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Change in hire car legislation

By jube 3 August 2007 33

There was recently a change made by John Hargraves MLA to the hire car regulations to allow the registration of hybrid vehicles as hire cars. No size or specification of vehicle was attached to the hybrid registrations, though a petrol or diesel hire car must have a long wheelbase (eg Statesman but not Commodore, Fairlane but not Falcon, etc.) This ensured a comfortable vehicle operating as a ‘limousine’ service. Recently, 2 new hybrid vehicles have been registered as hire cars, one a Lexus RX400h (the Lexus version of the Rav4) and a Toyota Prius.

There was a letter to the editor in the CT approx a fortnight ago from a passenger who felt that the Toyota Prius was not the vehicle he expected to pick him up from the airport, and the comments I remember from the letter were: “I joked with the driver that it should be half the fare for half a car”, and “Who authorised these vehicles to operate as hire cars?”.

The overall industry view is that these vehicles could downgrade the industry, as traditionally a hire car equals a limousine, not a hatchback or 4-wheel drive. All other legally registered hire cars in Canberra are either Holden Statesman/Caprice or Ford Fairlane/LTD (up to 4 passengers), Toyota Tarago (up to 7 passengers) or stretch limousines (up to 9 passengers).

I am very interested in people’s views on 1) a massive change to the industry and 2) how happy you would be to be collected from the airport in a small hatchback or a large sedan (at the same price).

What’s Your opinion?

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33 Responses to
Change in hire car legislation
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Snahons_scv6_berlina 2:15 pm 07 Aug 07

at the end of the day if they could make an engine that:
1. Consumed 1 ltr / 100kms
2. Had a manually adjustable exhaust note to reflect a rumbling V8 through to a screaming 4cyl turbo.
3. Accelerated 0-100 in 4 seconds.

Then we wouldn’t care what size the motor was would we ?

WMC comparing the consumption of a Prius to a V8 sedan is just stupid. Let’s compare it to something of similar size, say a Volkswagen Polo. A diesel Polo will return similar fuel consumption figures, and still doesn’t have a battery pack to dispose of (which is something you seem to conveniently be overlooking).

Gungahlin Al 1:35 pm 06 Aug 07

Think there is a definitional issue here. I see “hire car” and think “a car I can hire and drive myself”; limo means to me huge car with driver, and there appears to be no shorthand for just “ordinary car with driver that isn’t a taxi and is hired for a fixed period of time”. I have used the latter once for a 8-hour round trip, and the only things that mattered to me were being able to sit in relative comfort in the back and work on my computer and phone the whole time. No day wasted behind a steering wheel, no inane conversation, no stench of the driver’s cigarette breath, etc. Just a cost effective use of my time.
Would have been happy with many a car including a Prius for such a job – particularly if it came a bit cheaper than a limo.
I question therefore Jube’s claims on the “traditional” industry. Resistence to change is generally a good way to live long and prosper in business…

All of this said, I’m surprised that no-one has yet brought up the Southpark episode on the topic. The issue was the cloud of “smug” exuded by everyone who bought a Toyota “Pious” or a Honda “Hindsight”, with the smug emanating from Southpark and LA merging into a supercell, as the owners went around sniffing their own farts.
It was one of those Southpark classics that really get to the nub of some people’s tokenism with this sort of thing…

asp 3:20 pm 05 Aug 07

corrections: prisu= prius
ewnvironment = environment

asp 3:19 pm 05 Aug 07

oh, a limo. I though you meant a taxi.

Prius is smaller than a Camry in terms of cabin space, at least its smaller than the new Camry’s cabin. The camry (which is almost identicle in size to an Aurion) is smaller again then a commodore or falcon. Also, anyone sat in one of those Priuses when their brand new. I just got two new cars, 07 Corolla and Aurion and they don’t smell much. But the Priuses smell like a mix of vinager and dead mice. Sure, Prisu may be good for the ewnvironment, but might not be good for you.

el 1:12 am 05 Aug 07

asp – my point was that if I was booking a limo, I wouldn’t expect a Prius or Avalon.

ChrisInTurner1 11:07 pm 04 Aug 07

Next time you see a Prius in a parking area you might note that they are taller than a Commadore or a Falcon. They are about the size of a Camry.

Maelinar 6:40 pm 04 Aug 07

McDonalds also has a lot of McDonalds friendly information on their website. I might suggest obtaining supportive information from somebody other than the seller of aforementioned item in order to apply credibility.

noodle 6:19 pm 04 Aug 07

Woody Mann-Caruso: “Are you two retarded, blind, or both?”

Charming! I’m fairly new to this site, so hope that this sort of abusive comment is an aberation rather than the norm.

I’m sure the Toyota website does have a lot of information supporting their claims that the Prius is the most eco-friendly car on the road. As it happens, I’ve never seen the “Dust to Dust” article you refer to. The view I expressed was based on articles I’d seen in the US, and subsequent dinner discussions with people in the automotive industry.

I may be wrong about this issue, but calling me – or others – “retarded” is not likely to persuade.

asp 4:07 pm 04 Aug 07

Depending on the legnth of the trip, limos can be cheaper. $40 for 1/2 an hour means from the airport to my house costs $15 less than with a tax. And I get a clean, spacious car with nice interior.

el, don’t complain about having to put up woth an Avalon or Prius as a taxi. I know it’s not great, b at least you get leg room. There are places in Europe where a Smart4Two constitutes a taxi. Hell, don’t get me started on Thailand, motorcycle with a trailer anyone?

Ralph 1:49 pm 04 Aug 07

There’s no guarantee those batteries will ever get recycled, woody.

Those compact fluoro lights also contain mercury, how do you feel about that one too?

Keep repenting, carbon sinner!

Woody Mann-Caruso 12:57 pm 04 Aug 07

The Prius needs dozens of batteries, which need to be replaced every few years.

Then there’s the matter of disposing of the (toxic) old batteries.

Are you two retarded, blind, or both? From the Toyota website – you kow, the link I posted about an inch above where you posted your ignorant drivel:

“The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level – never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won’t be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear.

Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers are paid a $200 “bounty” for each battery.”

el 11:08 am 04 Aug 07

Then there’s the matter of disposing of the (toxic) old batteries.

Also, there’s a VW Diesel hatchback which returns similar consumption to the Prius, without the bloat of an extra electric motor and battery cells.

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