usrentacar.co.uk Issue’s Car Hire Availability Warning

Hi all,

We’ve officially hit PEAK SEASON for us folks in the travel industry that means only one thing… LATE BOOKINGS!

This year more than ever, the idea of booking early has really paid off, we are beginning to see low availability across all our suppliers for pick ups in July and August.

For Florida car hire bookings we are seeing a real shortage of high capacity vehicles including 12 and 15 seater minivans, Intermediate SUV’s and 7 and 8 Seater SUV’s.

For California car hire, we have already had to place the guaranteed Ford Mustang option on stop sale, as all suppliers have low availability especially out of the San Francisco area.

For Nevada car hire including Las Vegas we have no Budget vehicles at all and Convertibles and high occupancy vehicles are on red alert.

If you haven’t booked already it might be an idea to start getting something confirmed.

Just a quick reminder that usrentacar.co.uk shows live availability for Alamo Rent A Car (15str’s on request), Dollar Rent A Car, National Car Rental (15str’s on request) and Thrifty Car Rental, what you see online is directly linked to the suppliers fleet.

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

Dollar Rent A Car Plan July Opening For 9 New Offices

Hi all,

Nobody knows who will be the owners of Dollar Rent A Car come 2013, the heavy favourite is Hertz who have been courting the company for coming up to 2 years.

Some have stated that within this courting stage Dollar slightly lost their way, and attention was taken from growing the business to selling it. However back in March Dollar confirmed their stand alone plan which included opening new locations across the U.S.

Today Dollar have confirmed they will be opening 9 new offices, 8 of which will officially open in July. They are set to be…

  • Maui Coast Hotel in Kihei, Hawaii
  • A local market Dollar Rent A Car at 339 South End Ave. (Battery Park) in New York, N.Y.
  • A dual-branded Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental location at the Crowne Plaza Orlando-Downtown Hotel in Orlando, Fla.
  • A dual-branded location at the Ramada Maingate West Hotel in Kissimmee, Fla.
  • Another dual-branded location at 1291 Cobb Parkway South in Marietta, Ga.
  • Lastly, in August, Dollar Thrifty plans to open a local market Thrifty Car Rental at 1066 U.S. Hwy 1 in Vero Beach, Fla.

We haven’t had confirmation if these offices will be available for usrentacar.co.uk customer but we assume that the Florida Car Hire locations definitely will be.

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

Who’s Fastest In California?

Hi all,

Yesterday we took a peak at who, according to our wait time feature was the quickest at getting customers in their cars in Florida.

Today I thought we’d travel over to the west coast and see who’s top of the queue tree for your California car hire, we’ve based the averages on the top 3 pick up point in California.

Los Angeles International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car – 90 mins

Budget Rent A Car – n/a (no office)

Dollar Rent A Car – 16 mins

National Car Rental – n/a

Thrifty Car Rental – n/a

San Francisco International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car – 5  mins

Budget Rent A Car – 22 mins

Dollar Rent A Car – 20 mins

National Car Rental – n/a

Thrifty Car Rental – n/a

San Diego International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car – 12  mins

Budget Rent A Car – 20 mins

Dollar Rent A Car – 11 mins

National Car Rental – n/a

Thrifty Car Rental – n/a

Overall (in order)

  1. Dollar Rent A Car customers on average queue for 15.5 mins in California.
  2. Budget Rent A Car customers on average queue for 21 mins in California
  3. Alamo Rent A Car customers on average queue for 35.5 mins in California.
  4. Both Thrifty Car Rental and National Car Rental are yet to be scored.

So another win for Dollar Rent A Car who must be feeling pretty smug at the moment, the use of the Dollar express system has been highlighted to us as key to their success.

The wait times recorded above are taken from usrentacar.co.uk customers who have used the usrentacar voucher app customers are encourage to state in minutes how long they have queued for at their pick up location. Wait times vary per supplier per location and the information above has been averaged out, wait times will increase over busy periods including Easter, peak season and Christmas. Most of our suppliers offer a pre-registrationprocess designed to speed up collection.

Regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Who’s Fastest In Florida?

Hi all,

We’ve been collecting wait time data for over a year now, so I thought it might be nice to have a quick look at who’s offering the fastest queue times for your Florida car hire

Orlando International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car -  12 mins

Budget Rent A Car – 8 mins

Dollar Rent A Car - 8 mins

National Car Rental – n/a

Thrifty Rent A Car –  n/a

Sanford International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car -  30 mins

Budget Rent A Car - 35 mins

Dollar Rent A Car - 28 mins

National Car Rental - n/a

Thrifty Rent A Car -  n/a

Miami International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car -  25 mins

Budget Rent A Car - 14 mins

Dollar Rent A Car - 12 mins

National Car Rental - n/a

Thrifty Rent A Car -  n/a

Tampa International Airport

Alamo Rent A Car -  0 mins

Budget Rent A Car - 11 mins

Dollar Rent A Car - 16 mins

National Car Rental - n/a

Thrifty Rent A Car -  n/a

Overall (in order)

  1. Dollar Rent A Car customers on average queue for 16 mins in Florida.
  2. Alamo Rent A Car customers on average queue for 16.5 mins in Florida.
  3. Budget Rent A Car customers on average queue for 17 mins in Florida
  4. Both Thrifty Car Rental and National Car Rental are yet to be scored.

 The wait times recorded above are taken from usrentacar.co.uk customers who have used the usrentacar voucher app customers are encourage to state in minutes how long they have queued for at their pick up location. Wait times vary per supplier per location and the information above has been averaged out, wait times will increase over busy periods including Easter, peak season and Christmas. Most of our suppliers offer a pre-registration process designed to speed up collection.

Do the results above tally with your own experiences?

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

What’s The Best Way Of Knowing What Make Of Vehicle Your Going To Get?

Hi all,

One of the more frustrating aspects of Florida Car Hire is the fact that we can never guarantee make or model of the vehicle you will receive.

There are a few reasons for this but the main factors are firstly, that our suppliers purchase vehicles from a few different manufactures and spread these vehicles out across their networks, the popularity of one way rentals means that cars are constantly moving between locations, the introduction of the choice product means suppliers don’t truly know until the time of collect which vehicles will be available and of course the major reason is that vehicles can be damaged or breakdown.

Here at usrentacar.co.uk we understand that having a rough idea of the make or model you might receive is extremely helpful in terms of planning, so after every rental we ask our customers about the service they receive and the model of vehicle they collected.

This information can easily be found by visiting our review section (car hire usa reviews) here you can pick the specific location you’ll be collecting  from, the supplier you’ve picked and of course the category of vehicle you’ve booked.

We hope this additional information will prove to be helpful for customers looking to plan their holidays more efficiently.

Please let us know what you think about this feature and if there is anything extra we can offer.

regard,

James

 Florida car hire

5 Things You Might Want To Pay For Before Collecting Your Rental Car

Hi all,

Although we offer a pre-paid USA car rental services there are certain items that can be purchased locally instead of in the UK. Today’s post is about 5 items that will probably work out cheaper to do before collection of the vehicle.

Upgrades

So you book the Economy vehicle but secretly you want a convertible, what you’ve decided you’re going to do is haggle with the person on the desk when you pick up the vehicle and get yourself a bargain…simple.

The only problem is, you’re not the only person to have this idea and even worse… the supplier know’s this! Don’t get me wrong you can sometimes pick up a bargain upgrade, however these bargains generally come around when you’re not after a specific category of vehicle; for example you could book the economy vehicle and be offered the “managers special”  for a 4×4 (mainly due to the fact that they have an abundant amount of sports utilities  that week) always remember though that the upgrade price offered is per day and not for the total duration.

The real problem comes when you want a specific category as the guys on the desk work on commission;  and you’re now at their mercy.

Generally I would say that if you want a specific category of vehicle then pre-book it here in the UK to avoid nasty surprises.

Additional Insurance (Tyres, Windscreen, Undercarriage)

Within our Silver and Gold offerings the insurances do not cover the tyres, windscreen, undercarriage or the keys.

Our suppliers offer an additional insurance locally to cover this, it is often called road safe or something similar and they will offer this to you at an additional charge roughly $6.95 + tax.

Our Platinum rate which you can prepay, covers these additions and can be purchased for as little as £15 per week a saving compared to purchasing locally of over £15 per week…

Additional Drivers

Pretty easy one this, if you need an additional driver on your rental its best to prepay it in the UK. Locally you will be charged $10-$15 per day plus tax on a 2 week holiday you’re looking at approximately$210.

Where as the difference between our Silver and Gold rates is a lot less than the £135 you’d  pay locally.

Sat Nav’s

You can rent a Sat Nav directly from the supplier for around $11.99 per day plus tax you have to take it for the full duration of your hire.

You can rent a Sat Nav from ourselves directly for £30 per week or prepay via our website to collect directly from the supplier prices vary but are generally more cost effective than purchasing locally.

Young Drivers

Now there’s really no comparison here, locally you will need to pay $25-$30 per day per driver plus tax if you are aged 21-24 to get yourself on the insurance. Over a 2 week holiday with 2 drivers that would cost an extra $840.00 !!!

However you’re in luck as usrentacarco.uk offers a young drivers package  that halves the cost of the fee. It is definitely better to prepay this fee.

If you can think of any further items that a better prepaid please feel free to comment below.

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

It’s The Final Countdown… Sort Of…

Hi all,

The usrentacar.co.uk redesign bought with it a lot of new features, most of which I have touched upon in the recent weeks.

One feature I haven’t mentioned yet is the move towards live availability, for many years we’ve had to patiently wait while car hire caught up with the rest of the travel industry by making API’s and XML technology openly accessible to  us.

At present we have live availability with the following suppliers Alamo Rent A Car, Dollar Rent A Car, National Car Rental and Thrifty Rent A Car, this basically means that any vehicle shown on our site with these companies is available to book and will be confirmed immediately, the only time this isn’t the case is when a customer is looking for a one way rental on a specialist vehicle, but our site will make this clear at the time of booking.

So what’s the clock for?

As you will have noticed our site now displays a clock counting down from 15 mins (shown below).

With live availability comes great responsibility (or something like that), as we are directly linked to the suppliers inventory we are in theory blocking all those vehicles from being booked.

Now we obviously can’t do this for an infinite amount of time,  so we have agreed a session time of 15 mins, when your 15 mins is up (as shown by the clock) the vehicles are put back on to open sale and you will be redirected to this page.

We recently added the “research” button which allow you to return to your last search. This way we can keep the content fresh and available to all.

So that’s the reason we have the clock…

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Lets Have A Look At The Results Of The Zagat Car Rental Survey

Hi all,

Yesterday saw the results of the 2011/2012 Zagat car rental survey released, Hertz very much dominated proceedings winning top ratings for vehicles, reliability, service and popularity, netting the title of  Top Overall car rental company.

National Car Rental , who were rated best value, took second position for top overall car rental company just ahead of Avis. Enterprise won top billing for Deals and Promotions, Neighborhood Rentals and Car Pick-Up Experience, while Hertz won the remaining categories.

Lets take a quick look how our suppliers did.  Each supplier overall marks below are for Vehicles, Reliability and Service rated on a 30-point scale:

0 – 9 poor to fair
10 – 15 fair to good
16 – 19 good to very good
20 – 25 very good to excellent
26 – 30 extraordinary to perfection

Cost:
I Inexpensive
M Moderate
E Expensive

Advantage Rent A Car

Typically one of the least expensive” if “not necessarily the best” is the consensus on this economy brand; views on its vehicles
vary (“clean and new” vs. “average”), ditto service, but “great deals” remain its “main advantage.

Vehicle: 18

Reliability: 20

Service: 16

Cost: I

Alamo Rent A Car

An online check-in system that lets you “pick the car you want”, “outstanding weekly and weekend specials” with discounts for
members of its Insiders program and “locations everywhere” cause customers to remember this Alamo; service can be “slow” and
some cars show a bit of “wear”, but on the whole, it’s a “reliable” bet.

Vehicle: 21

Reliability: 21

Service: 19

Cost: M

Budget Rent A Car

When you’re really on a budget”, this “no-frills” Avis sibling comes through with a “nice car selection”, “not-bad prices” and
“omnipresent locations”; faultfinders cite occasional “long” waits and say that despite the name, it’s “not always” the cheapest,
but it’s “worth checking.

Vehicle: 20

Reliability: 21

Service: 18

Cost: M

Dollar Rent A Car

If you just need a car and are not trying to impress”, this “decent” choice – one of the “cheapest of the national brands” – offers
“clean” (some say “bare-bones”) vehicles that “will get you there and back”; service is “friendly enough”, and becoming a Dollar
Express member “gets you better treatment.

Vehicle: 18

Reliability: 21

Service: 19

Cost: M

National Car Rental

Rated the No. 1 Bang for the Buck and No. 2 Overall in our Car Rental survey, this “reliable” renter provides “better-thananticipated” vehicles at “value” prices, but what you really “gotta love” is its Emerald Club loyalty program, which lets you “pick
from a lineup of cars” at many locations; “good service” further adds to a mostly “painless”, “satisfying” experience.

Vehicle: 23

Reliability: 24

Service: 22

Cost: M

Thrifty Rent A Car

When they say ‘thrifty’ they mean it” say adherents of this “solid, middle-of-the-road” outfit; fans cite “well-maintained” cars and
“great customer loyalty programs”, and though some report “slow” service from an “overworked, but nice” staff, if you’re looking
for “economical” wheels, this should “meet your needs.

Vehicle: 20

Reliability: 20

Service: 18

Cost: M

About Zagat

Started in 1979, Zagat Survey is the world’s leading provider of consumer survey-based information. With ratings and reviews based on a worldwide network of surveyors, Zagat has become the world’s most trusted source to help consumers make informed decisions about restaurants, nightspots, hotels, attractions and other leisure activities. Zagat surveyors are frequent, knowledgeable consumers in each of the categories they rate.

So congratulations to Hertz on a great set of results, with the eminent purchase of Dollar Rent A Car Hertz seem to going from strength to strength,

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Are Hertz Closer To Buying Dollar Thrifty Than We Thought?

Hi all,

Amazing!! Two days in a row and I’m not talking about the redesign, so you know something must have caught my attention…and it has…

Yesterday we spoke about the Hertz quarter 1 results and the effect they could have on future inbound business, well buried within the full report which can be viewed here were some very direct wording in regards to Hertz’s marathon pursuit of Dollar Rent A Car

Within the forward statement to investors was this little nugget

Among other items, such factors could include: our ability to obtain regulatory approval for and to consummate an acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group; the risk that expected synergies, operational efficiencies and cost savings from a Dollar Thrifty acquisition may not be fully realized or realized within the expected time frame; the operational and profitability impact of divestitures that may be required to be undertaken to secure regulatory approval for an acquisition of Dollar Thrifty;

So Hertz are stating to investors that the acquisition of Dollar Thrifty could have an impact on their 2012 profit as they slimline the organisation, also looking at the report you can see a substantial amount has been spent on Acquisition related costs.

So popping on my deerstalker, I’m going to assume the following

  • Hertz will shortly announce an agreement with the FTC regarding the purchase of Dollar Thrifty.
  • We will see a fresh Hertz bid for Dollar Thrifty this quarter.
  • Hertz have found a buyer for Advantage Rent A Car (their value brand).

Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes but I’m pretty confident when I say Dollar Thrifty will become part of Hertz this year and I’m going to take a guess that either Sixt Rent A Car or Fox Rent A Car will be the new owners of Advantage Rent A Car.

What do you think?

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

We’ve Added Two New Suppliers

Hi all,

So today signals the first full week of users having access to the new usrentacar.co.uk site feedback has mostly been positive and fingers crossed most of the bugs have been ironed out.

Today’s post will highlight two new suppliers we’ve added to the site, National Car Rental and Thrifty Rent A Car. We never rush in to  adding a new supplier to our site, the supplier has to be offering something different from what we already have and of course they have to come with a good car rental pedigree. So first up is National Car Rental.

National Car Rental

National are the prestige brand of America’s largest car rental company, Enterprise Holdings. National are the sister company of Alamo Rent A  Car and are best known in the U.S. for being aimed at business travel.  We’ve bought them on board for a couple of reasons, firstly they offer a young drivers policy which are pretty hard to contract, secondly they offer some great pick up locations that Alamo don’t cover including JFK car hire but the best part and the real selling point is the way they price their one way rentals (pick up in one location drop off in another). National offer a base price for all one way rentals regardless of mileage of $250.00. So even if you are collecting in Orlando but returning to San Francisco the one way rental will only ever be $250.00 plus tax… Alamo would charge $500, Dollar would charge $750 and Budget would charge $1000.00!!! So as you can see National are great way to save cash on one way rentals.

Recap

  • One way rentals only cost $250.00 regardless of mileage.
  • National offer a young drivers product.
  • Great locations.

Thrifty Rent A Car

Thrifty are part of DTAG which also owns Dollar Rent A Car. At present Thrifty in my opinion are working out where they stand within the UK market, are they a cheaper version of Dollar or just a sister site? We bought Thrifty on board to offer competitive pricing at locations that Dollar aren’t present, for example Boston Airport. Thrifty have a great history of working with inbound holiday makers and understand the UK mindset.

Recap

  • Competitive pricing.
  • Locations Dollar Don’t have.
  • Understanding of the UK market.

Have you used either of these suppliers in the past, what did you think?

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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