Coopers Solutions invests in new talent with the appointment of Sam Smith

We’re really pleased to welcome Sam Smith to our team.

Sam has joined as an Account Manager, focussing on FullCover and FullCompliance.  Sam previously worked for Rybrook BMW in Warwick, starting his career as a weekend receptionist and working his way to a full-time sales role where he gained valuable experience in digital and trade sales.

Having worked with a number of our products, Sam is a great ambassador for sharing how our solutions can benefit customers.

Sam told us: ‘I’ve been made to feel really welcome, and feel as though I’ve joined a family environment where I can really help make a difference.  I’m looking forward to sitting on the other side of the desk and helping our customers use our products efficiently to help them work smarter – especially as retailers have had such a challenging time.’

James Cooper commented: ‘With his strong automotive background, Sam can help us strengthen the way we work with our customers as he has such a great understanding of how our products enable retailers to improves their processes.’

Sam keeps himself busy when he’s away from looking after our customers by walking his dog, and watching and taking part in motorsports.


Karzoom announces partnership with PIB Group and Cooper Solutions

Karzoom Ltd, is pleased to announce the launch of their car rental solution from UK Car Dealers. The solution is backed by an Aviva Insurance Ltd car insurance policy brokered by PIB Insurance Brokers in partnership with Cooper Solutions Ltd which provides digital solutions to the automotive industry, both of which are part of PIB Group.  Karzoom will initially offer car rentals services across 15 locations on the south coast and is in discussions with several other dealer groups as part of a strategy to deliver dealer backed car rental services to all corners of the UK.

Melanie Fazal, Karzoom Co-Founder and Director, said “We are delighted to launch our new service with such reputable partners as PIB Insurance Brokers, Cooper Solutions Ltd and Aviva. We are very much looking forward to revolutionising car hire across the UK, starting with the South Coast region. With so much potential for fantastic days out, family trips, and staycations as the UK re-opens, we can’t wait to get our customers moving.”

When you hire a car today it is typically from a travel hub such as airport or train station.  With Karzoom, every dealer has the opportunity to join the Karzoom solution to make “Car Hire Available where You Need It!” Given the changing mobility landscape and ever-changing travel needs, Karzoom aims to provide you with the flexibility you need around differing vehicle needs alongside traditional car ownership.

James Cooper from Cooper Solutions Ltd commented: “We are really excited to be partnering with Karzoom and their newly launched, dealer backed, car rental service. With customers in the automotive sector, we are well placed to collaborate with them, and share insights to keep pace with current trends.  We are proud to share the same principle of delivering high levels of service and look forward to seeing Karzoom go from strength to strength.”

Michael Yabantu from Aviva Insurance Ltd commented: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Karzoom and the team at PIB Insurance Brokers and Cooper Solutions on what we see as an innovative and exciting development in the car hire space.”

Through the Karzoom website, a hirer can choose the type of vehicle they want, including selecting the manufacturer and model, where available, subject to dealer availability.  With the added knowledge that all of these cars will typically be less than one year old, provided on a fully inclusive basis with no upsell at the check-in counter and no long check-in queues to worry about – now isn’t that novel?

With Karzoom, where will the car hire revolution take you?

Lings Motor Group avoids vehicle clone threat thanks to FullCompliance

An unexpected benefit of the real-time paperless mileage log designed to aid HMRC compliance

Lings Motor Group took on FullCompliance from Cooper Solutions in April this year, to streamline its systems when it comes to meeting national HMRC requirements for documenting all company car driver activity and fuel use. Soon after Lings started using FullCompliance, the system proved invaluable in helping the dealership prove its innocence in a case of vehicle licence plate cloning.

Two vehicle licence plates were cloned, one from the Lings car retail site, which uses FullCompliance, and one from its bike retail site, which doesn’t currently use the Cooper Solutions system. The cloned licence plates were involved in criminal activity and picked up traffic offences. The first Lings knew of the cloning was when the dealership received notification of the traffic offences. Thankfully, due to FullCompliance, Lings was able to prove that their car was not involved in the incidents. They provided a full mileage log from the Lings system, which showed that the car was not in the area at the time, avoiding the fine.

HMRC demands consecutive mileage logs for all demonstrator stock vehicles, including private, business and customer use, putting added pressure on dealerships to record this information. Removing this headache, FullCompliance registers real-time mileages, whatever the use, offering dealerships a robust paperless solution to comply with HMRC requirements and avoid potential exposure to significant penalties.

Whilst the system ultimately proves that no driver benefits business-provided fuel, Lings didn’t expect FullCompliance to help tackle the problem of cloned licence plates, saving them from a fine and lost reputation.

Matthew Barwick, of Lings Motor Group, says, “Without FullCompliance we wouldn’t have been able to prove that our vehicle wasn’t involved in the offence, leaving us with a fine to pay. Whilst we utilise the system to ensure we manage our fleet vehicles correctly, we’ve discovered that FullCompliance protects our business in ways we hadn’t anticipated.”

“All of our customers use our products slightly differently and always seem to find additional benefits that we might not have considered,” explains Dean Pipitone of Coopers Solutions. “In the case of Lings, they found that FullCompliance offers them protection from the risk of trading a cloned vehicle. The flexibility of the solutions we provide means they can adapt to the needs of every business, giving dealers added peace of mind and the support they need to operate confidently in a competitive marketplace.”

Cooper Solutions Audit Reveals 3 Out of 4 Dealership Employees Overpay Benefit In Kind On Company Cars

First review of its type highlights shortcomings of HMRC’s Averaging Agreement

Cooper Solutions has produced the first audit of its kind on HMRC’s Averaging Agreement for company car drivers. The findings reveal that a staggering 3 out of 4 dealership employees overpay Benefit in Kind (BIK), equating to over £2 million in overpaid vehicle BIK. Cooper Solutions is calling for HMRC to introduce fairer methods of taxation for the benefit of motor industry employees and their employers.

The Averaging Agreement scheme was officially introduced in 2009, specifically for the benefit of the motor industry, however, no formal review of its performance has been undertaken by HMRC since its implementation. In a move therefore to better understand the implications of the scheme, Cooper Solutions has taken the initiative to perform the first, quantifiable review of company car ‘private’ use, using its web based, real time solution for record keeping for dealership drivers – FullCompliance.

Dean Pipitone, Director of Cooper Solutions comments: “When the Averaging Agreement was first introduced, it seemed like a reasonable solution for franchised dealers. They would simply need to calculate the average vehicle BIK per price band and allocate employees to a band. However, eight years on and we can see that whilst most franchised dealerships try to comply with the Agreement, due to the demand placed on dealership vehicles, overpayment of tax is the reality.”

Based on analysis of data gathered over the last 7 years by FullCompliance, over 1.3 million nightly records of private vehicle use, across nearly 7000 company car drivers were recorded by dealers. Of these nights, 26% were spent by employees in vehicles banded below the employees allocation. Dean Pipitone continues: “Due to customer demonstrations, courtesy loans or other business factors, employees can only take home the car that is made available to them each night. This equates to more than £2 million worth of BIK overpayments made by employees. For employers, this means they paid more than necessary on National Insurance Contributions and VAT. “

“We are campaigning on behalf of the industry to see a formal review by HMRC of the shortcomings of the Averaging Agreement, and call upon it to consider how technology solutions that record, in real time, the actual use of vehicles based on availability, can produce a fairer means of taxing employees and their employers.

FullCompliance is a web-based system designed to meet national HMRC requirements that dealers account for company car user activity. The tool manages the Averaging Agreement and calculates vehicle and fuel benefit in kind (BIK) per driver. FullCompliance creates driver reports to prove actual vehicle use aligns with driver BIK and banding. Adopting a real time solution to driver and vehicle record keeping, Cooper Solutions helps dealerships demonstrate that they have a robust process in place to comply with HMRC requirements and avoid potential exposure to significant financial penalties.

April 2017