New Alamo and Dollar Upgrade Special Offer

Hi All,

U.S. Rent A Car is happy to announce a limited time guaranteed upgrade deal for new bookings with both Alamo Rent A Car and Dollar Rent A Car in Florida.

 Alamo Rent A Car Deal

 For all new Alamo Rent A Car, Compact and Intermediate vehicles picking up from 07th APRIL 2010 – 30TH JUNE 2010. U.S. Rent A Car customers will receive the following.

Book a Compact 2dr receive an Intermediate 2dr

Book a Compact 4dr receive an Intermediate 4dr

Book a Intermediate 2dr receive an Full Size 2dr

Book a Intermediate 4dr receive an Full Size 4dr

Dollar Rent A Car Deal

For all new Alamo Rent A Car, Compact and Intermediate vehicles picking up from 10th APRIL 2010 – 30TH JUNE 2010. U.S. Rent A Car customers will receive the following.

Book a Compact 2dr receive an Intermediate 2dr

Book a Compact 4dr receive an Intermediate 4dr

Book a Intermediate 2dr receive an Full Size 2dr

Book a Intermediate 4dr receive an Full Size 4dr

We hope some of you can take of advantage of this great offer.

Regards,

James,

www.usrentacar.co.uk

Alamo and Budget Price Increase

Hi all,

As expected Budget have issued a price increase that will take effect from Tuesday the 26th of Jan. Budget have assured us that this will be the first and last increase this year.

Annoyingly Alamo have also come back with further increases that will come in to effect on Monday 25th.

All bookings made before these dates will be honored at the booking price, however quotes emailed will not.

Remember you can secure your rental by leaving a £50.00 deposit with the balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Regards,

Gavin

Car Hire USA in 2010 Reviewed

Hi All,

We are a few weeks in to 2010 now and the USA car hire picture for this year is beginning to take shape. I thought this might be an ideal time to blog about my thoughts on 2009 and the possible goings on in 2010.

Car Availability

The same as last year I’m afraid, demand exceeds supply. The problem isn’t as bad as it is in Europe but companies with the biggest fleets will use their yield intelligently to maximise profits which may see the introduction of peak season surcharging. In December 2009, over Christmas I know that certain suppliers were charging over $400.00 per week for an Economy vehicle!

Alamo

At first glance the Alamo/National/Enterprise Company seem the best equipped for 2010, they have the largest and youngest fleet. They remain firmly in the driving seat (excuse the pun) of the rental market, this was very apparent when they were the first to come out with rates for 2010, setting the bench mark for others to follow.

2009 was a very strong year for Alamo; they seem to have a very good balance between pricing and customer care, possibly the Enterprise influence beginning to take effect.

Customer services wise we saw big improvement from Alamo, their turn around rate in most circumstances was much quicker than the industry standard of 28 days. Disappointingly we did see a rise in complaints regarding Alamo agents trying to sell additional extras, the best tip I can offer is refuse everything locally and always read your rental agreement before you sign it. 

Dollar

Dollar Rent A Car has also invested in some new vehicles, so their Fleet will be a mixture of new and old. We have received the expected price increase from Dollar and at present I can’t see them breaking in to our top two suppliers list. 

Last year was very tricky for the Dollar/Thrifty group, they had to save money and one way they did this was by extending the length of time they kept hold of their fleet. Although they posted healthy q3 results the expense I believe was at the cost of customer care. I cannot remember another example of where their customer services have been so slow to react. I can easily say they have been the poorest by far in 2009. We have received reassurances that these errors have been rectified and with Dollars good track record I see no reason to doubt we will see an improvement in 2010.

Budget

Budget had a very slow start to 2009. They seem to always take a bit of a back seat and see how the market pans out. Q3 and 4 were a lot stronger for Budget and they have continued this trend in too 2010. Although I predict a price increase some time in late Feb. maybe march 2010.

Customer services wise they have improved year on yea and are slowly ironing out the little errors that frustrate us all.

Overall

 

2009 was an extremely hard year for all industries, I believe the talk of recovery is slightly premature and the car hire industry will take probably one more year to full recover.

 

I am very optimistic for 2010 and on a positive note we are already up on last years figures. In February we hope to roll out version 2 of our booking engine with additional features including a first in our sector. We have had several strategy meetings that have ended with some very interesting and encouraging results, so fingers crossed our 8th year of trading will be even more successful than the last.

regards,

Gavin

Alamo Car Hire USA Price Increase on Monday

Hi All,

Unfortunately we have been contacted today by Alamo, who have confirmed a price increase on most vehicles, in most locations, to start from Monday 18th Jan 2010.

All bookings made before Monday will be honoured at the prices shown, however quotes will not.

We hope this will be the last increase imposed this year, but are of course in the hands of the suppliers. Remember you can secure your rental by leaving a £50 deposit.

Regards,

James

My week in Car Hire, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Babies, Upgrades and Reviews

Hi All,

Hope you are all well.

This week has been a very long, tiring but interesting week. On a personal note my third son is teething! So he’s decided to keep my sleep down to a minimum, bless him!!

On the professional front we’ve had meetings with Budget, Avis and Alamo. We’ve seen a sneak preview of the U.S. Rent A Car booking engine upgrade and?partnered up with a start up review site.

Budget Meeting

The budget meeting as far as I’m concerned went well. As we sort of guessed already prices will be going up for next year, the actual rise will probably be proportionate to the q3 results that are due around the 03/11/09, however we are thinking between a?5-8% rise. The rise is very much to do with the interest rate now being charged to Budget for re-financing, believed to be around 9% an increase of roughly 6% allegedly.

We raised our concerns regarding how budget staff are selling their “toll passes” to customers and?hope the message has got through.?Feedback from customers tells us that staffs have been including the pass automatically in the hire car and then charging locally once the customer signs the agreement. Not something we are very impressed about.

Avis

The positive outcome of this meeting was that we now have Avis at Orlando International Airport to offer. Avis consider themselves (probably rightfully) to be a premium product and so rates reflect this, however so does the service.

Alamo

Alamo confirmed that there will definitely be a price increase next year of 8% across the board. Their justification for the increase is that they are the only car rental company who is not hanging on to their fleet for another year, so in theory if you rent an Alamo car you will be guaranteed a vehicle of no more than 6/8 months old, rather than over a year as with others.

We also spoke about speeding up the process once you guys get to the U.S. and hopefully we have stumbled upon a solution, I’ll tell you more once we’ve signed some documents.

U.S. Rent A Car Booking Engine

Frank (Business Development) and I,?got a sneak preview from the IT guys of the booking engine upgrade this week. The resulting effort seems to make the engine a lot quicker and slicker. We also managed to brain storm a few new ideas to freshen up the engine and perhaps innovate again within the industry.

The car rental industry is very slow to innovate; I still can’t believe we are the only company to include user generated reviews on our site. Which leads nicely too…..

Partnered up with review site

This week we launched inconjuncation with www.rentacars.co.uk the largest car hire opinion and review site in the UK.

At present it has over 10k unique reviews, the site is in its infancy and I would predict it will probably change again at some point but we are hoping it could become the trip advisor of car hire… wishful thinking perhaps…

World Travel Market (WTM) draws nearer and I?m very lucky to be attending the Travel BlogCamp (@tbcamp on twitter) hosted by Darren Cronian of Travel Rants fame. The list of attendee?s is very impressive and although I usually dread WTM I?m actually looking forward to it this year.

That?s it for this week, have a good weekend and a happy Halloween.

?

Regards,

?

Gavin,

U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

@gavinboswell

Car Hire USA shortage for Christmas

Hi all,

Its that time of year again when we begin to re-negotiate contracts for 2010-2011 with our suppliers, all signs so far point towards a price increase across the board of roughly 15%, however we remain positive that we will still be able to offer the most cost effective rentals out there.

The reason for this blog is to advise?you all that?suppliers are reporting that this Christmas will be one of its busiest. From what I understand demand will exceed supply, which is why I’m urging all our customers to book as early as possible to avoid disappointment, especially if your looking to hire a specialist vehicle (convertible, sports utility, large minivan etc). Popular locations like Orlando International are reporting that for the first time in years they may have to issue car category stop sales.

This summer just gone (2009),?we advised the same as above and our suspicions proved correct, as many car categories became completely sold out. From what I can see Alamo look the best equipped to deal with the late rush mainly due to them having the largest fleet.

So in short, to avoid disappointment, booking early really is the key this year.

Regards,

Gavin

Super Star DJ reviews Alamo Car Hire at MCO

Ever wondered what its like to live the rock and roll lifestyle of a super star DJ? well now you can find out from our celeb review by Kim Robson.car

Which supplier did you choose to hire from?

Alamo Rent A Car at Orlando International Airport

How did you find the collection of the vehicle?

I was super late arriving into Orlando due to various delays but picked up just fine. Alamo have a pretty good set up at Orlando, in fact its probably one of the best. There wasn’t much of a queue (luckily) and paper work was sorted relatively quickly.

What was the vehicle you rented like?

Fab!,?a Ford Focus. Drove well and was nice and clean. Actually this was a vehicle below the category we’d booked. At the Alamo office you are allowed to choose your own vehicle, I think I chose from the wrong section but they allowed us to swap it over a few days later without any hassles.

Would you say you received good service from Alamo?

Sure, it was all very straight forward. I didn’t have any hassles so I cant complain. Staff were pretty efficient and got us on our was swiftly.

What would you say was the best thing about Alamo at MCO?

Probably the fact that you can pick your own car. Its a nice touch.

What was the worst?

We had to add an adddiotnal driver on locally, cost us $9.99 per day – pretty pricey! (U.S. Rent A Car tip: if you need additional drivers on your vehicle its best to purchase the Gold Rate – this will also include a tank of fuel)

Would you recommend Alamo to your friends?

Sure. Overall Alamo gave us good service, a nice new clean car and helped us sort out an exchange without causing a drama.car2

Rating: 4/5

With special thanks to;

Kim Robson Radio Broadcaster for 96.4 Eagle Radio http://www.946eagle.co.uk

Rental details: MCO, 28 days, Mid size vehicle, 28 days, fully inclusive rate via Alamo.

How Blogs can change car hire

Hi all,

Stumbled across a very interesting article about travel blogging and how some companies are now more fearful of blogs than mainstream media.

The one that really caught my eye was the story of Debbie Dubrow who posted a blog after Advantage rent a car, who have recently gone in to administration and subsequently been purchased by Enterprise Rent A Car, who own Alamo,?offered her an “aged, unclean, and in many cases broken” car seats for her child. The resulting blog post had a major effect which I’m sure not even the blogger could have expected.

“It eventually led ABC News to pick up and investigate the story,” she told?CNN.

“Its impact reached far beyond a single news broadcast, though.” Indeed, the company pledged to clean up its act, and California agreed to revisit its child safety-seat laws.

An amazing result and shows what can be achieved by a motivated travel blogger.

Do you feel strongly about anything our suppliers are doing at present either rightly or wrongly?

If you one of our customers, please feel free to send us a link to your blog and we will add it to our blog roll.

Happy motoring,

Gavin

Will there be enough car hire in the USA to go round?

Well of course there will be you might think!!!

However this might not sound such a stupid question.

Reduction

Recent reports have suggested that car rental giants like Alamo, Budget and Dollar are looking to trim their fleets by up 25% to help combat the current difficult financial climate, the credit crunch is encouraging car hire companies to focus on efficiency and keeping their fleets as lean as possible.

What will happen?

My immediate concern are peak seasons. Easter, Summer and Christmas are already notoriously difficult to obtain specialist vehicles like convertibles, 4×4′s and 12 seater minivans, so with a capacity trim these will become like gold dust.

With cars at a minimum I think it is inevitable that we will again see a rise in car rental rates across the board. In the last couple of years we have seen a great trend towards last minute car hire bookings, I believe this culture may end up leaving some people without the vehicle they wanted.

Solution

Well the obvious is for the car rental suppliers to increase their fleets, but that isn’t going to happen. My recommendation is to book your car hire as early as you possibly can to avoid disappointment and the inevitable price hike.


What are your thoughts on the points raised above? How else can consumers combat this?


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