Cape Canaveral Port To Get Consolidated Car Rental Area

Hi all,

Our Cape Canaveral locations are extremely popular but they can be a little cape canaveral portconfusing for customers trying to work out which location is best for the port. Previously we put together this post, to help customers make the best decision but it looks like Florida may be about to make this all a little easier.

According to a report by Florida Today a $2 million consolidated car rental area has been agreed by port authorities. The report also states that staff have now been given permission to begin to contact Car Hire USA suppliers about the possibility of leasing space.

Mike Meekins, Port Canaveral’s senior director of cruise and port operations, confirmed that the port authorities had been contacted numerous times by car rental companies about opening a consolidated area. Mike confirmed that the port will have enough room for three car hire companies which would house a  total of 571 vehicles.

The proposed location is slated to be near Disney Cruise Line’s terminal 8, the new rental facility will include office space, a fueling station and a car wash,

Tom Weinberg, chairman of the Canaveral Port Authority, told Florida Today.

It makes Port Canaveral that much more desirable a location to sail, It will be a win-win for the port and the rental companies on-site and a significant advantage for our passengers.

The appeal of  a consolidated area is there for everyone to see and has been something we’ve expected for quite a while now, it will be interesting to see which suppliers are tempted to move fleet to this popular location.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

The Future Of Advantage Rent A Car

Morning all,

In 2012 the Hertz Dollar Thrifty deal provided me with literally 100′s of posts advantagerentacaras the deal, which was became part soap opera, was scrutinised by the FTC. The issue everyone had, including myself,  was that by allowing this deal to go through it would mean that just 3 companies controlled 96% of the market.

What the FTC decided was that Hertz would first have to sell off their low cost brand, Advantage Rent  A Car which they’d purchased the year before, the FTC wanted this brand to be sold off to help kick start another company to compete with the likes of Alamo, Budget and Dollar.

Advantage Rent A Car was sold off to the Franchise Services of North America who own brands such a U-Save and Rent A Wreck. The Hertz Dollar Thrifty deal went through and we all sat back to see what would happen.

What has actually happened is exactly what a lot of people feared. Advantage Rent A Car filled for bankruptcy and it looks like the only option is for someone to purchase them.

Who might buy them?

Back in June, Richard Branson penned a letter enquiring about the option to purchase Advantage Rent  A Car, I would imagine if he was interested we’d see a pretty quick rebrand to Virgin Car Rental. This acquisition makes some sense as it would tie in nicely with their other travel interests.

Sixt Rent A Car the new kids on the U.S. block and could possibly do with some of the key airport locations that Advantage currently have.

Hertz, not sure legally where this stands but I’ve heard a few rumblings that Hertz may have enquired about buying back their brand. As some of the debt that Advantage hold is actually owed to Hertz this might place them in pole position but surely the FTC would block this?

Whatever happens I’m hoping that the Advantage brand lives to fight another day and helps to add more competition in the market place.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

5 Things To Make USA Car Hire Perfect

Hi all,

Being a company that specialises in providing Car hire in the USA is a tricky perfectthing logistically, not only do you have to be competitive, have great locations and purchase the correct amount of vehicles (not supplier wants cars sitting around) you also have to provide great customer service.

Today’s post is about 5 things I think customer want that would make the perfect car rental supplier.

Pricing

The old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true in car rental. I think customers would pay a little more if they were guaranteed a higher level of service. If car rental company A is £40.00 more expensive than car rental company B than I think its only fair that the customer gets £40.00 worth of better service.

Makes and Models

We can never guarantee make or model of  the vehicles our suppliers provide, they buy from a selection of manufactures and therefore they can differ location to location. This has always been the case.

What the suppliers could do though, is provide more than one make or model that are likely to fall into that category to give the customer a wider idea of the likely model they will get. It would be pretty easy to manage, as the supplier will already have this information stored within their systems.

The advantages are pretty clear, the customer is able to select the correct vehicle to suit their needs and for the supplier it adds a opaque quality that is missing.

Quicker Queues

Pet peeve for everybody, Queuing!!!

It really isn’t that hard to speed this section up, we live in a word of high speed wifi. I recently wrote a post about how I would improve that car rental office, if we have to queue at least make it interesting and above all quick!

Completely Eliminate Hard Sell

Although hard sell tactics are very rare, just that fact that a small minority of staff do this leaves a very bad taste in customers mouths and promotes a negative vibe towards collection.

We’ve always been a big supporter of rewarding staff based on customer services instead of sales. Is it ever worth selling a customer something they don’t require and losing them forever?

Open Up

At the moment we (U.S. Rent A Car) have access to certain parts of the suppliers inventory and booking process. It would make things a lot easier if the supplier opened up more of their information to us. For example Rental Agreements, in this example if we had access to this information after the customer had signed we could make them aware of any additional charges that were due. It would also speed up customer service queries and lighten the workload for the suppliers CS team.

These are just a few basic idea’s on how to improve the car rental experience. I’d love to hear what you think and if you have any ideas of your own?

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

How I Would Change The Car Hire USA Pick Up Process

Hi all,

Real innovation in car rental is very similar to the Hare and Tortoise tale, car rental futurehowever in this metaphor the Tortoise never actually finishes the race. In other words its slow. We see some companies start to sell new products like GPS units and recently tablets but real innovation is very rare.

Most car hire USA companies point to their websites for innovation but for me the majority are missing a trick by not reinventing the pick up location. How and where the customer collects their vehicle from hasn’t changed in decades, its the usual, turn up at a desk in the airport or off airport, get in the queue, stand there until its your go.

When we speak to our customers or read their reviews the number one gripe is queuing. Most expect a slight queue but after sitting on a plane for 8 hours a car rental queue of 20 minutes can feel like 20 hours…

How I would change the pick up location

Now this wouldn’t work for every location, but for some of the larger offices it would leave a lasting impression. Abandon the queue system as we know!

Yep I know it sounds impossible but here’s what I’m thinking, at Disney they operate something called a FastPass system, this system allows for virtual queuing, basically you run your ticket through a machine and it gives you a time slot to return the ride, giving you the freedom to explore the rest of the park, eliminating the need to queue.

Rental car companies could operate this similar to a number at a deli counter, freeing up the customer to explore. At the same time you could issue rental agreements so the customer has time to fully read and understand their terms, you could offer this online to match rental agreement to tour market.

But what’s to explore at a car rental location?

Well this is where locations need to think outside the box a little, car rental companies are not solely reliant upon the initial hire fee, they offer additional extra’s like Sat Nav’s, tablets and additional insurances, why couldn’t they display these in a kind of shop environment, allowing customers to browse these add on’s without the need for hard sell?

Why not give customers safe access to the car parks where the suppliers could show off some of their fleet including specific spec in a way that might tempt the waiting customer in to upgrading or at least enquiring about it?

I’ve heard of a few locations, mainly Hertz ran which offer customer the chance to charge up their phones etc at charging stations. I think this is a great idea and goes that little bit further to adding goodwill.

An area where the kids could play or even a shop where the supplier could sell car related items like maps, driving gloves that sort of thing.

When you’re up

When you’re number is up or you mobile is buzzed to let you know its time to collect your rental, you could easily take anything you’ve decided to purchase up with you, which is scanned on to your rental agreement. Seems pretty easy.

With USA car rental dominated by just 3 companies its time for 1 of them to step up and offer the customer something totally different.

Kind regards,

James
 car hire USA

Chicago O’Hare Airport To Open New Car Rental Facility In 2016

Hi all,

Anyone who’s collected a vehicle from Chicago O’Hare Airport in the last two chicago car rentalyears will have noted the local tax being levied for Airport improvements. One of these improvements earmarked for a 2016 finish is a consolidated car rental facility.

According to the City of Chicago, the facility will provide nearly 4,100 rental car company parking spaces, a customer lobby and approximately 2,000 public parking spaces. Each of the rental car companies will have customer service counters, self-service kiosks and back office areas within the facility.

In addition, the new rental facility will lead to the creation of nearly 3,000 design and construction jobs during construction and 100 concession and rental car positions upon completion.

As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel put it;

This intermodal facility is one of the largest capital improvements constructed at O’Hare, and will further Chicago’s ongoing efforts to make O’Hare the most convenient international travel hub in the world

The Airport was able to secure a loan of an additional $288 Million by proving that the project will also reduce traffic congestion and increase transit ease for travelers through an extension of the Airport Transit System (ATS) at O’Hare. The total cost of the project is set to hit $800 million.

As one of our more popular locations we’re delighted to see the improvements being made and hope that the additional spaces will allow for additional competition in a market traditional dominated by the big 3.

We’ll keep you updated on Chicago’s progress.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Will Suppliers Accept A Photocopy Or Fax Of My Driving Licence?

Hi all,

We’re in peak season, actually we’re right in the middle of it and as you can imagine U.S. Rent A Car towers is heaving with emails, live chats and telephone calls regarding USA car hire.

One of the main questions our team gets asked revolves around driving licences, at the beginning of this year the question was do I need an international driving permit? but generally the question is something like this…

 

Q: I’ve lost the paper part of my licence, do I really need this?

and usually followed up with…

Q: The DVLA say it will be ok.

driving licence new

We’d love to be able to say this is fine and go ahead, but in reality the answer is this…

A: I’m sorry but yes you do require the paper part of your licence, the paper part along with plastic part make up a Full UK licence and unless you have the old style licence you will have to produce both parts in order to collect your car. The paper part displays any driving convictions or bans that may prevent our suppliers from being able to hire to you.

then usually followed up by;

A: Although the DVLA mean well, our suppliers will not accept a faxed copy of your driving licence, our suppliers require the hard copy of the licence in order to validate insurances.

driving licence paper part

What steps can I take?

Keeping the paper part of your licence in a safe place is an obvious one but could be the difference between you and your car rental. If you have to send your licence away make sure you check with the DVLA that you’ll have it back in plenty of time.

If all else fails you can always give us a call on 0845 226 8523 and we can look into changing the lead drivers name to someone else in your party, assuming this is a viable option.

So in conclusion, take care of your driving licence you really do need it :-)

regards,

James

 car hire USA

The Future Of One Way Rentals?

Hi all,

One of my hero’s Elon Musk, who among other things is CEO of Tesla Motors thetesla charging station electric car specialist yesterday accidently announced at the D11 conference that within the next month Tesla will triple their super charger coverage.

What does this mean?

At the same conference Musk explained that the problem with Electric cars was that it hadn’t figured out long rentals but that was about to change. Tesla have created new technology to allow them to make  ”super chargers” that will alter the amount of time it takes to charge the car.

The super chargers have been available in California during a beta period but will be available to cover a journey from Los Angeles to New York by the end of the year.

Although suppliers aren’t purchasing electric cars in their 1000′s could the future of one way rentals for customer be with electric cars?

The feeling of being stuck when an electric car runs out of battery sounds like it could finally be a thing of the past, and with the price of petrol only going up the thought of the savings you could potentially make by using an electric car plus the moral responsibility we have to the environment, Elon’s electric cars could well be the answer.

What do you think?

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Tampa International Airport To Get Consolidated Car Rental Area Like Miami

Hi all,

Seems a long time ago that I wrote about Miami International Airport spendingtampa conrac Billions on a new car rental facility but area has been up for a few years now and has received nothing but plaudits for its easy and service.

Well now it looks like another Florida airport is looking to build one of their own. Tampa International Airport received approval on the 4th April to build its own conrac location at the cost of $2.5 Billion.

The new facility would be based approximately 1.3 miles away from Tampa Airport and would mean all car rental desks would be removed from the arrivals hall freeing up additional space for the airport.

Plans to build a monorail to and from the car rental locations is also in place and the area would look to also include further airport parking, a hotel and a restaurant.

The project is set to be completed by 2017, I have yet to see confirmation if any additional tax will be levied to car rental suppliers to help fund the project.

I’ll keep you all posted.

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Top 10 Vehicles Being Collected By Our Customers From Dollar Rent A Car

Hi all,

Yesterday I wrote about the Top 10 vehicles being collected by our customer from Sixt Rent A Car, today I thought I’d take a quick look at another one of our suppliers, Dollar Rent A Car and see what vehicle range they are currently offering.

Dollar Rent A Car are now officially part of Hertz, what this exactly means to the Dollar and Thrifty brands is yet to be seen, the real impact will become apparent in the next few months as the synergies between the two companies are completed. This could mean an alteration in vehicles being supplied but until then the list below is accurate.

Top 10 vehicles being collected with Dollar Rent A Car

  1. Ford Escape (Intermediate SUV)
  2. Dodge Caravan (7 str Minivan)
  3. Kia Rio (Economy)
  4. Ford Mustang (Convertible)
  5. Nissan Altima (Full Size)
  6. Ford Focus (Compact)
  7. Dodge Avenger (Intermediate)
  8. Jeep Liberty (Intermediate SUV)
  9. Ford Crown Victoria (Premium)
  10. Chevrolet Malibu (Standard)

Some great vehicles available to hire from Dollar Rent A Car, which would you pick?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Top 10 Vehicles Being Collected By Our Customers From Sixt Rent A Car

Hi all,

If you’ve wondered about the lack of posts recently you can blame the Florida Senate, we felt it best to leave the IDP information top of our blog for at least a couple of weeks to allow customers ample time to read through it.

Today however is back to giving our customers a little look in to the World of USA car hire and Florida’s newest car rental supplier, Sixt Rent A Car. Last week we got a list of Sixt’s top 10 vehicles being rented out in the USA so we thought we’d share.

 

  1. 2012 Hyundai Accent
  2. 2012 Hyundai Elantra
  3. 2012 Hyundai Sonata
  4. 2012 Hyundai Tucson
  5. 2012 Toyota Corolla
  6. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta
  7. 2012 Ford Mustang Convertible
  8. Chrysler Town & Country MPV
  9. 2012 Hyundai Santa Fe
  10. 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250

 

 

 

A cracking insight in to which vehicles are being collected, which would you pick?

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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