Most USA car rental locations in the America are run as franchises, this gives the owner of the particular franchise the option to work with tour operators, like ourselves, or not.
This morning we have received word from Dollar Rent A Car stating a couple of locations that have opted out of the tour operator program and will no longer be bookable for any tour operators; basically they will only be accepting domestic bookings.
||Date service will stop
|SAN FRANCISCO SHERATON
|SHERT ON FISHERSMANS WHARF
|MIAMI HILTON DOWNTON
|1601 BISCAYNE BLVD.
The Miami car hire location has never really been that popular to collect from but the Fisherman’s Wharf location is a bit of a shame, although Dollar do offer an office out of O’Farrell street approximately 2.5 miles away.
Any rentals booked to collect from these rental dates after the date the service stop’s will be honoured.
Apologies if I’m boring you with our new car hire app, but the launch has been very exciting for us and I cannot promise that these posts will stop any time soon .
Over the weekend, supported by a very good download Friday, the usrentacar.co.uk app reached the giddy heights of 67th in the app store travel chart! For a niche car hire app we feel this is a great achievement so a BIG thank you to all of those who have downloaded it.
Now back to the main point of this post.
One of the main and unique parts to the usrentacar voucher app is our Wait Time feature.
What is Wait Time?
The Wait Time feature tells our customer’s the average time it takes to collect their vehicle from their specific location with their specific supplier.
How does it work?
The Wait Time system is ultimately run by you, the app user. When you collect your rental using our app, you are given the option to add your own Wait Time, these wait times are collected by our app which then displays the average time of collection at that location with that supplier.
Why are you telling us this now?
The reason I mention this is we have just had our first set of results back which I thought I’d share. A lot of the wait times were provided from collection at Orlando International Airport and Los Angeles Airport.
- Collection with Dollar from Los Angeles Airport – 15 mins
- Collection with Alamo from Orlando International Airport – 20 mins
- Collection with Dollar Orlando International Airport – 30 mins
- Collection with Dollar from Tampa International Airport – 10 mins
- Collection with Alamo from Maui Airport – 15 mins
- Collection with Alamo from San Francisco Airport – 10 mins
So get involved with the new Wait Time feature and add your own time by downloading our app from Itunes – http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/usrentacar/id427152889?mt=8&ls=1#
Alamo are cleaning up in the California Car Hire review league at the moment they’ve already taken Los Angeles and San Francisco, can they make it three in a row with San Diego?
The review scores are based on unbiased score’s from our customers who rate our suppliers based on a series of questions including speed of check in, car quality and overall value for money. All our customer reviews can be viewed within our search results.
- Budget Rent A Car – 88%
- Alamo Rent A Car – 87%
- Dollar Rent A Car – 87%
So Budget Rent A Car prevent the Alamo Hat-trick. Congratulations to Budget for winning there first location.
Does this result tally with your own experience of our suppliers?
What can car rental companies do to improve for 2011?
When Dollar Rent A Car decided not to take the Hertz offer and enter in to advanced talks with Budget Rent A Car the stumbling block would always be proving to anti trust regulators that the consumer would be the winner, here is the latest joint statement from Avis/Budget and DTAG (Dollar /Thrifty)
As previously reported, following the termination of Dollar Thrifty’s merger agreement with Hertz Global Holdings Inc., Dollar Thrifty and Avis Budget have been cooperating to pursue antitrust regulatory clearance of a potential acquisition of Dollar Thrifty’s common stock by Avis Budget.
During this period, Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty have presented to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) a jointly held view that the potential transaction would not reduce competition in the rental car industry. Each believes that intense competition from Enterprise/Alamo/National and Hertz/Advantage, as well as numerous smaller brands, would continue after the proposed transaction. In addition, Avis Budget has expressed the view that a merger with Dollar Thrifty would result in significant cost savings and other operational efficiencies. These synergies and the increased ability of the combined company to compete against other competitors in the marketplace will benefit all rental car consumers, particularly Dollar Thrifty’s core leisure customers.
Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty believe substantial progress has been made in the discussions with the FTC on these issues, but the FTC’s position with respect to the competitive issues remains uncertain. The two companies have produced millions of pages of documents and provided vast amounts of data to the FTC regarding the car rental industry and their respective businesses as part of a “Second Request” review process. Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty each have notified the FTC of their intention to certify substantial compliance with the Second Requests on a timetable that would require an official decision from the FTC by the end of March or early April.
As the FTC review process continues, Avis Budget and Dollar Thrifty remain focused on building their individual businesses to drive continued growth and maximize value for shareholders. Dollar Thrifty and Avis Budget reiterate that they have no agreement with respect to any merger or other business combination, and that there can be no assurance that any such transaction (or the terms thereof) can be agreed upon.
Do you think this joint merger will benefit the consumer?
I will of course keep you updated as more information becomes available.
This post is as much for me as it is for you guys. I generally have to call different parts of the U.S. at least 10 times a day and I can never remember the time difference between the UK and varies parts of America. So this blog will list major locations and the time difference.
Nevada Las Vegas
California San Francisco
Time Difference – GMT minus 8 hrs
Mountain Time Zone
Wyoming Jackson Hole
Utah Salt Lake City
New Mexico Santa Fe
Time Difference – GMT minus 7 hrs
Central Time Zone
North Dakota Grand Forks
South Dakota Sioux Falls
Nebraska Grand Island
Iowa Cedar Rapids
Missouri St. Louis
Arkansas Little Rock
Louisiana New Orleans
Time Difference – GMT minus 6 hrs
Eastern Time Zone
New Hampshire Manchester
Rhode Island Providence
New York New York
New Jersey Newark
West Virginia Lewisburg
Washington DC Washington
North Carolina Charlotte
South Carolina Myrtle Beach
Time Difference – GMT minus 5 hrs
Alaska is 9 hrs behind the UK and Hawaii 10 hrs behind.
I hope you find this useful.
Road trips are extremely popular at the moment and the USA has some very icon routes to follow, with Route 66 probably being the most famous.
Following on from our recent blog – How to plan a car hire usa road trip I have today put together a list of what to take with you on a road trip.
What to take with you on a road trip
- Maps - Sat Nav’s are great, but always have a map just in case.
- Blankets - Even though your first thought of the USA is warm sunshine parts of it, especially at night can be very cold.
- Warm Clothing - Same as above really.
- A Torch – self explanatory really, helpful to also pack some spare batteries.
- First Aid Kit – Like a good boy scout, be prepared!
- Drinking Water – Recommend amount in a desert is one gallon per day.
- Mobile Phone - If you’re like me it permanently stuck to you anyway however communication can be key.
- In Car Charger – As above
- Oil, Anti Freeze and Petrol – Although the hire cars are serviced and checked regularly, its always a good idea to pack these in case of emergency.
- Cat Litter - Yeah I know, why would you take a cat on a road trip? however its not for the cat its for traction. If you get stuck in mud sprinkle some cat litter round your tire for traction. It also can be used to soak up oil etc
- A Jack – Blow outs can happen.
- Tyre Iron – As above
- Jump Leads
- Swiss Army Knife
Have I missed anything out?
Tell me about your road trip experiences.
Petrol Policies vary from supplier to supplier and location to location, if you do not pre-pay your first tank of fuel by selecting our gold rate you will be subject to the suppliers terms regarding petrol. Below is our guide to our suppliers petrol policies. Please note these terms can change at any time without notice.
Alamo Rent A Car offer’s one option which is pick up the vehicle full of fuel, you will then be expected to pay for this petrol at the suppliers local rate.
Budget Rent A Car offer two options, firstly, pick up the vehicle full of fuel, you will then be expected to pay for this petrol at the suppliers local rate. Secondly Budget will allow you to pick up the vehicle full of fuel and return it the same way.
Dollar Rent A Car offer’s one option which is pick up the vehicle full of fuel, you will then be expected to pay for this petrol at the suppliers local rate.
Remember once you sign the rental agreement locally you are subject to any fee’s stated upon it. This page also can help you with USA petrol prices.
usrentacar.co.uk® terms and conditions can be found here – http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/terms.aspx
I just have heard today that Dollar Rent A Car have officially opened their12th Customer Choice l0cation in San Jose, California.
Just like the Alamo choice product, customer’s will be able to take their pick from which every vehicle they like the look of within their booked category, so for example if you’ve pre booked a Convertible and there are Mustangs and Sebrings available you can walk up and take your pick.
Here at U.S. Rent A Car we’ve been surprised that other car rental firms haven’t copied Alamo’s choice product sooner, perhaps this might lead to Budget Rent A Car following suit…
U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk
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.