Scott Thompson CEO of Dollar Thrifty’s 10 Key Points To Running A Successful Business

Hi all,

Back in 2008 if you’d said Dollar Rent A Car would be sold to Hertz for $87.5 a share people would have laughed at you,  Dtag (Dollar/Thrifty) were in a bad way, the were in default of their loan agreements, they had a share price of 97 cents and were headed towards a yearly net loss of  appropriately $350 million!!

So how did they turn it around? Well a lot of the praise lies with Scott Thompson who was made CEO after only 6 months of joining the company. Scott who had been part of a very successful fortune 500 company had actually retired back in 2005 but like most entrepreneurs became restless and initially joined Dollar as CFO.

As soon as Scott became CEO he was forced to make some very hard decisions he believed that the company had too many top level managers which was detrimental to the company so he quickly removed half of them.

He also looked closely at the profitability of each location and closed those locations that fell behind his expectations and also looked for new ways to sell ageing fleet.

His trickiest moves would come in convincing Wall Street to invest in the company and bringing in new car manufactures to help offer a competitive edge.

A few years on down to good leadership and very hard work Dollar Rent A Car is the jewel in the car hire crown, so much so that Hertz are willing to get rid of their own value product for a loss of $17 million to help capture the brand.

In a great article, found here, Scott Thompson reveals his 10 key points to running a successful business 

1. Realize that people are your greatest asset.

2. Understand where you have to go and how long you have to get there.

3. Remember the other side of risk is reward. Do not shy away from risk.

4. Focus on the substance of issues and ignore politics.

5. Trust each other.

6. Tell everyone inside and outside the company the absolute truth.

7. When you make mistakes, admit them, fix them and don’t look back.

8. Hire the best advisers.

9. Work hard while supporting each other during the ups and downs.

10. Make sure employees know they should not allow the CEO to do anything stupid.

When someone with a proven track record offers this kind of advise I would imagine you should pay attention.



 Florida car hire

Some Interesting Points From The Hertz Dollar Thrifty Deal

Hi all,

Hopefully the longest, drawn out takeover of all time will finally reach a climax this year. Hertz’s buyout of Dollar Thrifty will probably hit 3 years before all is said and done.

Many people within the industry are sceptical about the deal that turns the car hire market from 4 players to just 3 but only time will tell. Today I have spent a few hours looking through the proposed deal and thought I’d pick out a few details that I think are interesting.

Purchase Price

  • $87.50 per share purchase price (all cash)
  • P h Equity Value of $2.6 billion
  • Corporate Enterprise Value of $2.3 billion

Deal Structure

  • 100% cash consideration
  • No financing contingency – fully committed financing in place
  • Tender offer
  • Transaction close expected in Q4:12

Key Conditions

  • Antitrust clearance
  • Hertz has reached a definitive agreement to divest Advantage
  • Requires more than 50% of Dollar Thrifty’s outstanding shares be tendered

Transaction Benefits

  • Unanimously approved by the Boards of both companies
  • Premium value in cash to DTG shareholders
  • Highly attractive transaction for HTZ owners positive EVA
  • Including impact of Advantage divestiture (~$30 million of Corp. EBITDA)

Anticipated Timeline

File tender offer materials with the SEC and launch tender offer Early September
Receive FTC clearance for the transaction1 Mid-October
Complete tender offer and purchase Dollar Thrifty shares Mid-to-late October
Complete short-form merger Mid-to-late October

In Numbers

Hertz Dollar/Thrifty
Corporate Revenue $7.1B $1.5B (60% Dollar/40%


Franchise Revenue $3.7B $700M
Avg. Corp. Fleet Units 615,600 107,154
Top 3 OEM Suppliers GM, Nissan,Toyota Ford, Chrysler, GM
Rental Car Locations 8,500 280
Employees 23,900 5,900
Markets Served Premium Commercial, Premium Leisure,

Insurance Replacement, Commercial Leasing,


Value Leisure

Monthly/Hourly car rental


Value Leisure

U.S.Airport Market Share 26% 11%

The final piece of info that I thought was interesting was this “Hertz expects to be on credit watch initially, but does not anticipate credit rating downgrade”.

Some interesting stuff there and I’m sure other pieces of information will come to light, especially when the FTC release their own report detailing why they allowed the deal to go through, as always I’ll keep you up to date.



 car hire USA

This Is How I Think Hertz Will Use Dollar & Thrifty

Hi all,

The buzz around the Hertz Dollar Rent A Car deal hasn’t really died down yet, yesterday both companies released statements confirming the deal at $87.5 per share equating to a buyout of $2.6 Billion, Hertz also confirmed that they have a buyer for their low cost brand Advantage Rent A Car who equate to about 1% of Hertz’s overall sales.

So what is Hertz’s plan for both Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental

USA car hire is basically split in to three sales tiers, Premium, Mid and Value. At present Hertz are competing in the Premium tier and through their Advantage brand, the value tier.

With the purchase of Dollar and Thrifty I believe they will attack all three markets.

The example above only includes suppliers that have made an impact in the UK outbound market it does not include value brands such as Fox Rent A Car, Payless Car Rental or Mid-Tier companies like Enterprise.

As you can see from the example above Hertz’s three pronged attack really allows them to compete in all tiers while at the same time protecting their Premium brand.

I also found it interesting that Hertz CEO Frissora confirmed they will position Thrifty as a “Spartan brand”, I assume this mean competitive?

Do you think the Hertz/Dollar deal is good for the consumer?



 Florida car hire

BREAKING: The Deal’s Done $87.5 Per Share, Total $2.6 Billion, Hertz Pay Dollar For Dollar

Hi all,

This weekend saw a whirlwind of stories regarding the Hertz/Dollar buyout saga with rumours of advanced negotiations taking place this weekend.

Information given to us this morning confirms that a deal has finally been agreed which will see Hertz purchase Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental for $87.5 per share making the deal worth an eye watering $2.6 Billion.

I am lead to believe that the deal will be concluded by the end of the year subject to FTC approval.

The deal raises a number of questions including -

What will happen to Hertz own budget brand Advantage Rent A Car?

update: have learnt that a deal to sell Advantage Rent A Car has been reached with the Franchise Services of North America Inc. and Macquarie Capital, the investment banking arm of Australia’s Macquarie Group Ltd, the amount is around $16 million representing a loss to Hertz of $17 million. The Franchise Services of North America already operate car rental brand U-Save car rental.

How does this deal effect Dollar Rent A Car’s future dealings with UK car rental companies?

The deal itself see’s Hertz increase its market share to cement its position as the number 2 US car rental company just behind Enterprise Car Rental.

I will of course update this post as more news becomes available.



Which Makes and Model’s Fall In To What Category?

Hi all,

Or similar, or similar, or similar… in case you didn’t know all the vehicle descriptions we offer are followed by the words “or similar”, we can never guarantee make or model of the vehicle you will receive upon collection.

There are a few reasons for this, which you can read about here but today’s post is more about the vehicles you’re likely to receive. was the first USA car hire company to ask for customer reviews, we’ve been doing this since 2004 and have the largest collection of Florida car hire reviews in the UK. Part of the review process invites customers to tell us the make and model of the vehicle they have collected.

So below is a list of vehicles for each category that our customers have collected from various places in the USA, the information below is available by visiting the usrentacar car hire usa reviews page.

Economy – Chevy Aveo, Toyota Yards,  Chevrolet Cobalt

Compact – Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Kia Forte

Intermediate - Dodge Avenger, Ford Taurus, VW Passat

Standard -  Mitsibushi Galant

Full Size - Chevrolet malibu, Dodge Charger, Chevy Impala

Premium - Ford Edge, Ford Crown Victoria, Chrysler 300

Luxury -  Lincoln MKZ.  Cadillac DTS

Convertible – Ford Mustang, Chrysler 200

Intermediate SUV – Ford Escape, Nissan Murano, Jeep Liberty

Standard SUV – Kia Sorrento,  Dodge Journey

7 Seater Minivan - Dodge Grand Caravan

Please note the information below does not take in to consideration upgrades and is not representative of every supplier or location.

I hope this helps some of you with your holiday planning.



 Florida car hire

USA Car Hire Without A Credit Card

Hi all,

Being the holder of a major credit use to be the only way you could hire a car in the USA. Suppliers required a credit card imprint as part of their insurance validation process.

So upon arrival at the suppliers pick up location the lead driver would be required to show

  1. Their car rental voucher (mobile or printed)
  2. Their full driving licence
  3. A credit card.

What happens if I don’t have a credit card?

Not everybody has a credit card, so what are the alternatives?

Well some suppliers will accept a cash deposit; usually around $200-$300 per week the cash is not kept at the car rental office therefore once the vehicle is returned your deposit is returned via a cheque after 28 days. The supplier holds on to your deposit for 28 days encase of traffic violations. Obviously this isn’t ideal and the amount of offices that accept a cash deposit are very small, please check with our reservations department for exact information.

Is there an alternative?

Yes, there is an alternative. Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental will now accept a VISA debit card from all locations in the name of the lead driver  for the security deposit. Alamo Rent A Car are also accepting VISA debit’s but only from certain locations; please check with our reservations department for confirmation. The card must be a VISA debit our suppliers will not accept other debit card versions.

At present all our other suppliers will require a credit card but we are hopeful this will change soon.



 car hire USA

Deja Vu In The Hertz And Dollar Rent A Car Deal

Hi all,

Its with a dreaded feeling of deja vu that I write this post, its over 3 months since I last spoke about the proposed Hertz/Advantage/Dollar/Thrifty takeover, sale thingy and still nothings really happened.

On the 1st August Hertz and DTAG (Dollar and Thrifty) released their quarterly reports, nothing odd about that and both companies had very good quarters. Dollar  reported a net income for the 2012 second quarter of $49.4 million, compared to net income of $42.5 million for the second quarter of 2011. The company also reported Corporate Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2012 of $88.3 million, up from $81.2 million in the second quarter of 2011. Hertz meanwhile reported second quarter 2012 worldwide revenues of $2.2 billion, an increase of 7.4% year-over-year. Both companies taking full advantage of a very buoyant second hand car market.

The part that was missing in both their second quarter market calls was any proper mention of firstly; the continued process of the merger between Hertz and Dtag and secondly; the proposed sale of Advantage Rent A Car (Hertz’s economy brand).

In their first quarter report Hertz mentioned they had been in talks with a potential buyer of Advantage Rent A Car, thought to be U-Save Car Rental but not confirmed. Rumour also had it that the sale would move forward very quickly but since then nothing seems to have happened… Could the deal of gone cold?

Hertz did state

Hertz remains engaged with the FTC to secure antitrust clearance to potentially acquire Dollar Thrifty, which requires, among other things, the divestiture of our Advantage business.

However Dollar’s CEO Scott Thompson according to popular blog auto rental news,

expressed unusual candor – and exasperation. Aside from joking about his hair loss over the issue, he said the company has lost employees and has been negatively impacted when negotiating with strategic partners. He said no offer has been extended, and called for an end to this three-year-long saga.

So we look no closer to an end to the on off saga, but I will of course keep you updated if anything else arises.



 car hire USA

The Top 5 Most Rented Vehicle’s On This Summer

Hi all,

Summer is here and we are almost a month in to our busiest period of the year. I can confirm it has not let us down and we have been rushed off our feet providing not only great  USA car hire deals but fantastic deals on  Orlando attraction tickets as well.

I thought I’d take a moment to pause, take a quick breath and have a look at the top 5 most rented vehicles on this summer.

As regular readers will know we generally cannot guarantee make or model of our vehicles, just the category, so for example if you book an Intermediate sports utility vehicle, which is described as a Ford Escape we are not guaranteeing you a Ford Escape but we are guaranteeing you an Intermediate sports utility. Anyway within the top 5 chart I will also point out the recent makes and models being collected, this information is gathered from reviews supplied by our customers which can be viewed here – car hire USA reviews

  1. Intermediate SUV – Chevrolet Captiva, Jeep Liberty, Ford Escape
  2. Convertible – Ford Mustang, Chrysler 200, Chevy Camaro
  3. 7 Seater Minivan – Dodge Grand Caravan, Kia Sedona
  4. Full Size 4dr – Chevy Impala, Nissan Altima, Ford Taurus
  5. Economy 2dr – Toyota Yards, Nissan Versa, Ford Accura

Its great to see some suppliers now offering the Chevy Camaro in the convertible range, for me its a more exciting vehicle than the Ford Mustang.

Is there a particular vehicle you’d love to drive?



 Florida car hire

How Do USA Car Hire One Way Rentals Work?

Hi all,

Definition: A one way rental (OWR); is any USA car hire collected at one location but dropped off at a different location.

For example; collected from Orlando International Airport in Florida but returned to Miami International Airport.

Today’s post will cover one way rentals, how they work and how they effect your car rental price. We’ll also take a look at the suppliers for popular one way rentals and see who offers any one way rental deals.

Firstly enter your details in to our booking engine, remember to place the alternative drop location in the appropriate field.

The next page returned will show you the cost of the vehicles available with each supplier; please note that the one way rental price is not included within these rate. All one way rental charges are paid for locally directly to the supplier.

Once you’ve found the vehicle you are interested in, tick the appropriate insurance box and click on the “book now” button.

The next page shown is our one way rental alert page; this page will display to you the cost of the one way rental. Remember that one way rental charges differ per supplier, so sometimes it pays to check each suppliers charge.

The alert will ask you to confirm that you agree to the charge and then the normal booking process continues.

Remember; the one way rental charge is paid locally directly to the supplier.

One way rental deals*

When you’re looking at long distance one way rentals; National Car Rental offer a set one way rental fee of $250.00 this deal can save you up to 50% on road trips and is unique to this supplier.

Dollar Rent A Car and Alamo Rent A Car through offer free one way rentals between California and Nevada (please note Alamo’s peak season one way rental charge for Convertibles out of San Francisco); so popular journeys such as Los Angeles to Las Vegas wont incur additional charges.

All our suppliers offer free one way rentals within the state of Florida, so you can fly in to Tampa with BA but fly out of Orlando without incurring additional fee’s.

*all one way rental deals are correct at the time of print, please check our terms and conditions for the latest one way rental costs.

Well I hope this helps make one way rentals a little easier to understand. If you have any questions please comment below.



 car hire USA

Why Do Car Hire USA Supplier’s Require A Credit Card For Collection?

Hi all,

Its a question we get asked quite a bit, so I thought I’d try to address it today.

Why do suppliers require a credit card for collection?

To collect a vehicle from our suppliers you will require 3 things

1) Your voucher (either via our app or printed from our website)

2) Your full driving licence (both parts)

3) A credit card in the name of the lead driver.

The credit card is required to validate the CDW/LDW part of your insurance. Suppliers purchase and provide insurance on the car rental by checking for the following key items

1) Bankruptcy

2) Criminal record

3) Financial stability

4) Address stability

5) Rental location

6) Rental length

The credit card is used to help check fianicial creditability, as you can imagine the supplier is handing over $20k cars and need to be satisfied they will be fully covered in case of an accident.

So I hope this helps explain why the supplier requires a credit card imprint. Remember you can still pay for your Car Hire USA on a debit card without charge.



 Florida car hire

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