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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
jube 6:27 pm 03 Aug 07

Sorry WMC – I disclosed now as I realised I hadn’t initially, though I am glad in one way as I also obtained these views without prejudice, which I would see as the most honest comments I can use in my discussion with Hargraves. In my position I act on behalf of the industry, but the industry reacts to the publics wants and needs therefore these have been very helpful. I am not trying to push my point, but I do have a view of my own.

Woody Mann-Caruso 6:19 pm 03 Aug 07

And AG Canberra – thanks for the support, you have got my point entirely.

Wait – I thought you were here because you were “interested in views”, not to make a point. It’s nice to see you came here with an open mind, rather than cherry-picking for “evidence” to support an opinion you’ve already formed. Maybe a bit of up-front disclosure about who you are and why you’re here might be in order next time you decide you want to roll out a couple of acres of astroturf.

jube 5:46 pm 03 Aug 07

And to clear any possible confusion, my hire car as of Monday is a Ford Fairlane G220, replacing my current Holden Statesman – all the cars operating in our fleet (11 of them) are of the same size and quality.

jube 5:15 pm 03 Aug 07

Thanks to all for your views, it is really helpful. To address a couple:

“I’m very suspicious of sweeping statements like “The overall industry view is…”. “

I can safely make this remark – I am the President of the Limousine Association of the ACT & Qbn, and have canvassed my members. I am looking for these comments to gauge public view before meeting with Mr Hargraves late next week. And btw, the Taragos are used as multi passenger vehicles as it is a bit hard to aqueeze 7 into a sedan…

“surely people dont hire vehicles without knowing what they are getting, and, if they dont know, surely they dont care?”

Actually, up until very recently you could bank on a sedan from any hire car company if you made a booking, and it is not necessarily being advised to passengers if a different vehicle will be doing the job…and at the same price.

And AG Canberra – thanks for the support, you have got my point entirely.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 4:56 pm 03 Aug 07

I love the greenie comments! Do people realise just how incredibly environmentall unfriendly cars like the Prius really are?? Do people know the impact of manufacturing, and disposing, of such a large battery pack? Sure, it uses a bit less fuel, but not as much less as you’d think.

p1 4:37 pm 03 Aug 07

I find it funny that half an hour after hearing (on RA) that there is now a prius as a hire car, I drove up behind one. Only in Canberra.

caf 4:28 pm 03 Aug 07

I’m very suspicious of sweeping statements like “The overall industry view is…”. If the existing service included Taragos (hardly a limo) then I don’t see a problem.

AG Canberra 3:35 pm 03 Aug 07

I think it’s crap. What was a clear set up for a higher class vehicle with drivers in suits etc has been watered down to include near base model Avalon’s and now Prius’s. And neither attract a cheaper rate.

All previous “HC” plates were bought-back by the ACT Gov a couple of years ago and new ones issued via lease payments – no up front 250k like taxi’s. Since then it seems that all you need is something that has 4 wheels and a driver and you are in business.

The companies argue that they are offering a range of vehicles. Problem is that it is when times get busy and they take a corporate booking at full rates and the Avalon turns up for your run to the airport – what are you going to do – stand there and demand a proper car?

Once again the Gov don’t know how to govern…..

KandyA 2:06 pm 03 Aug 07

well, as I have no idea what this is about I am compelled to have my 2c worth

surely people dont hire vehicles without knowing what they are getting, and, if they dont know, surely they dont care?

why would this be regulated?

is ther a Datsun 12Y retro pick-up service (remember your student days ? – re-live your [poverty stricken] youth!)that is forbidden by law from turning up with a Ford Escort?

that said- if you pay for a limo – you’d expect a limo, but, if you just pay for … an unspecified hire car you’d expect…a suprise?

Maelinar 1:40 pm 03 Aug 07

I can arrange mung-bean and lentil cut lunches for you too if you like.

Woody Mann-Caruso 1:34 pm 03 Aug 07

I’d be very happy with a Prius. If you’re going to be driving something around all day every day with one person in it, I’d prefer it to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Sammy 1:29 pm 03 Aug 07

But saying that, if I had a choice between a Canberra Cabs Commodore/Falcon, or a Prius, for roughly the same price, i’d take the Prius. So long as I didn’t have to sit in the back 🙂

Sammy 1:28 pm 03 Aug 07

Personally i’d be peeved to pay for a limousine, and get a Prius. Rear seat legroom is substantially different.

DarkLadyWolfMother 1:24 pm 03 Aug 07

As long as there’s enough room for me and any others with me to be comfortable and not squished – and room for any baggaage – I don’t care.

Not having been in the prius I don’t know how roomy they are for far too tall people.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 1:21 pm 03 Aug 07

Why not just arrange things as you do for drive-yourself hire cars? Want a small hatchback – fairly cheap. Want a large sedan – costs a bit more.

That said, I can see why people would choose to use a limousine instead of a taxi. They’re vastly nicer to ride in, and often cost less.

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