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RATES UPDATE AND AREA REALIGNMENT 2018

 

 

 

 

Since the business began just over 10 years ago in September 2007 my airport prices, with one or two minor tweaks in certain areas, have remained the same. Additionally my Local ‘Spot Hire’ rates (usually referred to as ‘Metered Rate’, again with one or two minor adjustments, has also remained static.

This despite the Financial Crash in 2008, Continuous rate increases in Insurance and Fuel Price fluctuations, which never seem to fall back to the lower levels.  To give you an indication of the level of increase the initial insurance annual premium for 1 car and named driver was £1650 in 2007 but did reduce in the following couple of years to around £1400. However, once I took on more drivers and increased the fleet to 3 cars with ‘Any Driver’ it initially increased to £1500 per vehicle and this years premium with 4 cars and minimal risk, was £9890 or just short of £2500 per car, an increase of nearly 60% or an average of 6% per year! In regards to fuel costs, although over the years there have been fluctuations, it has been a steady increase over the price in 2007. As a guide, in 2007, to fill up the Ford Galaxy I ran as my first car would cost £60. To do so in my current cars, the Ford Galaxy & VW Sharan (both with the same size fuel tanks) now costs £80 at least, when using one of the major Supermarkets, but sometimes considerably more if one of the local filling stations are used. This is an overall increase of 20% or an average of 2% per year. Another cost to the business has been airport parking. Over the years this has led to business customers (who are able to reclaim the cost) and new customers recently being charged for their parking when using the ‘Meet & Greet’ service offered. This has been done because again, in 2007, the major airports Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton offered free Parking for 15 minutes followed by £1 for 30 minutes and £2 for an hour. Now there is no free period, while 30 minutes cost £3.60 and £3.80 at Gatwick and Heathrow respectively, double for an hour, £10 for 1.5 hours while Stansted and Luton currently charge £3.50 for 10 minutes at their Express Drop Off & Pick Up Zone. London City is £3.80 for Pick Up in the Short Term Car Park where it is now impossible to pick up outside the terminal building as it is monitored 24 hours a day by CCTV and the fine is £400.00! In addition the Dartford Crossing Fees have seen a steady increase over the years and although recently these have been included in the fare these will now be quoted separately and either added to the final cost of the journey or paid for at the time by the customer. Added to the increased capital costs of replacement vehicles, increases in Road Fund Licence for the vehicles, increases in rates to the local councils to licence the cars it has been simply just a steady rise in costs with few increases to offset these rising costs.

In addition to the rising costs, once again, with one or two exceptions, the airport prices have been more or less a ‘Blanket’ price across the majority of my main area of business. Basically this is bordered by Lamberhurst & Hurst Green in the west to Headcorn, Biddenden, Tenterden & Rolvenden in the East.

Therefore I now find myself in the difficult position of having to increase my rates with effect from 1st January 2018. In order to ensure the increase is balanced so that those areas which have the greater cost in regards to fuel will see a slightly greater increase than those where the cost in whole due to rising costs. Therefore without any realigning the increase on an airport journey will be £5, while in an area which is realigned this may well be as much as £10. If the Meet & Greet’ service is requested at anytime then the Parking Fee at cost will be either added to the total or paid for by the customer at pick up. The increase to the ‘Metered Rate’ is minimal and still keeps it under the rate permitted by the Local Authorities for Licensed Hackney Carriages (Taxis) with fitted meters. This is based on a per mile rate and if a quote is required is done using Google Maps by the shortest route, including any additional pick up or drop off. For distance journeys, excluding Airports, it is based on £65 per hour, again using Google Maps without traffic.

The new rates will also see the introduction of ‘waiting time’ following a grace period, 10 minutes, after the actual booking time.

It is also proposed that to try and ensure maximum availability of vehicles airport booking times will be set at 30 minutes after expected flight arrival time. This will usually mean that the vehicle will be waiting once the customer has cleared passport & baggage. Even with no checked bags 30 to 45 minutes is the norm to clear the terminal for pick up. If you require an earlier booking time this will be permitted but that I reserve the right to charge additional waiting time if it is longer than 30 minutes from booked time to clearing the terminal for pick up.

Although flights are always monitored if a flight arrives in excess of 30 minutes early or delayed more than 30 minutes for arrival a car will still be provided but cannot be guaranteed in a way that an on time arrival is. That means there may be a short wait for the vehicle to arrive after your arrival. It is therefore important that when booking you ensure that you provide the correct flight details, times and notify me of any changes prior to your departure. This is major changes not ‘on the day’ delays.

 

For a full list of the fares and how it may effect you please click on the links above to take you to the relevant page.

 

I do feel that over the years Airports-plus has offered a reliable and competitively priced service and these increases are to ensure that we continue to do so and that you understand the need for these changes and value our service as much as we value your custom.

 

If you wish to discuss any of the these points please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

Ronnie.

 

 

 

 

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