10 Jan 2008

Samoa drive switch worries rental car businesses

6:34 am on 10 January 2008

The president of Samoa's Rental Car Association says the proposed change from left to right hand drive vehicles is already posing problems with disposing of unwanted cars.

The Transport Control Board has tabled an amendment regulation for the importation of right hand drive vehicles to start next month, subject to cabinet approval which is to be endorsed by the Head of State.

Roy Lee, who owns his own car rental business Discovery Rentals, says it's already proving costly to comply with the impending change.

For example, he says Discovery Rentals will have to pay 1.3 million US dollars, or 3.5 million tala, to replace its entire fleet.

Mr Lee says his fleet is just one year old.

"For the industry to look at changing vehicles, your looking in the vicinity of 25 to 30 million tala, if our members do decide to start refleeting their vehicles. In terms of what to do with the old vehicles, well that's quite a difficult task at this stage."

Roy Lee