Renault Truck Commercials: are you ready for DVS Phase 2?

By Categories: Commercial NewsPublished On: Thursday 23 May 2024

As the largest dealer group in the Renault Trucks network, and with depots covering London and the home counties, Renault Truck Commercials says it is primed for Direct Vision Standard (DVS) 2, both to advise and assist customers and to ensure that its own 160-strong rental fleet is ready.

“With so many of our customers operating in and around London, at Renault Truck Commercials, we’ve worked quickly to understand what Transport for London’s (TfL) update to DVS in October means for fleet managers and operators,” said Simon Bandy, contract hire and rental support manager at RTC.

“We have also had to get up to speed to ensure our own rental fleet will be ready, so we really do have firsthand experience of the challenges our customers are facing.

“The basics are clear: until 27 October 2024, vehicles need at least a one-star rating to operate in Greater London, and many fleets will have already invested in DVS 1 kits to secure their permits to drive and operate in the enforcement zone.”

But starting from 28 October 2024, he points out, vehicles over 12 tonnes will need a minimum three-star rating. If a vehicle’s rating is zero, one, or two stars, operators will need to add a Progressive Safe System (PSS) for operation in London, or face fines of up to £550 per day.

“As a PSS is required to include assistive technologies that improve road safety, including a moving off information system (MOIS) and nearside blind spot information system (BSIS) with active alerts, plus camera monitoring system or specific mirrors to eliminate any remaining nearside blind spots, there are considerable cost implications for every vehicle affected.”

Simon continued: “It’s down to the operator to ensure that their equipment for indirect vision, including blind spot and moving off information systems, is fully operational.

“For our contract hire fleet, the responsibility for DVS 2 compliance rests with the operator. Of course, those that never run into London won’t need to worry about fitting a PSS.

“For those that do, or those that might need to, Renault Truck Commercials has designed three levels of PSS kits equipped with AI cameras to meet and beat DVS requirements, starting with an upgrade to existing DVS 1 kits through to the Deluxe 360 kit that offers the ultimate in safety and performance.

“Moving to our 160-strong rental fleet, like all operators we hold the responsibility for DVS 2 compliance. Potentially every vehicle on the rental fleet could be put to work in London, on spot hire or longer-term hire, and may require a PSS upgrade kit fitted.

“It’s a huge capital outlay for us, not to mention scheduling the installation across the fleet, with vehicles off road, and this has given us a real insight into the challenges faced by our customers, too.

“That’s why we’re working with our rental customers to identify which vehicles they’re currently using that need a PSS upgrade, and how we manage the associated additional costs of the kits in terms of rental price.”

With registrations for DVS 2 opening shortly, time spent on additional admin also needs to be factored in, he adds.

“Permits are given per vehicle, not per fleet, although fleet operators can apply for 5 to 3,000 vehicles at one time through a multi permit application. First, you’ll need your vehicle’s star rating to check whether you need to install any extra safety equipment.

“You can also get your vehicle’s ‘out-of-factory’ star rating using the chassis number from the manufacturer. You can also check your vehicle’s registration number on the TfL website to find its star rating.

“Once you’ve installed the PSS kit, you can get your DVS permit online through TfL’s platform, and your vehicle will be good to go for the next ten years.

“Although the deadline is still a few months away, it’s always best to be prepared. Don’t leave it until the last minute to ensure compliance.

“If you need advice, your local Renault Truck Commercials dealer will be on hand to assist and help you get ready for DVS, to keep your fleet safe and your operation running smoothly.”