A week has passed since we broke the alterations to the Florida senate law to our customers regarding UK drivers needing an International Driving Permit.
Since then we were one of the first to confirm that the Florida senate had frozen the alteration while they investigated it further and would not be penalising UK drivers for not having an IDP.
So what have we learnt?
Well obviously the first thing we’ve learnt is that the Florida law makers definitely didn’t think this one through, not only has the introduction of the IDP been met with amazement in the UK, but also in Canada where the majority of the pressure to alter the law has come from.
The second thing we’ve learnt is the value of car hire USA brokers, it wasn’t the suppliers who found out about this law (Alamo, Budget, Dollar etc), it was car rental brokers, I personally emailed each and everyone of our suppliers warning them to the alteration and asking for their official stance.
On the day we ran with the story and notified all our customers I called each supplier pretending to be a customer and asked them one very specific question.
Do I require an International Driving Permit to hire in Florida?
These were my replies.
Supplier: Alamo Rent A Car
Agents name: Bob
Answer: Bob immediately stated that an IDP was not required. When I informed him of the rule change he popped me on hold to double check and then returned to state that again no IDP was required.
Verdict: Bob was wrong.
Supplier: Budget Rent A Car
Agents name: Natalie
Answer: Again Natalie hadn’t heard about the IDP change and told me it wasn’t required. When I told her, she popped me on hold and returned to state that Budget wouldn’t stop me from renting the vehicle however if I felt it was necessary to have one then I should get one. She’d didn’t know where I could get one from though.
Verdict: Although she wasn’t fully equipped with the information I thought her advise was ok.
Supplier: Dollar Rent A Car
Agents name: Charles
Answer: Actually I first spoke to their customer services department, who stated they didn’t know anything and sent me to reservations. Charles stated I definitely only needed a UK driving licence, again I informed him of the change in law, he popped me on hold to verify. Charles returned some time after to confirm I definitely did not need an IDP.
Verdict: Charles was wrong.
On Friday after we posted and contacted our customers to confirm that the amended law would not be actioned until further notice, I repeated the above calls.
I obviously didn’t get through to the same people but each of the suppliers then confirmed I would require an IDP…
What did I learn?
When picking your Florida Car Hire supplier, remember its not just price you should be thinking about, its also the after care…
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