fleet Management was established at the start of 2000 and grew to be the largest independent leasing company in Ireland. ALD Automotive acquired Merrion Fleet Management in 2017 and this acquisition has facilitated further growth through the group’s strong existing relationships with customers and partners. “David Wilkinson’s expertise and experience will be great assets to continue the successful growth of our operations in Ireland,” confirms Miel Horsten, Group Regional Head at ALD. “I would like to thank David Hurley, who was a founding member of Merrion Fleet Management, for his commitment and dedication over the past 20 years in building the business to what it is today. Our aim is to accelerate our strategic development throughout the Group in the mobility sector and our leading position in Ireland will enable us to benefit from structural trends and meet our clients’ evolving mobility needs.” Biography David Wilkinson has worked with ALD Automotive, formerly Merrion Fleet Management, since 2002. David joined from LeasePlan Ireland and had previously worked for Jaguar Ireland. David joined as Client Relations Manager before becoming Sales Director in 2006 followed by Commercial Director in 2015. David holds a master’s degree in Business Practice from University College Cork.
Sep 21
Aiming for 2 million vehicles in 2020
ALD's Mike Masterson (pictured) looks forward to growth in a variety of geographies and segments in this excerpt from a longer interview in the Fleet Europe 98. Read the full interview in our online magazine (p. 44). It's been a year since ALD International went public. And it's been a very good year, says Mike Masterson, reviewing the annual figures for 2017 and looking forward to even brighter days with new customer-centric mobility services.  At the presentation of your annual report, you said ALD aims to add another 8 to 10% to its fleet size this year. Is that really achievable? “Less than four years ago, we marked our one-millionth car. This March, we passed the 1.5-million mark. That's because our fleet growth is accelerating, from about 7% per annum up to 2011, to 9.8% last year. So it's not just achievable, it's something we have already delivered. That's why ALD has risen from being a mid-range player to leader in Europe.   As for individual segments, our corporate business continues to grow strongly: by 7% last year. The penetration of service leasing in the corporate sector is increasing, so there is plenty of growth potential. Nearly 20 years ago, we were a first mover in partnerships, and we’ve developed a lot of expertise in this area, creating win-wins with our partners – banks, manufacturers, mobility providers, insurers, electricity providers – both financially, and in service delivery. That’s why our partnership business – a maturing segment, with huge coverage – still managed to grow by 14% last year. In private lease, we experienced 40% growth last year. So that’s also clearly an opportunity.  We feel pretty optimistic about the business in the upcoming years and we’re comfortable with our 8 to 10% annual growth prediction. Meaning that we’re aiming 2 million vehicles in 2020 and 3 million in 2025 of which then 1 million will be in B2C.” Diesel sales are under pressure in Europe. Will the share of diesels in your fleet drop? “The strength of this industry is the heavy rotation of our fleets. By the end of 2019, we'll only have Euro 6 diesels. But ultimately, it's about finding the best solution for the customer, based on TCO and what the driver needs. So we're not betting for or against diesel.” As the mix of diesel and petrol cars and their alternatives varies per country, does that give you flexibility in terms of remarketing? “I would think that this helps to balance the portfolio. As does the fact that we're increasingly reselling to individuals, exporting more – 20% and rising – and also developing private lease, some of it as second lease of used vehicles." Another thing on everyone's minds are the possible effects of WLTP. What do you think the impact of the new European vehicle test procedures will be? “Difficult to say, since the rules in each country in terms of the impact of WLTP on registration tax are not yet very clear, even at this late stage. But overall we're hopeful WLTP will produce credible CO2 figures, which will benefit the entire industry. It's just that the transition will be difficult, particularly between coming September and September next year, when there will in effect be two CO2 ratings for each model.” Will WLTP speed up the transition to alternative powertrains in fleets? “Yes, if linked to a CO2-based scrappage plan. On its own: I'm not so sure”. Final question on mobility: BMW and Daimler recently announced that they would join forces on mobility services. Do you foresee that over time they could become a competitor for fleet management solutions? “Yes. But we're looking at a huge market. We currently have about 16% of the corporate market. If we had a million private leases by 2025, we'd still only have 2% of that market. So there’s plenty of room. And there will still be a need for someone to manage all those vehicles. That's a huge opportunity for us, and it outweighs the competitive pressure.” This interview is an excerpt of a longer interview published in Fleet Europe magazine N° 98. Read the full interview in the online magazine (p. 44) Source:
Aug 22
Carmakers clamour to promote electric car options in future models
Uncertainty over the future taxation of diesel cars could bring forward the ‘tipping point’ where electric cars become more cost-effective for fleets than conventional vehicles. While announcements from manufacturers and the Government have created confusion in mainstream media, targets for average CO2 emissions less than four years away are driving the launch of more electric cars. At the same time, improvements in battery chemistry and a reduction in costs are making them more accessible. As the Government and local authorities tackle local air pollution issues by discouraging use of diesel cars, plug-in cars are the likely alternative. In July, an announcement by Volvo that it would only produce cars with electrified powertrains from 2019 was widely misunderstood that it would no longer be producing cars with petrol or diesel engines. But Volvo already offers plug-in hybrid variants in most of its models launched since 2015, and by 2019 it will have renewed its entire line-up. BMW revealed in August that a new flexible vehicle architecture will enable electrified powertrains on all future models, as well as confirming a pure electric version of the Mini would go into production in 2019 in the UK. Oliver Zipse, BMW AG management board member for production, said: “Our adaptable production system is innovative and able to react rapidly to changing customer demand. If required, we can increase production of electric drivetrain motor components quickly and efficiently, in line with market developments.” By 2025, the BMW Group expects EV to account for between 15-25% of global sales. The market for alternative fuel vehicles, which includes hybrids charged by the internal combustion engine, plug-in hybrids, pure electric cars and hydrogen fuel cell models, continues to grow, taking a record 5.5% share of the UK market in July (4.3% year-to-date). The previous alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) market share record was set in June 2017 at 4.4%, and if registrations of diesel cars continue to decline, AFV share will grow, even if increases in outright numbers are more modest. Manufacturers are being compelled along this route by tightening emissions rules, while infrastructure for electric vehicle charging continues to expand. However, not all carmakers are as vocal about electric alternatives. Mazda, for example, has just reaffirmed its commitment to petrol with announcements about the Skyactive-X engine due to be launched in 2019.  The company says it is “working to perfect the internal combustion engine” which it believes will continue to power the majority of cars for “many years to come” and, therefore, will make “the greatest contribution” to the reduction in CO2 emissions. It concedes that such an outcome would need to be combined with electrification technology, but it remains resolute in its belief in efficient petrol engines. Manufacturers are shooting for European Union targets for average new car CO2 emissions of 95g/km by 2021 (versus 130g/km in 2015). Low-emission cars must balance high-emission ones, or manufacturers will face fines for exceeding the limits. They are also being awarded emissions credits for emissions-reducing technology that might not create a significant benefit in official testing, but can be verified to work in independent tests, while vehicles below 50g/km entitle the manufacturer to ‘super credits’, creating a greater offset for higher emission models. Current incentives for purchasing ultra-low emission cars in the UK are set until October 2017, and offer up to £4,500 off a zero-emission car, and up to £2,500 off the best-performing plug-in hybrids up to a price ceiling of £60,000. In July, the UK Government announced an aspiration to stop the sale of new pure petrol or diesel cars in the UK from 2040 and, although the current programme of incentives for plug-in cars is due to finish within months, the car industry believes they need to continue to ensure Government aspirations are met. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said: “The UK Government’s ambition for all new cars and vans to be zero emission capable by 2040 is already known. Industry is working with Government to ensure the right consumer incentives, policies and infrastructure are in place to drive growth in the still very early market for ultra-low emission vehicles in the UK.” The number of public plug-in vehicle charge points in the UK now exceeds 4,000, while Go Ultra Low, the Government and industry body promoting take-up of plug-in vehicles, predicted earlier this year there would be a total of 100,000 registered and in use by the middle of 2017, although this milestone was reached in May.  Meanwhile Chargemaster, a major EV infrastructure provider in the UK, believes there will be at least a million EVs by 2222, possibly “as much as 1.4 million”. Chief executive David Martell said: “Over the next five years, a significant number of new models will have a range of more than 200 miles, with a lower purchase price than their earlier vehicles. Consumers will also be able to choose from a larger range of electric vehicles, from manufacturers including Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Volvo, as well as significant new models such as the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model 3.” Comparing plug-in car costs with diesel Plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles are still only cost-effective in certain roles, but their appeal compared to conventional fuel alternatives continues to grow, as our examples show. Plug-ins are more suited to urban areas with lower annual mileage than vehicles spending much of their time on motorways. Using running cost figures on the Fleet News website, and taking account of the plug-in car grant to adjust the depreciation cost based on the transaction price, a number of plug-in cars offer lower running costs over four years/40,000 miles. Also, projected benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rates over the next three years suggest plug-ins are also more appealing for drivers to minimise tax liability. The GTD, the Golf’s best-selling derivative in the UK, has similar performance to the plug-in hybrid GTE. But the GTE, which qualifies for a £2,500 grant, is projected to offer a £1,300 saving in running cost over four years, as well as a saving in employers’ National Insurance (NI) contributions of around £1,900 over the next three years – the current extent of NEDC CO2 emissions and BIK tax bands. The BMW i3 has a P11D value almost £5,000 higher than a BMW 120d Sport auto. However, the effect of a £4,500 plug-in car grant on depreciation, combined with the lower charging costs of a pure electric car compared with fuelling the 1 Series with diesel, as well as lower servicing costs, give the i3 a saving of around £1,100 in running costs over four years/40,000 miles. NI savings for employers amount to around £1,200 over three years, while there is zero VED to pay in that period compared with £420 for the 120d. CO2 emissions on the E 350e top 50g/km but it qualifies for the plug-in grant because its range exceeds 20 miles and it costs less than £60,000. A running cost saving of £1,200 over a similarly specified diesel E 350d over four years/40,000 miles is boosted by a £505 projected advantage in VED, while employers’ NI contributions are £3,600 for the plug-in car. BIK charges for the driver are around half as much as for the diesel over the next three years. Source: Fleet News
Aug 10
Thieves target keyless entry cars with ‘relay attack’
A new trend in vehicle theft termed ‘relay attack’, is allowing criminals to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems. The new style attack uses a relay device and involves two criminals working together. One stands near the car being targeted and the other stands near the front door of the owner’s home to get in range of the key fob – often left on hallway tables or kitchen worktops. The device then picks up the key fob signal from inside the house and relays it to the car. Using this method, thieves are then able to drive away in a stolen vehicle in a matter of just a few seconds. Tracker says Car criminals are now far more likely to be computer savvy, than have the ability to hot-wire a car.  “At Tracker, we are seeing more thefts recorded as ‘stolen without the keys' which suggests   that electronic manipulation and cyber compromise are on the increase,” explains Andy Barrs, head of Police Liaison at Tracker. “The new relay attack technique has gained significant ground in the US and Germany, but it’s also beginning to take hold in the UK, so vehicle owners need to protect themselves and their assets.” According to German research, which tested vehicles from 30 manufacturers, the brands to particularly be on watch out for are BMW and Peugeot.  However, using a relay device, testers managed to unlock many vehicles and start the engine, with the BMW 7 Series, Ford Focus, Toyota Prius and VW Golf among the most affected models of vehicle. Barrs added: “As relay attacks become even more prevalent, owners need to protect themselves, particularly since criminal gangs are routinely using relay devices to exploit weaknesses in keyless security systems across a broad range of manufacturers. These tools are readily available on the internet for as little as £80 and thefts typically occur in residential areas, where cars are parked relatively close to the house, especially at night.” Source: Fleet News
Jul 26
UK to ban diesel and petrol cars from 2040 to tackle pollution
New diesel and petrol cars and vans will be banned in the UK from 2040 as part of efforts to tackle air pollution, the Government is expected to announce. British authorities are also going to set up a £255 million fund to help councils speed up local measures to deal with pollution from diesel vehicles, as part of £3 billion spending on air quality. The measures are set to be included in a court-mandated clean air strategy that London is due to publish on Wednesday, just days before the deadline set by the High Court. The expected move to ban petrol and diesel vans and cars follows similar plans announced in France this month and amid increasing signs that the shift to electric vehicles is accelerating. On Tuesday, BMW announced plans for an electric Mini to be assembled at its Oxford plant while earlier this month Volvo unveiled its moves towards cleaner cars. It is thought ministers will also consult on a diesel scrappage scheme to take the dirtiest vehicles off the road. Campaigners have demanded the final plans should include government-funded and mandated clean air zones, with charges for the most polluting vehicles to enter areas with high air pollution, as well as a diesel scrappage scheme. Their calls for charging zones were backed up by an assessment published alongside the draft plans which suggested they were the most effective measures to tackle nitrogen dioxide, much of which comes from diesel vehicles. But ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who they claim bought the vehicles in good faith after being encouraged to by the last Labour government on the basis they produced lower carbon emissions. Similar incentives were also put in place by previous governments in Ireland. They favour local measures such as retrofitting buses and other transport to make them cleaner, changing road layouts and even altering features such as speed humps and re-programming traffic lights to make traffic flow more smoothly to reduce pollution. The expected move to ban diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040 comes after similar plans were announced in France this month and amid increasing signs that the shift to electric vehicles is accelerating, with BMW announcing plans for an electric Mini and Volvo unveiling its moves towards cleaner cars. Air pollution is linked to around 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, and transport also makes up a significant share of greenhouse gas emissions. A British government spokesman said: “Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible. “That is why we are providing councils with new funding to accelerate development of local plans, as part of an ambitious #3 billion programme to clean up dirty air around our roads. “Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots — often a single road — through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people. “Diesel drivers are not to blame and, to help them switch to cleaner vehicles, the Government will consult on a targeted scrappage scheme, one of a number of measures to support motorists affected by local plans.” Source: Irish Times
Jul 5
All electric - Volvo to ditch internal combustion engine for new models from 2019
Geely-owned Volvo Car Group said on today that all new models launched from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids, spelling the eventual end to nearly a century of Volvos powered solely by the internal combustion engine. The Gothenburg-based company will continue to produce pure combustion-engine Volvos from models launched before that date, but said it would introduce cars across its model line-up that ranged from fully electric cars to plug-in hybrids. Volvo's plans make it the first major traditional automaker to set a date for the complete phase-out of combustion-engine-only models though electrification has long been a buzzword across the industry and Elon Musk's Tesla Motors has been a pure-play battery carmaker from day one. "This announcement marks the end of the solely combustion engine-powered car," Volvo Cars Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said in a statement. Five new models set to be launched in 2019 through 2021 - three of them Volvos and two Polestar-branded - will all be fully or partially electric. "These five cars will be supplemented by a range of petrol and diesel plug in hybrid and mild hybrid 48-volt options on all models," Volvo said. "This means that there will in future be no Volvo cars without an electric motor." Volvo has invested heavily in new models and plants since being bought by Zhejiang Geely Holding Group from Ford Motor Co. in 2010, establishing a niche in a premium auto market dominated by larger rivals such as Daimler's Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Part of its strategy has also been to embrace emerging technologies which allow higher performance electric vehicles as well as, eventually, self-driving cars. Only last month, Volvo said it would reshape its Polestar business into a standalone brand, focused on high-performance electric cars aimed at competing with Tesla and the Mercedes AMG division. Volvo has also taken steps towards an eventual listing, raising 5 billion crowns from Swedish institutional investors through the sale of newly issued preference shares last year, though the company has said no decision on an IPO has been made. Source: Reuters
May 30
On 29 May 2017, ALD signed an agreement to acquire Merrion Fleet the 2nd largest leasing and fleet management company in Ireland. This acquisition forms part of ALD’s development strategy and is an example of ALD’s focus on targeted and value accretive bolt-on acquisitions.  ALD is the operational and fleet management business line of French Bank, Societe Generale the largest providers in Europe. They currently have a direct presence in 41 countries over 4 continents. They have 6000 employees and over 1.4 m vehicles under management.    Merrion Fleet Management Limited are a privately owned company established in 1999. Since that time they have been steadily growing their business and are now the 2nd largest leasing and fleet management company in Ireland with a portfolio of approximately 5,500 vehicles.  David Hurley, CEO of Merrion Fleet, said: ‘We are very excited to join ALD  and believe this is very positive news for our customers and staff as it supports the future growth and development of the Merrion business. Combining our service offering and established presence in Ireland with the innovative and financial power of ALD will enable us to bring a broader product range and global expertise and as such add value for our customers and employees’  Mike Masterson, CEO of ALD, said: ‘We are very happy with this acquisition that enables us to expand our coverage in Europe and increase added value for our international customers. We will also bring our financial and innovation capabilities to further develop the Merrion Fleet business’.
Apr 24
Merrion Fleet Launches New Website
We are really excited to launch our new website making it easier for you to see how we can save you time and money on your company vehicles. We like to think the new layout represents a clear and simple journey for the user giving you an understanding of who we are and how we can help you. We have also included the most popular lease models in 2017 and their accompanying catalogues so you can have all this and more at one web address. The site also includes pricing on a sample range of vehicles giving you and understanding of how much your lease vehicle will cost. As with all good websites we are on hand at any stage should you wish to speak to us further or simply ask some questions?   For more details visit the link above or contact +353 (0)1 2061118 We look forward to hearing from you
Feb 9
Used Car Market Breaks One Million in 2016
Vehicle history and data expert reports today (8th February) that used transactions for private cars were in excess of 1 million transactions in 2016 – the highest level since started recording results. considered all transactions for private cars (including imports) in the market in 2016 including private to private sales, imported by private, trade to trade sales, trade-ins, and trade to private transactions. The total number of transactions for the year was 1,014,376 up from 943,995 in 2015 (+7%). next examined the total number of transactions in the used market for all vehicle types and found that 2016 had been a record year with 1,200,695. This was up from 1,125,816 in 2015 (+7%). John Byrne, Legal and Public Relations Manager, says: The used vehicle market had a record year in 2016. We recorded over 1 million transactions for private cars – the first time we have reached this milestone since started recording results. Overall the used market was up 7% year-on-year and we anticipate further growth in 2017. Most Popular Models by Transaction in 2016 vs 2015 (used cars including imports) 2016 2015 1 FOCUS FOCUS 2 GOLF GOLF 3 PASSAT PASSAT 4 COROLLA COROLLA 5 AVENSIS AVENSIS 6 ASTRA ASTRA 7 A4 A4 8 FIESTA FIESTA 9 YARIS MONDEO 10 POLO YARIS 11 MONDEO MICRA 12 CORSA POLO (Source: Carstat)
Feb 7
Merrion Fleet's Tesla Test Drive Day
Tesla are pleased to offer Merrion Fleet customers and special guests the opportunity to test drive the exhilarating Model S or Model X at an exclusive event on the 20th and 21st February at Stillorgan Industrial Park. Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. They are working towards achieving this by producing ground-breaking electric vehicles, energy storage and solar products. Both the Tesla Model S and Model X have been designed from the ground up to be the safest, most exhilarating vehicles on the road. With a range of up to 613km (NEDC), Tesla vehicles also come with Autopilot hardware designed to make your motorway driving safer and stress free. Not only do Tesla vehicles provide an exhilarating drive experience, they are also 100% electric offering the largest driving range of any electric vehicle. Whether you are looking to discover more about the benefits of all-electric driving for yourself and your business, or experience the thrill of 0 to 100km in under 3 seconds, we can create a unique experience for you.  RSVP and find out for yourself what makes a Tesla the perfect company car. RSVP DESIGN YOURS
Feb 1
Rathdown link up with Merrion Fleet
Rathdown School has secured a three year sports sponsorship agreement with Merrion Fleet Management, which encompasses naming rights for a new hockey pitch and viewing stand on the school’s 16 acre site in Glenageary. The deal is part of a broader strategy by the School’s Board to increase participation levels and reduce overall dropout rates from sport. In addition to naming rights, the agreement sees all team jerseys across hockey, basketball and athletics, as well as pitchside signage carry the company logo. The new facility will be branded The Merrion Fleet Arena. Commenting on the announcement, Patsy Ashe, Chair of the Board of Governors at Rathdown School, said: “It is an innovative partnership which will ensure the continued development of our sports programme for future generations. “Rathdown has a long tradition of sporting success and we are committed to promoting the importance of physical education for young girls of all ages, while encouraging them to develop a sport for life.” The sponsorship will be managed by the school’s Sports Committee, a voluntary body made up of parents, teachers and coaches who meet on a frequent basis to plan strategy and work on new initiatives that help and support the development of a healthy, active lifestyle for the students. Sarah Dunn, Founding Director at Merrion Fleet Management said: “We are delighted to support the development of sport at Rathdown School, as part of our commitment to promoting the benefits of sport and physical education for young people in our local community. "We see this as the start of an extremely positive partnership and we look forward to upcoming events at Rathdown’s new, world class hockey facility.”
Jan 31
Interesting read from
The big changes motorists can expect to transform Ireland to a 'low-carbon economy' A 50pc hike in the carbon tax, reducing the maximum speed on motorways and removing public car parking spaces are among the measures proposed to transform Ireland to a low-carbon economy. A briefing note prepared for Government sets out a range of options which could be brought in to reduce use of fossil fuels and move to a 'green' economy. They include reducing the maximum speed limit on motorways from 120kmh to 110kmh to help reduce transport emissions by more than 100,000 tonnes a year, and removing public car parking spaces in cities by a "small percentage" every year to give more space for pedestrians, cyclists and public transport services. But a suggested 50pc hike in the carbon tax from €20 per tonne at present to €30, which would add to the cost of motoring and home heating, will prove politically divisive. Designed to discourage use of fossil fuels in favour of cleaner energy, some €400m a year is currently collected in the tax which was introduced in 2009. An analysis from Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir from UCC's Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy suggests that increasing the rate by 50pc would provide a "clear and timely signal" on Ireland's commitment to tackling climate change and reducing use of fossil fuels. But it would add around 3c to the price of a litre of petrol or diesel, and up to €45 on annual home heating bills. The move would also impact on the cost of a bale of briquettes, which would rise by around 14c, with 60c added to a 40kg bag of coal. While both are among the most polluting fuels, they are commonly used by low-income households and any measures will have to factor in the risk of making fuel poverty worse. Communications, Climate Action and Environment Minister Denis Naughten will tell cabinet colleagues today that he intends to publish a briefing document for public consultation on the National Mitigation Plan in the coming weeks, which will set out the measures needed to address emissions from transport, agriculture, power generation and other sectors of the economy. The final plan must be submitted for Government approval by next June. The briefing document includes an "indicative list" of possible measures, but none has been decided, but does say that the carbon tax has a "key role" to play. "Consideration of certain taxation elements will be necessary to underpin a clear pathway and positive policy environment for an early transition to alternative, cleaner fuels," it said. "One measure could involve an increase in carbon tax on petrol and diesel from the current level of €20/tonne to €30/tonne." This could yield savings of more than one million tonnes of carbon between 2017 and 2030. Ireland currently emits almost 60 million tonnes a year, and they are rising. Unless emissions are reduced, Ireland can expect to endure more extreme weather events and increased risk of new pests and diseases.
Jan 31
Driving for winter - the Do's and Don'ts
These days in Ireland, It is no secret that we have fluctuating seasons, for example here we are in the depths of winter and we have already experienced a multitude of temperatures and unpredictable climate changes. While this incalculable weather may be difficult for people on foot, it can also be an extremely challenging time for drivers. We are fortunate enough that we can drive in most weather conditions due to our relatively soft seasons. However, this is not to say that we do not have different extremes that can affect our road safety.  It is interesting to note that we do not have a necessity for winter tyres as we fall outside the climate extremities for them unlike most of Europe. Although we fall outside the average climate for winter tyres, we do occasionally experience those temperatures and have to adapt our normal tyres to suit. Winter Tyres are designed to operate and perform better in winter weather conditions. There is no question that they have greater grip in icy weather conditions as their optimum performance is at temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. These tyres are made from a softer compound to provide better grip in cold driving conditions. These tyres do not perform well in temperatures above 7 degrees, hence we simply do not have the constant conditions for this.  Here at Merrion Fleet, we understand that one does not need to be a vehicle expert to drive a vehicle, however, we all need to be experts on how we drive. With the help of our Merrion Fleet Accident Management Team, Driver Services Team, and various industry experts, we have compiled a helpful list of do’s and don’ts for driving in winter. Here are a few handy tips to help you be prepared for winter driving.   Don’t Don’t take the weather for granted, it can always change at the drop of a hat, be prepared. Don’t leave breaking until the last minute, you cannot predict what the surface is like. Don’t leave your tyres until they go bare, you never know when you will need them. Don’t use your phone while driving Don’t let your fuel go down too low, the winter is unpredictable and you don’t know if you will get stuck in traffic. Don’t forget to check the bulbs in all your lights regularly, you will be depending on your lights a lot more in winter. Don’t opt for back roads where possible. If in doubt don’t take a chance in bad weather conditions. Don’t rush, when we rush, we are not concentrating. Do Give your vehicle a few seconds with the ignition on before powering up the vehicle on cold mornings Slow down, in general everyone needs to slow down in winter. Listen to regular weather forecasts, travel bulletins and any advice issued by An Garda Síochána and adjust your plans accordingly Leave earlier in case of any adverse weather conditions that may cause a hold up. Anticipate changes in temperatures and or precipitation and how this will affect your control on the vehicle Have the following supplies in your vehicle; High Vis vest Food & water De-icer Blanket Extra clothing (boots/wellies, coat, hat & gloves) Torch First aid kit, Make sure you check your oil, coolant, tyres, and window wipers and water every week to avoid roadside disasters in adverse conditions. Always have your phone charged in case of an emergency Let somebody know where you are and an estimated time of arrival Take public transport if you feel nervous driving in certain weather conditions Be aware that other drivers may be nervous so give plenty of time and distance. Driving for winter is all about being prepared. The most important thing for drivers is to be aware of the weather conditions and how they can affect your safety as well as the safety of other road users. Once you are aware of the potential risk and well prepared for every eventuality, winter driving should not be an issue.
Jan 31
Failing to maintain your vehicle is a false economy
Driving for work has now become unavoidable in most jobs, and for this reason there has been an increasing focus on the employer’s duty of care to their employees whilst driving for work. It is no secret that our motorways are now filled with branded commercial vehicles transporting consumer goods from one end of our country to the other. When we think of driving for work, we sometimes don’t think about a company vehicle as a place of work. Section 2 of ‘The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005’ states that a company vehicle is considered to be a place of work, and should be fit for the purpose intended. This Act clearly defines the onus of responsibility to the employer to provide a safe environment for their employees in relation to driving on company business. Organisations are expected to do everything that could be reasonably expected of them to ensure the safety of their employees. One process that has been introduced is a daily driver check. This is a process whereby drivers conduct a daily walk around check of their vehicle to ensure that there is nothing dangerous or faulty with the vehicle in a bid to prevent harm to themselves or anyone else on the road. These daily checks involve in cab checks, external checks, Mirror and window checks, access checks, Lights, indicators and reflectors, load security and wheels and tyres. These checks need to be recorded on a daily basis and can be audited at any time. There are a number of substantial benefits to these 5 minute daily checks. One of the most important being the avoidance of any kind of prosecution for the company should they be audited. Other benefits include early intervention on possible vehicle problems which in turn reduces the amount of driver downtime and prevents unpredicted expenses for the company if an issue is discovered early. As one can imagine, the task of daily driver checks magnifies in conjunction with fleet size. If a company has a particularly large fleet of vehicles, it can be difficult to ensure that all drivers are complying with this legislation and more importantly recording their checks. Here at Merrion Fleet we are forward thinking in our efforts to make this a quick and easy task for drivers. We have created an app with a built in checklist that drivers simply need to tick off every day. We store these checks on our data base accessible to the managers of your company should you ever be audited. This takes the hassle and paperwork off your desk which in turn allows you to focus on your business priorities.   Managing a safer fleet can have key cost saving benefits to your company. Merrion fleet can offer a number of fleet safety initiatives including fleet checks, driver briefing sessions, driver’s license checks & Insurance declarations as well as accident reporting & follow up recommendations. We feel that these initiatives can help a company to reduce their overall costs and maximise their production capabilities.   Health and safety is paramount to running a safe fleet and Merrion Fleet will continue to promote responsible fleet safety for both the driver and the employee.
  • ALD Automotive



    15/16, Holly Avenue,
    Stillorgan Business Park,
    Dublin, Ireland.
    A94 XA72

    Phone Number

    +353 (01) 206 1118