Thursday, 27 January 2011
Most travel costs have risen over the past three years, except for car rental, which has fallen in most popular tourist destinations.
According to a recent study in The Telegraph, most air fares, ferry crossings, Eurostar tickets and travel insurance premiums have risen in price since 2007. In comparison, car rental prices continued their downward trend from the early 1990s despite the increasing operating and regulatory costs.
The Telegraph article can be read here...
Fraud costs the UK economy £38bn a year, with more than half of that suffered by the public sector, according to official estimates.
The National Fraud Authority (NFA) said that if the total cost was broken down, every UK adult would be £765 worse off. The NFA said "a stronger counter-fraud culture" was needed.
Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude said the £21bn cost of public sector fraud could pay for 800 secondary schools or 615,000 nurses. The cost to the private sector was £12bn and charities lost £1.3bn, the NFA reported, while individuals' losses were estimated at £4bn.
Frauds included marketing scams, bogus operators, fake lotteries and online ticketing and rental crimes.
Bernard Herdan, of the NFA, said the authority's annual fraud indicator was a "blueprint" for work to tackle the "rising tide" of fraud. Everyone should make an effort to protect themselves and share information on suspicious behaviour with the authorities.
"We want to develop a stronger counter-fraud culture, which helps to disrupt fraudulent activity across the UK and globally," Mr Herdan said.
Friday, 21 January 2011
Stocks of a liquid that can tackle hard-packed snow and ice on roads at temperatures as low as -20C are to be used in Scotland.
The solution is being distributed after the failure of salt and grit to clear key routes during the recent extreme weather.
Transport Minister Keith Brown said the liquid had been tested in Aberdeenshire and had shown "favourable results". The project forms part of a new government winter transport plan.
Mr Brown said ministers were exploring "innovative ways" to tackle future bouts of freezing weather.
He said: "This is one of the first times this treatment has been used on the Scottish road network and it is encouraging to see this initial trial deliver positive early results."
source: BBC News
Thursday, 20 January 2011
UK car production rose sharply in 2010, with carmakers manufacturing 1.27 million cars, a rise of 27.1% on the previous year, figures show.
In the month of December, car production was up 10.6% from a year ago to 94,325, said the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Commercial vehicle production was up 35.7% at 123,019 units.
The annual figures confirm a recovery in the UK car industry after sales were hit hard during the recession. However, production levels are still a long way from returning to pre-downturn levels. Total production, which includes both car and commercial vehicles, was 1.39 million in 2010, compared with 1.75 million in 2007 and 1.65 million in 2008.
Wednesday, 12 January 2011
The BVRLA is advising car rental customers to take extra care when confronted with ridiculously cheap deals on the internet or in the press.
Police and Trading Standards officials are currently investigating a number of companies that have lured consumers with low prices and offer to deliver vehicles to their door. In many cases, customers have handed over hundreds of pounds in advance only to find that their car never arrives and the company does not really exist.
The BVRLA is taking the opportunity to remind people to rent from its members because they are quality assured and operate under a code of conduct.
The association has produced the following advice for consumers, which members may wish to pass on:
1. Use a BVRLA member. Seeing our logo on the front desk or website is a sign that you are dealing with a reputable company that has been vetted and operates to a professional code of conduct. You will also be able to use our conciliation service in the event of any dispute.
2. Never hand over cash. Most rental companies will only want to accept credit/debit card payment.
3. Make sure the company is operating from bona fide commercial premises, not a PO Box or virtual office, no matter how prestigious the location sounds.
4. Make sure the company actually has the cars it is offering – BVRLA members operate their own rental fleet.
5. Remember, if the price or service being offered seems too good to be true, it probably is!
BVRLA members who are aware of companies offering vehicle rental or leasing services that they believe to be fradulent are welcome to pass on their concerns to the association's legal services team.
The sprawling Volkswagen stand at the Detroit auto show is fitting for a company that has declared war on its biggest rivals, insisting it will become the largest carmaker in the world by 2018.
The size of the German group's exhibit at the show belies its embarrassing and costly failure to conquer the most profitable car market in the world - in spite of years of trying hard.
"There was a period when we were very successful," laments Jonathan Browning, chief executive of Volkswagen Group of America as he recalls the days when Americans were wowed by the Beetle and the company's iconic Microbus. Volkswagen Group, which owns a string of brands such as Audi and Bentley in addition to its VW marque, is a tiny player in the vast US market.
Volkswagen aims to quadruple its US sales over the next seven years to a million cars - with 800,000 from the VW marque and the remaining 200,000 from Audi - and by then it hopes to sell one in 15 cars in the US.
The Football Association has unveiled a new three-and-a-half year sponsorship deal with carmaker Vauxhall.
The multi-million pound deal comes six months after Nationwide building society ended its 11-year FA deal.
The car firm is also set to complete further deals with the national associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within the next week.
Monday, 10 January 2011
The new chair of the BVRLA Rental Committee, Alison Chadwick, will oversee her first meeting on 18 January 2011.
It will address: Industry reputation, standards and vehicle information.
RIVAL Insurance wishes Alison every success.
Thursday, 6 January 2011
The number of Saab cars sold in the last three months of 2010 was more than double a year earlier, the carmaker's Dutch owner Spyker has said.
A total of 11,448 Saab cars were sold worldwide between October and December, up 129% from the same period in 2009, and 31% higher than July-September. For 2010 as a whole, 31,696 Saab cars were sold globally.
In October, Spyker was forced to downgrade its full-year Saab sales target, blaming supply chain issues. It said it had hoped to sell 45,000 Saab cars in 2010, but cut this to between 30,000 and 35,000 after it said it had had to rebuild Sweden-based Saab's supply base following its purchase of the company from US giant General Motors.
Saab is now expanding its dealer network in China and Russia, and Saab chief executive Jan Ake Jonsson said earlier this week that he was confident the company could keep up its "current sales momentum".