My week in Car Hire, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Babies, Upgrades and Reviews

Hi All,

Hope you are all well.

This week has been a very long, tiring but interesting week. On a personal note my third son is teething! So he’s decided to keep my sleep down to a minimum, bless him!!

On the professional front we’ve had meetings with Budget, Avis and Alamo. We’ve seen a sneak preview of the U.S. Rent A Car booking engine upgrade and?partnered up with a start up review site.

Budget Meeting

The budget meeting as far as I’m concerned went well. As we sort of guessed already prices will be going up for next year, the actual rise will probably be proportionate to the q3 results that are due around the 03/11/09, however we are thinking between a?5-8% rise. The rise is very much to do with the interest rate now being charged to Budget for re-financing, believed to be around 9% an increase of roughly 6% allegedly.

We raised our concerns regarding how budget staff are selling their “toll passes” to customers and?hope the message has got through.?Feedback from customers tells us that staffs have been including the pass automatically in the hire car and then charging locally once the customer signs the agreement. Not something we are very impressed about.

Avis

The positive outcome of this meeting was that we now have Avis at Orlando International Airport to offer. Avis consider themselves (probably rightfully) to be a premium product and so rates reflect this, however so does the service.

Alamo

Alamo confirmed that there will definitely be a price increase next year of 8% across the board. Their justification for the increase is that they are the only car rental company who is not hanging on to their fleet for another year, so in theory if you rent an Alamo car you will be guaranteed a vehicle of no more than 6/8 months old, rather than over a year as with others.

We also spoke about speeding up the process once you guys get to the U.S. and hopefully we have stumbled upon a solution, I’ll tell you more once we’ve signed some documents.

U.S. Rent A Car Booking Engine

Frank (Business Development) and I,?got a sneak preview from the IT guys of the booking engine upgrade this week. The resulting effort seems to make the engine a lot quicker and slicker. We also managed to brain storm a few new ideas to freshen up the engine and perhaps innovate again within the industry.

The car rental industry is very slow to innovate; I still can’t believe we are the only company to include user generated reviews on our site. Which leads nicely too…..

Partnered up with review site

This week we launched inconjuncation with www.rentacars.co.uk the largest car hire opinion and review site in the UK.

At present it has over 10k unique reviews, the site is in its infancy and I would predict it will probably change again at some point but we are hoping it could become the trip advisor of car hire… wishful thinking perhaps…

World Travel Market (WTM) draws nearer and I?m very lucky to be attending the Travel BlogCamp (@tbcamp on twitter) hosted by Darren Cronian of Travel Rants fame. The list of attendee?s is very impressive and although I usually dread WTM I?m actually looking forward to it this year.

That?s it for this week, have a good weekend and a happy Halloween.

?

Regards,

?

Gavin,

U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

@gavinboswell

Nominated for best Car Hire Site Travel Mole Awards

Hi All,

Well wouldn’t you know it, ?none for ages then two nominations come along at once!

Following up on our recent nomination for best Car Hire website in the Travolution Awards, we have today been informed that we have also been selected for a nomination in the same category at the prestigious Travel Mole awards! Hooray!

The awards take place on the 24th June at Canada House in London. So once again its finger crossing time.

Wish us luck.

Regards,

Gavin

Vote us the best car hire company in the TravelMole Awards…please

Hi Guys,

Voting has been extended for the best car hire company award in this years Travelmole awards. Please could you take the time to vote for us by clicking on the link below.

http://www.ogn-xtra.com/travelmole_web_awards/site.php?site=7

Thanks,

Regards,

Gavin

Nominated for the Travolution best Car Hire Award

Hi Guys and Girls,

Great news this week at U.S. Rent A Car mansions. Unexpectedly but very welcome, we have been nominated for a prestigious Travolution award for best Car Hire company.

I’d just like to take the time to thank all the staff for working so hard, this nomination is very much recognition for all their efforts.

The awards and winners will be announced at the Dorchester hotel on Tuesday 29 September 2009. ?The Awards celebrate the achievements of the industry and recognise innovation and outstanding strategy. They are judged by an independent panel of experts drawn from the industry.

I’ve got everything crossed and hopefully we could walk away with this great award.

I will of course keep you all posted.

Regards,

Gavin

Vote for U.S. Rent A Car… please

Hi All,

It appears we have been nominated in the car rental category for a prestigious Travel Mole award.

If you have a moment could you please vote for us at http://www.ogn-xtra.com/travelmole_web_awards/categories.php?categorie=0&mode=alph&page=7&voted=all or click here.

Thanks,

Gavin,

U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

usrentacar Easter Hours

Hi all,

Today we have received the operating hours for our suppliers over Easter. As they have elected to close on Friday and Monday, we have reluctantly decided to follow suit.

However we will still be open on the Saturday 9am until 1pm and our website is open 24/7.

Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.

Regards,

Gavin

U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

Important infomation regarding Thrifty Car Hire

Hi All,

Today I received this email regarding the Thrifty Car Rental Product.

“Please be advised that Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group is removing Thrifty from distribution channels as of 28th February 2009.

The Thrifty product is to be removed from sale, and will be reviewed for the next 3-6 months. It is envisaged but not confirmed that the Thrifty product will be re-introduced into an alternative position at that time.

Should Thrifty be re-introduced it will be with new terms and conditions.

Thrifty may be booked up to and including the 28th February 2009 for pickups up to and including the 31st March 2010. Any reservations already made will be honoured and invoiced as usual.

For the sake of clarity we would like to state that there is no change or intended change to the service or terms and conditions of the Dollar product.

We will keep you updated as to any news relating to this information.”

It is a real shame that we are no longer able to sell this product, as above this does not effect any existing bookings or any bookings made by the 28th.

To prevent any errors we will be removing the Thrifty product on Friday, however bookings can be made up until the 28th via our reservations department on 0845 226 8523.

Is there an alternative supplier you would like us to open negotiations with? What are your thoughts on Thrifty?

Regards,

?

Gavin

Launch of Florida Car Hire USA mini sites

Hi all,

This weekend we finally launched the final site in our series of specialist mini-sites for car hire in America.

We have now added to our portfolio

www.usacarhiredirect.com

www.usa-car-hire.net

www.floridacarhires.com

www.florida-carhire.net

www.carrentalusa.net

www.car-hire-usa.net

www.carhireus.co.uk

www.carhireorlando.net

www.car-hire-florida.net

We are hoping these mini sites will allow more customers to benefit from our low cost car hire.

Is there anything we are missing. I’d love to hear any ideas.

Regards,

?

Gavin

?

?

U.S. Rent A Car Snow Day

Hi,

U.S. Rent A Car would like to apologise for any inconvenience our customers may have experienced today 02/02/09 with contacting our reservations department. Due to the 7-8 inches of snow fall in the Farnborough area only 2 staff members! have been able to safely make it in to work today.

A big thank you to Stacey and Frank for their sterling efforts today.

Hopefully tomorrow we will be fully staffed and back to normal.

Thank you for your patients.

Regards,

Gavin Boswell,
Managing Director,
U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

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