Scooter dealers in London see sales drop as a result of violent crime in the city
Violent crime involving powered two wheelers in the Greater London area has flashed back into the public gaze since a recent BBC News TV investigation into assaults on couriers. And, as dealers know to their cost, the impact of such attacks and thefts on scooter sales has been ruinous for some.
To make matters worse, insurers are now factoring in extreme risk. Anecdotal evidence has emerged that some of them are even demanding the virtual impossibility of secure, garaged parking at either end of a daily commute, as a requirement for cover.
Speaking this week to British Dealer News correspondent John Featherstone, one leading London trade source was forthright about just how bad the situation has become and is certainly reflecting the views of many others:
“It's a caustic situation where I'm now getting customers wanting deposits returned, because insurance quotes and premium conditions are astronomical – premium approaching full retail price of the machine in one instance. My sales are down by a third this year. And the reality is that scooter delivery market customers are the only ones we have left in that sector. Now they are in trouble too, trying to get insurance, and have seen massive premium increases in recent months.
“The insurance companies need to catch up and urgently reassess the currently improving state of play, rather than react to a past scenario by slamming in price hikes. Scooter-enabled crime in London has actually dropped by 26% this year. The police have made a big impression and locked up a lot of the bad boys. Trackers are working and an emphasis on all aspects of bike security is having an impact to some extent.
“But we need help to survive. We need MCIA members and insurance companies to act together with the NMDA. Manufacturers have to stand up and not just pretend it’s going to go away.”
Our source was also sharply aware that he and other London dealers are on the receiving end of a double whammy, because Transport for London’s controversial inclusion of older motorcycles and scooters in its Ultra Low Emissions Zone charging plans will force a lot of their commuting customers off the road altogether. “Mayor Sadiq Khan is a nightmare with his ULEZ policy and killing powered two-wheeler transport here in this city,” he added.
Let’s hope Birmingham’s decision to let bikes off the hook in its own version of ULEZ will persuade Sadiq Khan to reconsider. And it would be interesting to hear the views of our colleagues in the insurance industry.
Source – British Dealer News