JD Power 2012 Rental Car Ratings

Hi all,

This is the 4th year we’ve cast our beady little eyes over the JD Power Rental Car satisfaction study. 

Now in its 17th year, the study measures overall domestic customer satisfaction with USA car rentals at airports by examining six factors (listed in order of importance): costs and fees; pick-up process; return process; rental car; shuttle bus/van; and reservation process.

Last year little known (in the UK) USA car hire supplier ACE Rent A Car walked away with the top award on the back of some very impressive customer services scores. Actually on the whole the car rental market’s customer service scores grew in 2011 and that trend has continued for 2012.

Overall satisfaction in 2012 averages 769 on a 1,000-point scale, up from 758 in 2011, and beats the record high of 767 that was set in 2006. Overall satisfaction in 2012 is driven by increases in scores across all factors except reservation process, which is down by one index point, compared to 2011.

Stuart Greif, vice president of the travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates said;

The rental car industry continues to step up its game, building on improvements in the rental car customer experience made over the past several years, while also benefiting from higher satisfaction levels with cost and fees relative to prior years, However, there still are tremendous opportunities to leverage technology to address customer pain points in the rental car experience. There is also an opportunity to make the most out of staff interactions with customers and raise customer satisfaction levels even higher.

So who actually won?

  1. Enterprise Rent A Car: 804
  2. National Car Rental: 788
  3. Alamo Rent A Car: 773
  4. Hertz: 771
  5. Avis Rent A Car: 766
  6. Budget Rent A Car: 753
  7. Dollar Rent A Car: 738
  8. ACE Rent A Car: 736
  9. Thrifty Car Rental: 733
  10. Advantage Rent A Car: 711
  11. Payless Rent A Car: 708
  12. Fox Rent A Car: 669

Congratulations to Enterprise Rent A Car and the whole Enterprise Company, who managed to win first, second and third place.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Christmas USA Car Hire Will Sell Out Quickly This Year

Hi all,

The summer peak period seems a long time ago now, USA car hire companies are now concentrating on the next big peak ; Christmas!

As I reported earlier this year, all the major car rental suppliers have already set domestic pricing to the extreme, to combat the perceived shortage ,  for example directly from the supplier a 7 seater minivan can cost almost a $1000 for a weeks hire!

77.7 Million people will travel in the USA over the holiday period; this includes the run up to Christmas, generally agreed as the 13th December until the New Year, the actual amount of people flying has been on a steady decline, so a large amount of these people will hire a vehicle.

Representatives of the major car rental suppliers are for once all in agreement that this year is definitely going to see a very strong domestic rental presence and this leaves international USA car rental customers in a bit of a tight situation.

Why?

As shown in my previous analysis of the U.S. pricing for Christmas, suppliers are going to make a lot more money providing car rental to U.S. driving licence holders than they are to the European market.

What does this mean?

Our suppliers are a business and not a charity, they will look to alter their fleeting to cater for the high priced local business rather than the international market, which will mean one of two things (or actually maybe both), firstly we are set to see a big price rise (Alamo have already issued two price hikes) or secondly our suppliers will begin to sell out.

What to do?

Although this will sound like a sales pitch, there really will be no great late deals, book now to avoid disappointment.

Remember the Christmas period is going to be busy! Really busy!

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Can You Guess How Many Ford Mustang Convertibles We’re Rented This Year!?

Hi all,

Everybody loves a Ford Mustang! Everybody! Well everybody accept me… but I’ll get to that at later date.

We probably get asked for Ford Mustang hire more than any other vehicle in the World… its so popular we’ve actually taken the time to look through our pool of data to find the actual number of Ford Mustangs we’ve rented this year.

Firstly lets look at where our customers are collecting Ford Mustangs from from;

A whooping 73% of our customers who got Mustang’s collected within Florida or California, and when broken down even further 67% of these vehicles were collected from either Orlando International Airport or San Francisco International Airport.

Now lets take a look at which suppliers are actually providing the Ford Mustang.

Dtag (Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental) make up almost 75% of all Ford Mustangs provided to our suppliers, National Car Rental providing the least based on the amount of time they’ve been up for sale.

Alternative vehicles offered instead of the Ford Mustang are as follows.

The Chrysler 200 being the highest percentage of vehicle used as the alternative, however what did surprise me was the amount of Camaro’s being collected! Please note that the vehicles described above are not a guarantee of the model you will receive upon collection.

So have you guessed how many Ford Mustang’s were collected in 2012?

In 2012 usrentacar.co.uk customers collected over 2500 Ford Mustang’s within the USA!! This number represents just over half of the total amount of convertibles booked and considering that the Convertible isn’t even our most popular vehicle I think you’ll agree this is a massive figure.

Did you collect a Ford Mustang with usrentacar.co.uk in 2012?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

usrentacar.co.uk Hits 20k Customer Reviews Milestone

Hi all,

Back in 2006 usrentacar.co.uk started asking customers to leave a review about the service our suppliers were providing. We were the first car rental company to do this and only recently have we begun to see competitors replicate our service.

Today I’m delighted to announce that we have hit the impressive milestone of over 20k verified car hire USA reviews, making U.S. Rent A Car the largest user generated car rental review service in the world.

Our 20,000th review came from Mr F Andrews, regarding Dollar Rent A Car from San Francisco Airport who he scored an overall 77 out of 100 based on such things as, vehicle quality, pick service and value for money. He collected a Chevrolet Impala his full review stated

We had an accident where a car drove into the back of us. The Dollar desk at LAX were really helpful and sorted us a replacement straight away. The initial desk at San Francisco was quick also but certain things weren”t explained. Overall it was good though.

At present we have over 8k reviews regarding Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car, 5k reviews regarding Alamo/National Rent A Car and 7k reviews regarding Budget Rent A Car.

The location with the most views is Orlando International Airport (MCO) with an impressive 5170, the vehicle type with the highest number of reviews is the 7 Seater Minivan which from MCO with Budget Rent A Car has over 500 unique reviews.

Our review section has proved so popular that we created a central engine where customers can view and filter reviews for a more personalised experience. It can be found here Car Hire USA reviews

Here’s to 20k more reviews and a great insight in to the collection process at different airports across the U.S.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Understanding Your USA Car Rental Agreement

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of posts recently I’ve been helping test out some new features we are going to add to usrentacar.co.uk, the first will hopefully be ready to launch next week and looks very promising.

Today’s post is about understanding your USA car rental agreement before you collect your vehicle.

Upon arrival in the U.S. you will be required to sign a rental agreement, this agreement is the contract between yourself (driver) and the car rental supplier (Alamo, Budget, Dollar etc). This is a legally binding contract and should be treated as such. We recommend you fully read and understand this document before signing it. Here are some items to look out for;

1. Rental Agreement No.

Designated by the Rental Agreement number, the rental agreement must be completed at the rental pick up location and should be carried with you in case you are required to prove you are legally in posession of the vehicle.

2. Car Serial Number

Designates the vehicle rented on the rental contract.

3. Rental Date, Time, Office

Shows the date, time, and rental station to return the vehicle, in which the vehicle was rented.

4. Return Date, Time, City

Shows the requested date, time, and rental station to return the vehicle without incurring any additional charges.

5. Allowable Drivers

Lists the drivers who are authorised to drive the vehicle. Extra drivers may be added at the time of rental and in some cases aftecolection. Additional charges may apply for additional drivers or underage drivers.

6. Additional Options/Other Information

Lists the additional options that may have been selected, such as, an upgrade of car, personal protection options, fuel options, etc.

7. Charges

Lists the itemisation of charges associated with the rental. As our rentals are pre-paid all the insurances we include (What’s Included) will be listed as $0.00, any additional charges will be noted here and should be queried if you do not recognise them.

The lead name on the confirmed reservation (the primary renter) must be the person whose credit card is used to pay any charges.

8. Rental Signatures

Confirms the terms of the rental agreement by all persons listed on the rental agreement.

example Alamo rental agreement:

 The rental agreement is very important and you should not feel rushed or pressured to be quick if you are at the head of a long queue; remember the queue is there problem not yours.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Which Makes and Model’s Fall In To What Category?

Hi all,

Or similar, or similar, or similar… in case you didn’t know all the vehicle descriptions we offer are followed by the words “or similar”, we can never guarantee make or model of the vehicle you will receive upon collection.

There are a few reasons for this, which you can read about here but today’s post is more about the vehicles you’re likely to receive. usrentacar.co.uk was the first USA car hire company to ask for customer reviews, we’ve been doing this since 2004 and have the largest collection of Florida car hire reviews in the UK. Part of the review process invites customers to tell us the make and model of the vehicle they have collected.

So below is a list of vehicles for each category that our customers have collected from various places in the USA, the information below is available by visiting the usrentacar car hire usa reviews page.

Economy – Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yards,  Chevrolet Cobalt

Compact – Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Kia Forte

Intermediate - Dodge Avenger, Ford Taurus, VW Passat

Standard -  Mitsibushi Galant

Full Size - Chevrolet malibu, Dodge Charger, Chevy Impala

Premium - Ford Edge, Ford Crown Victoria, Chrysler 300

Luxury -  Lincoln MKZ.  Cadillac DTS

Convertible – Ford Mustang, Chrysler 200

Intermediate SUV – Ford Escape, Nissan Murano, Jeep Liberty

Standard SUV – Kia Sorrento,  Dodge Journey

7 Seater Minivan - Dodge Grand Caravan

Please note the information below does not take in to consideration upgrades and is not representative of every supplier or location.

I hope this helps some of you with your holiday planning.

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

Are We Looking At A USA Car Hire Shortage For Christmas?

Hi all,

Yeah, yeah I know… its only August and I’m already talking about Christmas. I’m well aware of the unwritten rule that you can’t mention Christmas until the Coca Cola advert comes on the TV but I thought this information was worth breaking that embargo.

We reported via our facebook page a few weeks back how we were expecting a Christmas surcharge to be on the way shortly and my findings today definitely support this.

During my usual trawling of USA car rental sites to make sure we remain the UK’s number one for price and service I came across some interesting pricing for Christmas from our main suppliers.

The following screen shots are all based on Orlando International Airport (MCO) for a weeks hire commencing the 20th December 2012 as if I were a U.S. domestic customer.

Alamo Rent A Car

Budget Rent A Car

Dollar Rent A Car

As you can see prices are already in the hundreds of dollars and the prices above don’t even include insurance!!

So why the shortage?

Here’s my thought process… you’re a car rental supplier, you know that each year the domestic market goes bonkers and you’re probably going to sell out, actually demand will exceed supply. So just like holidays being more expensive in kids summer holidays, car rental prices go up.

However you also know that you’re going to make more money selling to the domestic market than you will selling to the international market. Reason being you’ve negotiated contractual pricing way before the Christmas period hits, yes prices can alter but not the to the extent of a domestic hire. What you do control though is the availability of vehicles over this period, so where as a business is the best place for you availability to be?… Correct domestically.

So the point I raise of an impending Christmas period shortage is very real… actually so real I wrote about it last year as well…

So my advice would be to book as soon as possible to avoid disappointment especially on minivans and convertibles, remember you can secure your rental with a £50 deposit.

Regards.

James

 car hire USA

USA Car Hire Without A Credit Card

Hi all,

Being the holder of a major credit use to be the only way you could hire a car in the USA. Suppliers required a credit card imprint as part of their insurance validation process.

So upon arrival at the suppliers pick up location the lead driver would be required to show

  1. Their car rental voucher (mobile or printed)
  2. Their full driving licence
  3. A credit card.

What happens if I don’t have a credit card?

Not everybody has a credit card, so what are the alternatives?

Well some suppliers will accept a cash deposit; usually around $200-$300 per week the cash is not kept at the car rental office therefore once the vehicle is returned your deposit is returned via a cheque after 28 days. The supplier holds on to your deposit for 28 days encase of traffic violations. Obviously this isn’t ideal and the amount of offices that accept a cash deposit are very small, please check with our reservations department for exact information.

Is there an alternative?

Yes, there is an alternative. Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental will now accept a VISA debit card from all locations in the name of the lead driver  for the security deposit. Alamo Rent A Car are also accepting VISA debit’s but only from certain locations; please check with our reservations department for confirmation. The card must be a VISA debit our suppliers will not accept other debit card versions.

At present all our other suppliers will require a credit card but we are hopeful this will change soon.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Dollar Rent A Car Release 2013 Rates

Hi all,

As I’m sure a lot of you know we’ve been in negotiating with all our USA car hire suppliers regarding rates for 2013.

First across the line were the Usain Bolt’s of car rental Budget Rent A Car who we have had on sale now for a couple of months however just behind them are the Yohan Blake of 2013 car rental prices; Dollar Rent A Car. Who I am happy to announce are now on sale for pick ups up until the 31/10/13.

What’s Included

The 2013 rates include pretty much the same as 2012.

Silver Rates (inclusive)

  • Unlimited Mileage.
  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) which is a combination insurance of both Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Waiver. As long as you adhere to the rental policy of the supplier you will not be held responsible for the cost of replacement or repair to your hire vehicle.
  • Uninsured Motorist Protection (UMP) up to $1m Liability Cover. Offers an Uninsured/Underinsured/Hit-and-Run Motorist Protection (UMP) that provides the renter and family members travelling together in the rented vehicle with up to $1,000,000 of non-stacked coverage for bodily injury sustained while driving the rental car, and caused by another driver who has no insurance, minimal insurance, or is a hit-and-run driver.
  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) up to $1m Liability Cover. All drivers included on the rental agreement will not be held liable for third party claims for bodily injury or property damage resulting from an accident.
  • Basic Roadside Assistance
  • All Taxes and Airport Fees.

Budget Rent A Car ‘only’ include 1 additional spouse driver free of charge within their fully inclusive rate.

All our suppliers include 1 additional driver free of charge when collecting in California.

If our Gold Rate is purchased in addition to the Silver rate inclusions your first tank of petrol will be included (excluding All Alamo Manhattan Locations and San Francisco downtown locations) and extend the insurance to accommodate additional drivers.

  • Alamo Rent A Car Gold covers up to 9 additional drivers over 25. (Alamo Gold only available for rentals of 4 days or more)
  • Budget Rent A Car Gold covers all additional drivers over 25.
  • Dollar Rent A Car Gold covers all additional drivers over 25.
  • National Car Rental Gold Gold covers up to 3 additional drivers over 25. (National Gold only available for rentals of 4 days or more)
  • Thrifty Rent A Car  Gold covers all additional drivers over 25 (Thrifty Gold only includes fuel when rental is for 4 days or more)

If our Platinum Rate is purchased (where available) in addition to the Silver and Gold rate features you will also be covered for the following.

Reimbursement for any physical loss or damage to the Rental Vehicle for which You are responsible under the terms of the Vehicle Rental Agreement, including: (Total section limit: GBP 2,000.00)

  • Physical damage to windscreens, tyres, and undercarriage.
  • Towing costs relating to the loss or damage.

If unintentionally locked out of the Rental Vehicle.

  • Our supplier will pay up to GBP 100.00 to open the Rental Vehicle.

Pay to replace a lost or stolen Rental Vehicle key, including replacement locks and locksmith.

  • charges up to a maximum of GBP 300.00 for each and every claim.

Please note that the additional Platinum insurance is exclusive to usrentacar.co.uk and is not provided directly with the supplier but through our third part insurers, for more details please see our terms.

Securing your hire

You can secure your 2013 car hire rates with a £50 deposit, the balance of your hire would be due 8 weeks prior to departure. Regardless of currency fluctuation your price is then fixed.

We are working hard to secure more supplier pricing for 2013 and I will update you as soon as possible.

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

Budget Rent A Car Issue Huge Amendments

Hi all,

We’ve been informed today of some major amendments to the Budget Rent A Car packages being sold here on usrentacar.co.uk. These new amendments will take place from 1st August 2012 and will effect all new or amended rentals.

Major Changes

Unfortunately some of the unique selling points Budget offered are either being removed or amended, I will try to break down the major alterations here.

Free upgrade deal

For a few years now Budget Rent A Car have been offering a free upgrade on certain categories of vehicles based on availability. A huge number of our customers have taken advantage of this offer however as of today this offer is not available on new bookings.

Additional Driver

This one keeps altering, but for now the additional driver included within the Budget Rent A Car silver rate is now only applicable to spouses and domestic partners.

Pre-Paid Sat Nav’s Collected Locally

Another amendment to the contract now prevents us from pre-booking GPS units to be collected upon arrival. You can still purchase our Sat Nav sent to you here in the UK though.

Young Drivers Package

This one for me is the real blow, unfortunatley as of today Budget Rent A Car have removed their Young Drivers Package. This is a real shame as Budget were one of the pioneering suppliers for under 25 driving.

Remember we still have Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental to provide our young drivers service.

We will continue to speak to Budget and where we can look to add more value to their product.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us,

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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