Hertz Dollar Thrifty Introduces San Francisco One Way Rental Fee

Hi all,

It seemed only a matter of time that other suppliers would follow Alamo Rent A Car’s lead and introduce a one way rental fee for pick up’s from the San Francisco area. A one way rental is any rental where the vehicle is returned to a different location than the one its collected from.mustang_rearview

What we understand here at U.S. Rent A Car is that all suppliers are having difficulties keeping up with the demand of hires taking place in the San Francisco area, and when vehicles are then dropped off at a different location those vehicles are removed from the San Francisco allocation.

We hope that this new surcharge will only affect peak season bookings going forward, however as you can see from the information below provided by Hertz Dollar Thrifty no end date is sighted. This new one way rental charge applies to all Dollar and Thrifty bookings regardless of where the booking is made and affects anyone who sells Dollar and Thrifty including booking directly.

 

Due to fleet restrictions and strong demand for one way rentals, we will introduce a new one way fee for rentals collecting from the San Francisco area and returning to Southern California and Las Vegas valid for rentals from 1st August 2014.

This fee will be applicable on all rentals, all rate products and all vehicles from all source-markets. This fee will remain in place until further notice. Please see below the specific rental and return locations.

Dollar

Rentals collecting from SFO SFD SJC OAK and returning to LAX SAN LAS ONT SNA PSP BUR LGB will incur a one way fee of $450.00 payable locally and subject to taxes and fees.

Thrifty

Rentals collecting from SFOT SFDT SJCT OAKT and returning to LAXT SANT LAST ONTT SNAT PSPT BURT LGBT will incur a one way fee of $450.00 payable locally and subject to taxes and fees.

This new fee will not apply to bookings made before the 01/08/14 which is a relief. We hope that the charge will only apply over peak season but as you can see the information we have received doesn’t confirm when the charge will end.

We’ll keep you updated when we know more.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

What’s Happening In 2014 And How Could It Affect USA Car Hire

Hi all,

Its heads down and full speed ahead into 2014 and what a year we’re expecting.wizarding_world_of_harry_potter The USD is as weak as I can remember and that can only be good news for holidaymakers.

In todays post we’re going to take a quick look at some of the things we’re looking forward to this year and how they could affect USA car hire. We’ll start with the car suppliers themselves.

Car Hire USA

This year promises to be a very interesting one, Hertz purchase of Dollar Thrifty has really set the cat among the pigeons, my sources tell me that Hertz hope to have completed fleet synergies by the end of quarter 1.

What does this mean you ask!?

Well it means Dollar Rent A Car, traditional competitors of Alamo, suddenly have more of a level playing field to play on, in theory they’ll go from access to 100k vehicles to access to 700k vehicles. This means competition for rentals just got interesting and we’ve already seen some price movement within the market.

How this could affect the market?

We now have 3 major companies controlling the whole of the U.S. Market. Pricing will be watched closely by the governing bodies, who fear that with just 3 companies consumers could be squeezed for additional funds. The rise of spartan brands like Sixt, Fox and perhaps a new Advantage should make sure the market stays competitive.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley

When Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter initially opened in 2007 the theme park industry lost their minds… It was a massive success, it increased footfall in to Islands of Adventure immediately. It was publically and privately a massive success.

Phase 2 is set to open this summer (our friends at Orlando attraction tickets are guessing 18th June) and will feature a Gringotts Bank Coaster and a real working Hogwarts Express, the buzz surrounding its opening is fever pitch. Universal expect it to be a massive hit!

How will this affect car rental?

Well in layman’s terms, its going to be mental! We expect car rental for summer 2014 to sell out, every car, every category. The buzz around Diagon Alley isn’t just strong in the UK, its strong everywhere…

The Brazilians Are Still Coming

Back in the day the UK were the number one visitors to Florida outside of North America, those days have gone through and Brazil is now leading the way. Million upon Millions of Brazilians are holidaying in Florida.

How will this affect car rental?

Its simply supply and demand, although the Brazilians don’t hire the rental vehicles for as long as brits who average about 12 days per hire, they still collect vehicles from key locations like Orlando and Miami. They also tend to holiday at the same times we do, more people collecting vehicles.

So 2014 looks set to be a bumper year and we expect car rental to sell out in the peak periods, Easter, Summer and Christmas. Remember you can book your Florida Car Hire with just a £50 deposit and the balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Dollar Rent A Car Alter Fuel Policy Again..But For The Better

Hi all,

Back in 2012 Dollar Rent  A Car were one of the only suppliers that requiredpetrol pump customers on our Silver rate to pre-purchase their fuel upon arrival. Customer’s rightly didn’t like this as airport petrol prices can be more expensive than from a station.

Therefore after a lot of badgering from ourselves, they amended their fuel policy and introduced a new ruling in August. This fuel policy required the customer to purchase the prepaid fuel from the supplier as usual however the customer could receive a full refund if they produced proof of a receipt from a petrol station within 10 miles of the airport showing the car to be refuelled fully.

Customers reacted warmly to this new policy and its been running successfully for just under half a year but both ourselves and Dollar weren’t totally satisfied. With 2014 approaching and Hertz very firmly in the driving seat (excuse pun) Dollar Rent A Car took another look at their petrol policy and have decided to revise it once again. This time I think they’ve got it spot on!

So as of the 01/01/2014, any customer collecting a Dollar Rent A Car vehicle booked with us, on our silver rate will not be required to pre-purchase their first tank of fuel on pick up. The vehicle will be collected with a full tank of petrol (or close to full) and the vehicle must then be returned at the same level. Failure to return the vehicle at the same level will result in a charge to your card for the fuel and a small service surcharge.

The prepaid fuel option locally will still be made available to customers and Dollar point out that the prepaid option does have its benefits;

  • Saves time upon return
  • All charges on one receipt
  • No having to stop to purchase gas on return

Here at U.S. Rent A Car we’re just happy that Dollar have introduced a much easier and customer friendly way to petrol. We definitely believe this has been influenced by Hertz and hope this continues.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Hertz Dollar Thrifty To Introduce Waterless Car Wash

Hi all,

I know this sounds like an April fools gag but Hertz have developed technologyhertzwaterlesscarwash that they will look to roll out to 220 of its car hire USA locations that will greatly reduce its use of water in the maintenance of its fleet.

Hertz have hooked up with Green Team Partners LLC a company devoted to tackling problems with water conservation to  develop a non-toxic, biodegradable and hyper-concentrated waterless car wash formula and dispenser.

Hertz Chairman and CEO Mark Frissora said;

Managing one of the largest car rental fleets in the world requires a significant amount of car washing. Moving to a waterless car wash system is another innovative way Hertz is addressing both its sustainability and business needs.

Max Krumer, president of Green Team Partners added;

We were very excited to bring our processes and products to Hertz and even more thrilled when Hertz adopted our waterless detailer program for its fleet. To see a large organization put such great emphasis on going green and investing in sustainability efforts is amazing, and we’re glad to be part of Hertz’s efforts.

How does it work?

Car’s can be washed with 6 to 8 ounces of the new environmentally friendly, fully biodegradable solution. Once the solution is sprayed onto the car, the specially formulated molecules lift dirt particles from the car’s paint. It takes approximately 8 minutes to complete the process and will save 130 million gallons of car-wash water annually.

Impressive stuff from Hertz, granted not the most exciting post I’ve ever written but I thought it was important to feature car rental companies trying to counterbalance their global footprint.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

J.D. Power 2013 Car Rental Ratings

Hi all,

There are  lots of customer satisfaction surveys covering the car rental industry but none are held in such esteem as the  J.D. Power Car Rental satisfaction survey. This will be the 5th year we’ve displayed the results of the survey on the U.S. Rent A Car blog but its been reviewing car rental satisfaction for over 18 years.

The survey is a great indication of how consumers view USA car hire and a great matrix for showing price v’s service.  This year more than any other the old adage “you get what you pay for” has never rung so true, with car rental customers who based their choice on price were the least satisfied with the service they received.

Key Points

  • More than one-third (35%) of customers cite low price as a top reason for selecting their rental car company.  Yet, overall satisfaction is lowest among customers who select based on price (756 on a 1,000-point scale). In comparison, overall satisfaction among customers who choose a rental car company based on good customer service is highest (828).
  • Overall customer satisfaction with their rental car experience averages 775 in 2013, a six-point increase from 2012 and the highest satisfaction score since the study’s current methodology was adopted in 2006.
  • Customers on personal or leisure travel are slightly more satisfied, on average, than are business customers (777 vs. 771, respectively). Personal or leisure customers are more satisfied than are business customers across all factors except the pick-up process.
  • A critical factor associated with rental car satisfaction is expediency of pick up.  Among the 20 percent of customers who use a counter bypass service, satisfaction with the pick-up process averages 820 compared with 770 for those that use the rental counter.
  • A smile from the rental car staff can have a huge impact on overall satisfaction. Overall satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile from one member of a rental car company’s staff is 58 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (693 vs. 635, respectively). Satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile by four staff members is 200 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (835 vs. 635, respectively).
  • National ranks highest in customer satisfaction among rental car companies, with a score of 809, performing particularly well across all six factors. Enterprise ranks second with a score of 799, followed by Alamo with 782.

Overall Rankings

jd power 2013

A few things need to be remembered when looking at these stat’s. Firstly they are purely based on domestic customers the way a domestic customer is serviced is totally different to inbound customers, secondly all the suppliers that appeared under the top 3 all secured higher marks than the previous year and thirdly with Hertz purchasing Dollar Thrifty and four of last years entries not even making the survey due to low samples the industry average is misleadingly high.

However even with that taken into consideration its still a great result for Enterprise, congratulation to their team who I know work extremely hard.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Thrifty Car Rental Introduce New Packages For 2014

Hi all,

Hertz Dollar Thrifty are on a bit of a roll at the moment, not only have they 2014 heartprovided us with some cracking 2014 rates and the free GPS offer but today they’ve confirmed that our Thrifty product will be give an all important boost for 2014.

For the majority of 2013 Thrifty have only offered our customers the basic Silver rate, which although is a great product for customers with only 1 driver it really prevented them from gaining any business from renters who required more than 1. The cost locally to add an additional driver is approx. $10 per day plus tax far more expensive than the difference between their silver rate and a competitors gold rate.

However for 2014 Thrifty Car Rental will be offering a gold and platinum rate, meaning additional drivers can be pre-purchased in the UK. This automatically makes them more competitive and if that wasn’t enough they too have agreed to honour 2013 rates for 2014 (this can change without notice).

Thrifty Gold Rate now includes

 

  • 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.
  • First tank of fuel
  • Additional Drivers

The Platinum rate includes the same as the Gold plus;

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.

Great to see Hertz Dollar Thrifty being so proactive. Its a refreshing change and most certainly points to the new ownership looking to push Enterprise for the spot of number 1 in North America.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

USA Car Hire For Christmas Set To Hit Record Prices

Hi all,

Usually around this time of year I take a moment to check the U.S. domestic rates to see how they will impact on car hire USA over the christmas period but we’ve been so busy here that I haven’t had the time, then we got an email through from suppliers warning that this year could see Florida Car Hire especially, hit an all time high so I thought I better do a bit of snooping.

I visited 4 supplier sites and searched for a 7 Seater Minivan picking up on the 20/12/13 and returning 1 week later. These were the domestic prices (not prepaid prices);

Alamo Rent A Car

alamo shop

As you can see one weeks rental will cost $495.00 plus tax taking it above $600 per week!

Budget Rent A Car

budget shop

With Budget we couldn’t even get a quote, they were fully sold out for the dates we required!

Dollar Rent A Car

dollar shop

Dollar Rent A Car at least have vehicles available however for the Christmas period you’ll be asked to pay $1400.49 per week!!!

Hertz

hertz shop

Just under a $1000.00 per week with Hertz… it does have unlimited mileage though ;-)

So as you can see Christmas pricing in October is already going through the roof and literally just at the time of writing this we’ve had confirmation that Dollar Rent A Car will be imposing a peak season surcharge of up to 108% for pick up’s between the 19/12/13 and the 31/12/13 in Florida.

So if you’re looking to get Christmas car hire USA, i’d advise getting a move on before all our suppliers following suit and raise their prices.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

How Dollar Rent A Car Locations May Look In The Future

Hi all,

Since Hertz purchased Dollar Thrifty last year I’ve been keeping a close-ish eye on what Hertz have been up to and how it may affect Dollar Rent A Car.

As USA Car hire companies go, Hertz is one of the more forward thinking companies and so we were interested to see the redesign of their new rental offices at San Diego Airport.

From the outside Hertz have given their new building a fresh, modern look which is much more welcoming than the previous incarnation.

hertz san diego office

On top of this, they’ve refreshed their shuttle bus design to give the same fresh, clean design and added a friendly forward facing giraffe possibly from San Diego’s popular zoo.

hertz san diego bus

However its inside the Hertz office that houses the really interesting parts, gone are the old style queuing system to be replaced by a row of  self service kiosks similar to the type used by Alamo Rent A Car in Orlando. The idea behind the kiosks is to speed up the customers collection time and overall user experience.

hertz san diego kiosk

The part I love the most is Hertz’s new “Road Trip” offering, which include iPads and apps to help customers do a bit of trip planning even before they’re in their motor. Hertz will also supply charging stations for customers benefit and sell additional items such as sun cream, suit cases and treats, pretty much everything you’d require for a road trip.

hertz san diego

Here at U.S. Rent A Car we think its great to see Hertz offering something a bit more than the tired old traditional collection offices. We hope that this type of office is rolled out in all Hertz owned locations including Dollar and Thrifty.

What do you think?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Hertz Announce Fourth Quarter & Yearly Results

Hi all,

2012 was an interesting year for Hertz, they cemented their position as the fourth quartersecond largest car rental supplier in the USA by finally completing the long drawn out process of purchasing Dollar Thrifty and sold off their value brand Advantage Rent A Car to FSNA but what effect did this have on their 2012 results?

Yearly Results

Car rental revenues for 2012 increased 7.8%  to $7.6 billion compared to 2011. Global revenue was also up to around $9 Billion (Hertz don’t just offer car rental you know) that’s growth of 8.7%.

For USA car hire, which is the part we’re most interested in Hertz reported a 9.6% increase to $4.9 billion compated to 2011. The company reports that this was driven by strong off-airport revenue and a double-digit increase in Advantage revenue and one-and-a-half months of Dollar Thrifty.

Fourth Quarter Results

Hertz’s fourth quarter results were again very positive with an increase of 15.1% for global revenue to $2.3 Billion.

Car hire USA revenues which included 43 days of Dollar Thrifty ownership increased 24.5% for the quarter.

One slight blip on the Hertz radar was the performance of European car hire which saw revenues declined by 9.8% in the fourth quarter.

2013

Mark Frissora, Hertz Chairman & CEO

We continue to make significant progress reducing fleet expenses, our largest operating cost, and we are encouraged that Dollar Thrifty synergies are likely to exceed our earlier forecasts. Additionally, we are off to a fast start this year with January 2013 car rental RPD at U.S. airports up 6% for Hertz and 2.6% for Dollar Thrifty.

As a colleague of mine quipped “Dollar thrifty synergies means redundancies” but obviosuly that is the nature of the beast, you don’t need 2 people to do 1 persons job.

What Hertz have planned for Dollar Thirfty is still anyone’s guess but you’ll be the first to know when we do.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

USA Car Hire Statistics For 2012, Who’s Got What!?

Hi all,

Get your nerd glasses on and prepare for a lesson in who’s got what when it comes to car’s and locations in North America.

The big story of 2012 was of course Hertz’s purchase of Dollar Thrifty which cemented Hertz as the 2nd largest Car Hire USA supplier, but in physical cars, what does it all mean…

In total the U.S. Car Rental market has approximately 1.8 million active cars, the gulf between who actually owns these cars from bottom to top is vast with the top 4 (2012) owning 1.7 million of them!

Here’s the breakdown -

No. of vehicles No. of locations (USA)
Enterprise Holdings (Includes Alamo Rent A Car,Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental) 941,064 6,202
Hertz (Includes Advantage Rent-A-Car) 366,000 2,700
Avis Budget Group 300,000 2,500
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group 122,000 470
Zipcar 8,800 151
Fox Rent A Car 15,000 17
U-Save Auto Rental System Inc 11,500 325
Payless Car Rental System Inc. 11,000 44
ACE Rent A Car 9,000 92
Rent-A-Wreck ofAmerica 5,600 184
Triangle Rent-A-Car 4,000 28
Affordable/Sensible 3,300 180
Independents 60,000 5,400
Total 1,857,264 18,293

*The information above is based on data, public documents, industry research and ARN estimates.

Looking at these compiled stat’s you can see why Hertz’s purchase took so long to go through as the FTC were very concerned about lack of competition in the market place.

Yesterday Avis Budget entered negotiations to purchase car sharing leader Zipcar (shown above to own 8800 vehicles) which will again strengthen the hold the top 3 have on the industry.

More and more now the industry is becoming about relationships, as the top 3 break away for the rest its important to be in the right camp. Car Rental Brokers and Tour Operators may have to look at the smaller car rental companies to stay competitive and offer something different. U.S. Rent A Car is in a unique position where we have great relationships with the top 3 and have the freedom to push whoever is offering the customer best value.

One thing I know for sure, 2013 is going to be interesting…

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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