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

I Don’t Have A Credit Card, Can I Still Rent A Car?

Hi all,

Yesterday’s post regarding photocopied driving licences proved to be credit cardsextremely popular, for 2013 it was the most read article in one day. It got us thinking that perhaps we should focus on the typical questions our reservation staff get asked and one of the main questions is;

I don’t have a credit card, can I still Rent A Car?

For the majority of our suppliers, being the holder of a major credit card is crucial, it is used within the validation process when you collect the vehicle and is required at almost all locations.

If you are under 25 and you are looking to take advantage of our young driver packages, the lead driver will have to be the holder of a major credit.

If you are looking to collect with Sixt Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, Thrifty Car Rental or National Car Rental at any of their locations, the lead driver will need to be the holder of a major credit card.

Are there any exceptions?

If you are collecting from Orlando International Airport then our supplier Alamo Rent A Car will accept a VISA debit card for the security deposit, however if you are collecting with them at any other location you will require a credit card.

Dollar Rent A Car appear to be leading their rivals on this front, at present you can use a VISA debit card to collect your vehicle from almost all of their 260 location across the U.S.

How much will they block on the card?

Generally the security deposit is approx. $200 per week, this does vary per supplier and per location. See terms for more. This amount is taken on an imprint of your card, the imprint is destroyed upon return of the vehicle. Please note that the security deposit is not an excess. Funds may be deducted from your account for items purchased locally, for example child seat rental. Your card will also be debited for any traffic violations you may incur including toll violations which will also come with an administration fee generally $15.00.

What happens if I don’t have enough funds to cover the deposit?

Then unfortunately the supplier does hold the right to refuse you the rental. As a prepaid car hire usa company we pay the supplier in advance for your rental so in this situation we would not be able to refund you. Please note that U.S. Rent A Car cannot amend any details to a booking once the pick up date has passed.

With more and more people shunning credit cards we hope other companies will take a leaf out of Dollar Rent A Car’s book and accept VISA debit cards, I’m sure they will.

Please note: The information in this article were correct at the time of publishing, car rental suppliers terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime, please make sure you read our terms and conditions before making your purchase.

Kind 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

A Look Back At 2012 And What The Year May Hold

Hi all,

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.

Kind regards,

Gavin

 car hire USA

If You’re Waiting For A December USA Car Hire Special, Its Not Going To Happen

Hi all,

If you’re leaving your USA car hire for the Christmas period (December) until the last minute hoping for a late deal I’m afraid you’re going to be very disappointed. Every major car rental company in the U.S. has released black out (stop sale) periods across Florida and the USA. All of the suppliers I have spoken to have confirmed that they will definitely sell out in December. Vehicles are already being moved from down town locations to cover the airport demand.

A quick look at the local car hire pricing, which is always a good guide to how business is doing domestically tells a tale! Would you be happy to pay over £150 for an economy rental car for a week with no insurance? Well locally you can’t even get it that cheap!

Alamo Rent A Car

As you can see an Economy vehicle with no insurance included within the rate for a week will cost $437.42 locally approximately £275.00 !!!

Budget Rent A Car

Budget as you can see for our most popular vehicle the Intermediate SUV are $557.99 for a week with no insurance approximately £350.00 !

Dollar Rent A Car

7 Seater minivans in December are like gold dust, as you can see above a minivan for a week with no insurance will cost you $1659.00 approximately £1040!!

I would advise our customer if you need a car in December get it booked now, don’t wait because car rental is literally sell out fast!

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Alamo Rent A Car Issue Stop Sale On Minivans

Hi all,

As I reported back in August I thought there maybe a shortage of vehicles over the Christmas period, so it comes as no surprise that today Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental both part of the largest car rental supplier in the U.S., Enterprise, have issued a stop sale (no vehicles available) for 7 and 8 seater’s from the following Florida locations between 20/12/12 & 27/12/12.

Alamo Rent A Car

ORLANDO AIRPORT

SANFORD AIRPORT

PEABODY HOTEL

SHERATON STUDIO

DISNEY CAR CARE

BUENA VISTA PALACE RESORT

DISNEY DOLPHIN

HOLIDAY INN MAIN GATE

SHADES OF GREEN

 

National Car Rental

ORLANDO AIRPORT

SANFORD AIRPORT

ORLANDO  WALT DISNEY WORLD DOLPHIN

ORLANDO BUENA VISTA PALACE RESORT

ORLANDO DISNEY CAR CARE

SHADES OF GREEN

If you’re looking to hire a people carrier over this time and you think you may get a last minute deal, I can assure you this wont happen. I would expect to see similar stop sales issued with other suppliers shortly.

So don’t delay, book today.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

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


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