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

Florida Senate Passes Ban On Texting While Driving

Hi all,

2013 for me so far has been symbolised by the word Senate, I’m pretty suretexting while driving I’ve never written this word before this year but with the almighty muck up that the International Driving Permit its become a staple entry into all my posts.

However this time the Senate (there it is again) have actually unanimously voted on something I agree with, it seems strange but Florida up until today has, with a handful of states, had no official law when it comes to texting while driving. Despite numerous studies showing the dangers of distraction while driving Florida had no bill in place.

The new bill (SB 52) will ban manually typing into a mobile device while in front of the wheel. However unlike the UK drivers will still be able to text while motionless at a traffic light. Hands free and typing done through voice activation would remain legal.

The bill must still pass the House before the session ends May 3 and although its a step in the right direction for Florida the bill for me doesn’t go far enough, 11 teens a day die due to texting while driving in the U.S. Florida consider texting while driving to be a secondary offense, so drivers would have to be pulled over for another offense,  in order to receive a $30 ticket plus court costs.

At least its a start…

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

NEW! You Won’t Require An International Driving Permit To Drive In Florida

Morning all,

When it comes to Florida car hire there’s nothing like complicating matters andflorida senate amendment as we reported back in February thats exactly what the Florida senate decided to do. By altering driving laws so that non-residence required an international driving permit it placed unnecessary cost and stress upon UK holiday makers everywhere.

Now we are pretty sure that the state of Florida didn’t do this on purpose, the idea of the alteration was to make it easier for Florida highway patrol to read and understand driving licences written in a foreign language (not English) and it is to their credit that they have acted quickly in overturning this law.

Spotted by U.S. Rent A Car customer, Darren Greaves, the Florida Senate yesterday passed a new bill (HB 7059) removing these restraints.

Driver Licensing; Revises provisions for exemption from obtaining driver license issued by this state; removes requirement that certain nonresidents possess an International Driving Permit; provides that nonresident of certain age possessing valid noncommercial driver license issued outside this state may operate noncommercial motor vehicle in this state; provides for retroactive application.

Looks like this drama is finally over and I sincerely hope the Florida Senate stays as far away from driving licence amendments as possible, :-)

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Florida State Officials Confirm They Will Amend New IDP Law

Hi all,

Yesterday State Officials confirmed that they will be looking to amend the new law introduced on the 01/01/13 requiring non-residents to be holders of International Driving Permits.

A spokesman for Governor Rick Scott confirmed in a statement to Reuters;

We will work with the legislature to amend the law this year so it does not burden international visitors to our state, who make up an important part of our tourism industry

 

The passing of this law and then the apparent lack of communication has caused quite a stir in English speaking countries such as Canada and Britain who make up a very large percentage of travellers to the Sunshine state every year.floridalaw

International travellers accounted for nearly 15% of Florida’s 87.3 million visitors in 2011. Canada tops the list of foreign visitors at 3.3 million, followed by 1.5 million Brazilian and 1.3 million British tourists. So you can see why Rick Scott can not afford to annoy English speaking tourists.

How quickly this Law is amended is anyone’s guess but at present officials will not be enforcing it.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

 

NEW: You Will Require An International Driving Permit To Drive In Florida

Hi all,

BREAKING NEWS – Statement From DHSMV On International Driving Permits

There’s nothing better than altering a law and then not actually telling anyone, and this is what appears to have happened in Florida this year.idp

Florida Statute 322.04 that became valid on January 1st 2013 now states that non-residence full driving licences (paper and card parts) must be accompanied by an International Driving permit.

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document recognized by many countries which allows the permit-holder to drive a private motor vehicle in that country. To be valid the IDP must be accompanied by a valid license from the home country. The document is slightly larger than a standard passport and is essentially a multiple language translation of the permit-holder’s normal driver’s license, complete with photograph and vital statistics.

There are two type of International Driving Permit the one you will require for the U.S. is the 1949 IDP.

The actual law change

The specific law alteration is -

322.04(c)(1)Persons exempt from obtaining driver license-

(c) A nonresident who is at least 16 years of age operating a motor vehicle of the type for which a Class E driver license is required in this state if the nonresident has in his or her immediate possession:

(2) An International Driving Permit issued in his or her name in his or her country of residence and a valid license issued in that country.

What could happen

With regards to car rental, our contracts state that the driver(s) must supply their full driving licence and specifically mentions that an International Driving Permit is not required, so the supplier is still covering you against accidents.

The main issue that could arise is if you are pulled over by the Police and asked to provide your licence and supporting IDP, in this case according to information I have seen the officer if sticking to the letter of the law, could arrest the driver and take him/her to jail or issue the driver a citation with a mandatory court appearance.

What our suppliers say

Alamo/National Rent A Car state this;

For rentals in the State of Florida an International Drivers Permit is also required for each driver of the vehicle. The International Drivers Permit must be issued by the driver’s country of residence

Alamo/National have also confirmed that they will not refuse pick ups that do not have the IDP over the next week or so.

Budget Rent A Car state this;

Yet to offer official statement, will update when they do.

Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car state this;

DTAG does not require the customer to have an International Driving Policy to rent our cars in Florida. usrentacar.co.uk customers would still be fully insured in case of an accident (subject to our normal terms and conditions).

Sixt Rent A Car state this;

Yet to offer official statement, will update when they do.

Where can I get an International Driving Permit?

You can purchase an International Driving Permit from your Post Office (http://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit), they cost £5.50 for 12 months, to apply for one you will need to produce your full driving licence and supply a passport photo, please be aware that not all post offices are equipped to issue IDP’s immediately, I would suggest contacting the Post Office to clarify before heading down to one.

I believe you can also do this through the AA (http://www.theaa.com/getaway/idp/index.html) and RAC (http://www.rac.co.uk/travel/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit/).

U.S. Rent A Car’s view

We are pretty amazed that this law amendment has been passed, we’d understand if an International Driving Policy offered something more than a UK driving licence does but it really doesn’t. We are also surprised how quietly this law has been altered, we contacted all our suppliers when we first heard about this from a customer, Mr John Marshall (thanks John) none of them had heard about this alteration, we also called a few tourist board representatives and they to had heard nothing.

We will continue to monitor this and will update you all on any changes however for now we would recommend that all drivers carry with them an International Driving Policy to avoid inconvenience and for piece of mind but this is obviously a customer choice.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

So Electric Cars Are Slow Right?

Hi all,

A video post today, with the price of petrol soaring and people taking more teslaresponsibility for the environment Electric cars are becoming more main stream however there has always been that doubt for petrol heads about how much power these cars can actually generate, plus are they cool?

One of my favourite Entrepreneurs is Elon Musk co-founder of Tesla Motors. Telsa Motors if you haven’t heard of them, specialises in building beautiful looking Electric Cars.

Yesterday the y released a video that may help dispel the idea that Electric cars are slow by pitting the Tesla Model S against the Dodge Viper in a straight up drag race.

Here’s the video;

So what do you think, would you consider renting an Electric car over a traditional one?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

In Car Apps Could Be The Next Big Thing

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, to be totally honest we’re at that time ford-car-apps of year when nothing actually happens, we are still waiting to see what impact Hertz’s purchase of Dollar Rent A Car will have on the industry and if further consolidation will occur.

While car rental is twiddling its thumbs the tech world is not and at this years CES (Consumer Electronics Show), Ford and GM gave us a glimpse in to what the next generation of vehicles will include.

In the past car manufactures have come to consumers shows like CES and given us talks about what the future may bring however this year they actually showed us, and its all about in car app’s. Both companies agree that the connected car is the future, interestingly though they disagree about how consumers will interact with their automobile.

Ford have opened their API/SDK to developers to build app’s for smartphones which then plug in to the car, GM have gone down a different route and have opened up their API/SDK for apps to be built within the framework of the car.

Ford tells us that more than 1,000 developers have already signed up for access to its SDK since it was announced earlier this week and that it is seeing high and sustained traffic to its developer site.

For me, Fords plan of building in to smartphones makes more sense, technology is moving so fast that a GM vehicle fitted with their technology could be obsolete within a year,  how often does someone update their smartphone compared to their car?

Here is a video of glympse an app already sync’d with Ford.

So all this great technology begs the question, how could USA car hire suppliers integrate their own apps in to the connected car?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

FTC Said To Be Close To Agreeing Hertz Dollar Deal

Hi all,

We all thought the Hertz Dollar Thrifty takeover deal was all done and dusted when we confirmed the two parties had agreed a price back in August, all that was required was confirmation from the FTC that the deal could go ahead…

This however was not as straight forward as suggested, the Hertz takeover of Dollar Thrifty would leave the U.S. market heavily dominated by only 3 companies,  obviously Hertz/Dollar/Thrifty, Enterprise (Alamo & National) and Avis/Budget. So this buyout would represent the last ever big consolidation deal in the U.S. and the FTC are rightly concerned about getting this right, as many have voiced competition concerns.

Hertz on their part have agreed to sell Advantage Rent A Car (their low cost brand) to Franchise Services of North America for $16 million in a bid to help the deal along, however FTC insiders believe that this isn’t seen as enough.

The FTC is really concerned about Hertz dominating airport locations with 3 very popular brands, from what we understand it has been suggested that Hertz give up some of their airport locations approx 15 which are said to include Detroit and Cleveland. Hertz are very keen to push this deal through and the sale of airport locations is said to be a very real possibility.

With this condition in place the FTC are said to be ready to approve the deal shortly.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

usrentacar.co.uk Strikes Up PayPal Deal

Hi all,

Here at usrentacar.co.uk we are always looking to make car rental simpler, if this means moving a button here or altering some text there then we do it, we are keen to make USA car hire as transparent as possible.

Today we are happy to announce a new partnership between ourselves and ebay owned PayPal to incorporate the very popular PayPal express service.

What is PayPal Express

PayPal express is the integration of the very popular PayPal system directly in to U.S. Rent A Car’s site; this is what PayPal themselves say about it.

People prefer PayPal because they don’t have to enter their card details every time they buy online. By adding Express Checkout to U.S. Rent A Car’s payment options, they are let millions of PayPal customers check out in less than three clicks.

You will see the PayPal express button on our secure payment page (pic below), you will require a PayPal account to take advantage of the express payment facility.

Gavin Boswell Founder of usrentacar.co.uk said;

We are delighted to announce our new partnership with PayPal; we are always looking to work with like minded companies with technology at the core of their business and PayPal are definitely one of them.

Gavin added;

For our customers its that little added bit of speed, security and peace of mind and as usual no additional cost will be added to the customer car rental booking.

The express service is also being integrated in to sister company Orlando Attraction Tickets who recently launched a new logo and tagline.

Here’s to a long a successful partnership.

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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