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Vauxhall to stop BSM's free fleet

Date: 13 January 2009

Vauxhall is negotiating with driver training giant BSM to stop the supply of free cars, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

Currently, Vauxhall supplies Aviva-owned BSM with its fleet of 3500 vehicles split between Corsas and Astras on a six month turn, giving Vauxhall 7000 fleet registrations a year.

According to The Sunday Times' report Vauxhall's move threatens insurance giant Aviva's plans to sell BSM. BSM is part of the RAC which in turn is part of Aviva, formerly named Norwich Union.

Under the deal, Vauxhall supplied new cars to the driver training firm for six months for free before taking them back for disposal.

Vauxhall is understood to be in talks with BSM to get it to pay for the learner vehicles. Assuming Vauxhall succeed in charging for the cars the deal is expected to cost BSM several million pounds.

BSM is believed to have tried to find an alternative supplier, but other car makers were unwilling to take on the contract.

Vauxhall declined to comment on the details of the deal but said: "At present we have an ongoing supply arrangement with BSM."

BSM declined to comment.

Interestingly, the 3600-strong fleet run by The AA's driving school, BSM's main rival, are supplied by Ford and, according to a spokesman, "paid for".