Still car-less after Sandy? Thinking of buying a used one? Or rent one over the Thanksgiving weekend? Good luck. Read More >
A 1997 Ford Escort is not exactly a rolling testament to the dreams of auto enthusiasts.
But for $300, it beats the ever loving snot out of a Schwinn.
This LX model was a trade-in from one of my customers. Did I rip them off? No. Not at all. One of the cylinders was dead. The interior was as dirty as Hugh Hefner’s mind, and with 221k miles coupled with a 5-speed, it wasn’t about to go on the front line.
But where should I put it?
With car sharing on the rise, my home state of Oregon is moving towards changing insurance rules to allow private “peer to peer” rentals by auto owners. The Oregonian reports that HB 3149 is headed for the Governor’s desk, having been approved by the state House and Senate. Sponsor Rep Ben Cannon explains
Most insurance policies prohibit people from using their cars for commercial purposes. This bill says someone can participate in car sharing without having to worry that their insurance will be canceled.
California is the only other state to have passed such legislation, and already Facebook-based peer-to-peer car rental firms like Getaround have popped up to fill the demand. With average car ownership costs reaching $8,000 per year according to the AAA, Cannon argues that research showing that cars sit parked for 90% of their lives proves the need for more car-sharing flexibility. And established car-sharing firms like Zipcar, which operate their own fleets don’t feel threatened by the bill, as they are not expanding beyond urban cores and as Zipcar’s CEO puts it, peer-to-peer rentals validate the car-sharing model. But would you rent your car to a stranger?
Think BMW sells a lot of cars in the US? The German automaker may have registered nearly 20,000 “sales” in the US last month, but according to the analysts at Polk, over 50 percent of its “sales” in 2010 were actually leases. No wonder BMW’s best-seller, the Dreier (3 Series), occupies a nearly unique position on the price-volume frontier. And apparently BMW will continue to look to non-sales for future sales growth, as Automotive News [sub] reports the firm has launched a new car-sharing joint venture in Europe aimed at bringing in a million new customers by 2020. The pitch: sleek new Bavarian metal, as well as the ability to pick up and drop off vehicles anywhere, thanks to smartphone vehicle tracking. But the biggest pitch, say BMW sources, is to people who would never buy a new BMW… or even lease one. And they’re not just talking about poor folks either…
Back in November, NHTSA announced that it was investigating how long it took for rental cars to be repaired under recall, saying
NHTSA understands that there is presently a petition before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking to prohibit at least one rental car company from renting vehicles on which safety recall campaign remedies remain outstanding.
Because only vehicles made by the Detroit Three are under investigation, they are the only firms who have been asked to disclose how long it takes rental fleets to repair their vehicles. And, according to the Detroit News
GM and Chrysler told NHTSA this week that 30 days after a recall — 10 to 30 percent of vehicles sold to rental car companies had been repaired.
By 90 days, it had improved to about 30 percent and within a year, the number had improved to 50 percent or higher.
Ford did not make its data public, citing the fact that the release of the information could damage it is relationship with rental car companies and result in “decreased sales of motor vehicles to rental car fleets.”
Rental car companies are not legally required to complete recalls before they rent the cars to customers.