New EU regulations regarding newly built cars and mandatory safety requirements have been announced for all vehicles sold in Europe, including Britain, from 2014. These new requirements mean car hire providers will have to ensure hire vehicles meet even stricter safety regulations, and consumers should know what requirements are needed to ensure they drive legally.
The regulations mean all new cars will have; driver seatbelt reminder alerts, gear shift indicators, on-board tyre pressure monitoring systems, a minimum of two ISOFIX child seat anchorage points and rear passenger seats in front of the boot will have to made to a certain strength strong enough to protect against displacement of luggage. All these new functions will have to be built into the car as opposed to being ‘extras’ as they are on some new cars now.
Although many hire cars are new and many newly built cars already include some of these requirements, smaller compact cars which are cheaper to buy, run and hire are less likely to have all these functions as of yet. In a positive shift for both car hire customers and everyday drivers, these changes should help vehicles run more fuel efficiently to save money. Factors such as tyre pressure will always ensure the shortest possible braking distance, and safety measures such as ISOFIX child seats, seatbelt warnings and strengthened back seats will help minimise injuries if involved in an accident.
Cars will also become much more environmentally friendly as the gear shift indicators and correct tyre pressures reduce C02 emissions. In another futuristic move, more safety regulations for electric vehicles have also been put into place with the European Commission hoping to see an increase in electric cars to further reduce the impact on the environment from cars.
Finally, new cars will also have to display a label warning against the placement of child seats on a seat protected by an active frontal airbag. This will be particularly useful to those hiring a vehicle that may not know the car as well as they would their own.
Figures for the EU show a substantial decrease in the number of road deaths since 2001 and the Commission has proposed a new target to reduce road fatalities by another 50% by 2020 and believes these improvements in vehicle safety technology will contribute to reaching that target.
Michael Bond of 121carhire.com said: "The introduction of these requirements is readily welcomed in the car hire industry. Safety is paramount when providing vehicles and these technological advances mean drivers can concentrate on driving without having to worry about tyre pressure, airbag location and whether all the passengers are wearing seatbelts. People will save money on fuel and be more environmentally aware while still being able to enjoy the benefits of hiring a car when on holiday."
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121carhire.com provides car rental in 15,000 locations across 115 countries worldwide. The car hire specialist has been operating for over 5 years and partners with a range of dealers in all major tourist destinations, to ensure its customers receive a wide range of vehicle options at the lowest price.
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