Firstly Happy New Year! 2013 is now upon us and the feeling I get through social websites is that people are in positive mood for the future. Here at usrentcar.co.uk we share the same optimism.
As with previous years I thought I’d take a look at how our suppliers performed in 2012 and take a stab at predicting what 2013 might hold.
Please note that the opinions below are solely mine and may not be representative of supplier relationships with other companies.
Alamo Rent A Car / National Rent A Car
Alamo/National are definitely not performing on usrentacar.co.uk as well as they could, a lack of special offers was apparent which mean’t they were out performed by smaller Car Hire USA suppliers, who reacted quicker to the market.
Having said that their niche offerings including young driver packages and great pricing for one way rentals through National continued to perform well.
For 2013 – I’m hoping that we will see a more competitively minded Alamo Rent A Car this year, the purchase of Dollar Rent A Car by Hertz could be a real game changer and Alamo will need to keep their eyes on the prize if they wish to remain number 1 in North America.
Positives – Niche and exclusive products continue to sell well. Customer services turn around in the second half of 2012 was amazingly quick for the car rental industry.
Negatives - Lack of special offers in 2012.
Budget Rent A Car
Although Budget removed some of their more attractive offers this year, including the young drivers package and their upgrade special offer, they continue to perform well without reaching the highs of 2010.
We are still negotiating prices past April 2013 but I’m confident their product will be strong. We have a very good working relationship with Budget and I’m keen to continue this.
For 2013 – Now officially the 3rd largest car rental company in the USA, I expect to see some refinement in their distribution channels. I remember when we first started supporting Budget’s move in to the leisure market it was a bit hit and miss when it came to pricing, now nearly 10 years on Budget understand the market well and are a real player.
Positives – Package wise they still include an additional driver and offer the pick up full return full fuel policy. Good understanding of the UK market.
Negatives – Slow to offer rates for 2013 which could effect yearly numbers.
Dollar Rent A Car & Thrifty Rent A Car
Performed extremely well this year, were quick to offer special offers and moved quickly when we approached them will ideas.
For 2013 - 2012 was a massive year for DTAG which culminated with their sale to Hertz how the buyout will effect the two brands is yet to be seen but I for one think it will be a very positive.
Positives – Very competitive.
Negatives – Although the first 3 quarters of the year were fine, the last quarter of 2012 saw a back log of customer services queries which we found unacceptable, to their credit they have worked very hard to not only remove the back log but also to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Sixt Rent A Car
Although our contract negotiations took a while, we finally had Sixt on board for the final quarter. They have been very keen to learn from us and listen to our feedback. Pricing was extremely competitive to match the fact their product is off airport.
For 2013 – 2013 is a massive opportunity for Sixt, they will be opening up a franchise network that could see the amount of locations they operate from increase dramatically.
Positives – Really competitive.
Negatives – Off airport, which can put some customers off as they assume its a longer process.
I’m sure 2013 will see a lot of twists and turns in it, for U.S. Rent A Car we’ve already been approached by 2 more car rental companies who want to appear on our site for 2013, one is a value brand and the other a new start up, both look interesting at first glance however first appearances can be deceiving so we’ll be taking a much closer look before even considering placing them live.
2012 figures which I’m working through at present, point towards a record year in both number of rentals and revenue. The launch of the new look website in April 2012 definitely had the required effect and my hat goes off to the team.
Within 2012 we launched several new products including our Platinum rate, our unique location finder and one way rental tool all of which have been “borrowed” by our competitors, although I find this highly frustrating I’m assured its a form of flattery…. hmmm. 2013 will see the release of our redesigned iPhone app which I’m excited about, no other car rental app will include our new features.
We also had a very successful year with our first dedicated theme park site Orlando Attraction Tickets I think we have taken the correct steps for our first year by getting to know the product and what our customers expect; 2013 will see a complete redesign of the site and the introduction of some unique features that others have yet to implement.
I would like to thank the staff, suppliers and most importantly the customers of U.S. Rent A Car Ltd, here’s to a successful 2013.