See interesting article in the Gazette today.
"...Minicars ready for the road..."--(Royal Gazette--Apr 21, 2017)--
"...The French America’s Cup team are putting ten minicars on the road after new regulations allowing the vehicles ...Last week The Royal Gazette reported the arrival of Renault Twizys imported by Eurocar, now up for use by Groupama Team France.
It is understood that the miniature vehicles will ultimately go to hotels for use by visitors after the sailing is over..."
It struck me as odd that the initial news report of the 'Twizy' arrivals in Bermuda made no mention of any local Bermudian rental livery(s) associated with their arrival....though at the time that the initial enabling legislation was considered in Parliament, two potential mini-car rental operators were noted.
I spoke with Oleander about this last week. They are still working out what they might offer. Between the minicars and things like the scootcoupe, I think there will be a variety of vehicles for rent.
A few years ago, Parliament amended the MOTOR CAR ACT legislation allowing fractional-ownership condo developments that qualified, to operate fleets of up to ten(10) '..fractional hire vehicles..' for property owners ( http://tinyurl.com/l6v7ad7 ). To the best of my knowledge, none of the properties that qualified ever took any advantage of it.
Not sure if the "..fractional hire vehicles.." MOTOR CAR AMENDMENT (NO. 2) ACT 2010 abbreviated link worked--
http://www.bermudalaws.bm/laws/Annual%20Laws/2010/Acts/Motor%20Car%20Amendment%20(No.%202)%20Act%202010.pdfEdited: 21 April 2017, 18:03
Here's another '..catch..'. The recently passed '..JA MINICAR..' legislations specifically requires a Minicar Livery license, which hotels do not possess. One of the reasons why Bermuda hotels do not offer their own in-house airport transfer or limo services is because the associated costs and regulatory 'hoops' that they'd need to jump through just aren't worth it (nor would it be popular with the local taxi industry).
http://www.bermudalaws.bm/laws/Annual%20Laws/2016/Acts/Motor%20Car%20Amendment%20(No.%202)%20Act%202016.pdfEdited: 21 April 2017, 18:56
bostonspider, did Oleander give any indication of a possible timeframe on when they might be able to begin offering a minicar/scootcoupe/etc to the general public?Edited: 23 April 2017, 17:31
You could try contacting GREGORY BLUCK, the G.M. at Oleander Cycles to inquire--
There's no room for mini cars/etc on island. People get real.
I agree Alan. This is a bad idea and it should be obvious to all. Not only is there no room, but I predict there will be more accidents by tourists than there ever was with scooters. The excuse of narrow roads and sharp curves that has been used to argue against scooter rentals to tourists will be even more relevant as it pertains to mini-cars.
So far....the mini-cars that recently arrived appear to be '..demonstrators..', for use by the French America's Cup syndicate...and then as the Royal Gazette article claims, "...It is understood that the miniature vehicles will ultimately go to hotels for use by visitors after the sailing is over..". But apart from the Groupama Team France A/C syndicate (who will fold their foils and sail off after the event, there has been NO specific mention of which (if any) hotels might be interested or the name of any potential rental liveries or mini-car investors. It's telling that no one was standing on the dock when these minicars arrived with their checkbook or AMEX card in hand. The only hotel that I've heard of that expressed any interest in the '..concept..' of the minicar was the Hamilton Princess. I suspect that the handful of Renault Twizys that arrived at the dock are simply a clever marketing gimmick, at an international sporting event venue, for a French auto manufacturer
The Bermuda Tourism Authority claims that rental cars are a transportation option that other competitive vacation destinations have that Bermuda doesn't but a small two-passenger vehicle doesn't offer much more to a potential tourist than a 'double' motor scooter and does a '..family..' group absolutely no good at all. What the overwhelming majority of vacationers think of as a '..rental car..' is what they left parked at their home airport or cruise port...not a '..pregnant roller skate..'.
There is no doubt that some travelers might think them '..cool..' but the hourly or daily rental rates for such vehicles would probably have them looking for the nearest bus stop in the proverbial ' New York Minute'. In a local economic climate as demanding as the tourism industry operates...I really don't see the return-on-investment that any potential rental operator would need to sustain their investment...no less turn a profit.
Even if a hotel were interested, they'd still have to secure a mini-car livery license and pay a substantial fee for both the livery license, the vehicle registration and then the mini-car itself (even if the 'demonstrator' was steeply discounted below a hefty MSRP 'sticker price'.
No matter the issues with taxi operators (a significant political bloc)...competitive tourism alternative...traffic congestion, parking or road safety issues...it'll come down to profit vs. LOSS....and frankly, I can't see even the rosiest business plan that can demonstrate a profit anytime before the batteries die, the tires fall off or the bank-appointed receivers foreclose.