News reaches us the motorcycle insurance company Bennetts has been purchased by the Ardonagh Group, a name that probably means nothing to most of us until you learn they also own Carole Nash Insurance. In fact they own Autonet too, which encompasses Mackenzie Hodgson Insurance, and Swinton too under the Atlanta Investment Holdings banker, according to British Dealer News. BDN also reports that completion of the deal would potentially put around two thirds of the entire UK motorcycle insurance market into Ardonagh’s hands, which potentially doesn’t sound like very good news for the customer. Apparently the deal is however subject to approval by the Competition and Markets Authority.
In other news, Haynes publishing has been purchased by French Media company Infopro Digital. The decision to sell their book publishing division comes around a year after founder John Haynes passed away and does not affect the Haynes Museum in Somerset.
Meanwhile Piaggio Ltd have announced prices and rival dates for new models in the UK as well as some deals that will run until 31 March 2020. These include free chrome luggage racks with Vespa Primavera 125, Vespa GTS 125 and 300 available with 0% HP finance, free top box and helmet, the Piaggio Liberty 125 and Medley 125 are available with 0% HP finance and ‘urban living’ accessories pack (including free lock, helmet and top box), and there are free heated leg cover and heated grips offered with Piaggio MP3 models.
As for new models, the Vespa Elettrica 70 km/h with optimised power unit, vehicle management system and battery pack (and of course higher top speed and greater range) arrived in February, priced at £6,499 OTR. The Vespa GTS 125 and 300 hpe Super Racing Sixties will be available from June in two new special colour schemes, priced at £4,699 OTR (125cc) and £5,199 OTR (300cc). Other special edition models will be the Primavera 125 RED (in support of the Global Fund to fight AIDS), available from July priced at £4,149 OTR and the Vespa Primavera Sean Wotherspoon available later this month, priced at £4,499 OTR. See www.uk.piaggio.com for further details and to book test rides, and of course you can read our road-test review of the latest Vespa GTS in edition 12 of ScooterNova magazine here.
**Edition 18 of ScooterNova magazine is available now from all good scooter shops, or buy from our online shop and have it delivered directly to your door. Click here for more details.
Edition 18 also includes a couple of amazing original-condition 1960s dealer special scooters form London, an Eddy Grimstead Vespa GS and a Speedway Lambretta SX. We celebrate 35 years of the Vespa T5 sports scooter, take a look at scooter electronics with an expert from Scootronics. There’s an exclusive feature on a Lambretta 3-wheeler recently built in Italy, a pair of tasty custom Series 1 and 2 Lambrettas, the desirable barn-find Vespa 90SS featured on the front cover, an eye-catching Lambretta street racer, all the latest news from Scooterist Meltdown in Germany, product reviews, a bit of news and more besides. Visit the main website for further details and to order and subscribe.