Dollar Locations Withdraw From Tour Op’s Program

Hi all,

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.

Dollar Locations

Dollar Location Address Date service will stop
SAN FRANCISCO SHERATON

SHERT ON  FISHERSMANS WHARF 15/12/2011
MIAMI HILTON DOWNTON

1601 BISCAYNE BLVD. 31/10/2011

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.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Wait Time with usrentacar.co.uk®

Hi all,

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#

regards

James

San Diego Car Hire Review Who Is Best At SAN?

Hi all,

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.

  1. Budget Rent A Car – 88%
  2. Alamo Rent A Car – 87%
  3. 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?

Regards,

James

 car hire USA

Dollar And Avis/Budget Provide Joint Statement Regarding Takeover

Hi all,

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.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

USA Time Zones

Hi all,

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.

Pacific Zone

State                              City

Washington                  Seattle

Oregon                           Portland

Nevada                           Las Vegas

California                      San Francisco

Time Difference – GMT minus 8 hrs

Mountain Time Zone

State                              City

Montana                         Billings

Idaho                               Boise

Wyoming                        Jackson Hole

Utah                                  Salt Lake City

Colorado                         Denver

Arizona                            Phoenix

New Mexico                   Santa Fe

Time Difference – GMT minus 7 hrs

Central Time Zone

State                              City

North Dakota               Grand Forks

South Dakota                Sioux Falls

Minneapolis                  Minnesota

Wisconsin                      Milwaukee

Nebraska                        Grand Island

Iowa                                 Cedar Rapids

Illinois                             Chicago

Oklahoma                        Tulsa

Missouri                          St. Louis

Arkansas                         Little Rock

Tennessee                       Memphis

Texas                                Dallas

Louisiana                        New Orleans

Mississippi                      Jackson

Alabama                          Huntsville

Time Difference – GMT minus 6 hrs

Eastern Time Zone

State                              City

Michigan                        Detroit

Maine                               Portland

New Hampshire           Manchester

Vermont                         Burlington

Massachusetts              Boston

Rhode Island                 Providence

New York                        New York

Indiana                            Indianapolis

Ohio                                   Cleveland

Pennsylvania                 Philidephia

New Jersey                     Newark

Connecticut                    Hartford

Kentucky                          Cincinnati

West Virginia                  Lewisburg

Washington DC               Washington

Maryland                           Baltimore

Delaware                           Wilmington

Virginia                              Richmond

North Carolina                Charlotte

South Carolina                Myrtle Beach

Georgia                               Atlanta

Florida                                Orlando

Time Difference – GMT minus 5 hrs

Alaska is 9  hrs behind the UK and Hawaii 10 hrs behind.

I hope you find this useful.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

What To Take On Your Road Trip In The USA

Hi all,

Road trips are extremely popular at the moment  and the USA has some veryroad-trip 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.
  • Music
  • 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.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Car Hire USA Petrol Policies

Hi all,

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 petrolpumpswill 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.

Regards,

James

usrentacar.co.uk® terms and conditions can be found here – http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/terms.aspx

 car hire USA

Dollar Car Rental Slowly Test Customer Choice

Hi all,

I just have heard today that Dollar Rent A Car have officially opened theirdollar12th 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…

Kind regards,

James,

U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

50 Facts About California

  • California’s Mount Whitney measures as the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Its most famous climb is Mount Whitney Trail to the 14,495 feet summit. Wilderness permits are required.
     
  • In 1925 a giant sequoia located in California’s Kings Canyon National Park was named the nation’s national Christmas tree. The tree is over 300 feet in height.
     
  • More turkeys are raised in California than in any other state in the United States.
     
  • Pacific Park, on the venerable Santa Monica Pier, re-creates the amusement parks once dotting the ocean areas along the Pacific Coast. Featured are 11 amusement rides including the 1910-vintage hand-carved merry-go-round appearing in the movie “The Sting.”
     
  • Alpine County is the eighth smallest of California’s 58 counties. It has no high school, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.
     
  • Fallbrook is known as the Avocado Capital of the World and hosts an annual Avocado Festival. More avocados are grown in the region than any other county in the nation.
     
  • In the late 1850s, Kennedy Mine, located in Jackson, served as one of the richest gold mines in the world and the deepest mine in North America.
     
  • An animal called the riparian brush rabbit calls Caswell Memorial State Park (near Manteca) its home. Endemic only to the state’s park system, the critter lives in approximately 255 acres stretching along the area’s once-vast hardwood forest.
     
  • In Pacific Grove there is a law on the books establishing a $500 fine for molesting butterflies.
     
  • The largest three-day rodeo in the United States is held on the Tehama County Fairgrounds in Red Bluff.
     
  • Demonstrations on making toothpaste from orange by-products were popular attractions at the Los Angeles County fair in 1922. The fair is held in Pomona.
     
  • Located in Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is the largest museum of its kind in North America.
     
  • Several celebrities are buried at Hillside Cemetery in Culver City. Included gravesites are those of Al Jolson, George Jessel, Eddie Canter, Jack Benny, and Percy Faith.
     
  • California Caverns claims the distinction of being the most extensive system of caverns and passageways in the Mother Lode region of the state.
     
  • Totaling nearly three million acres, San Bernardino County is the largest county in the country.
     
  • On Catalina Island in 1926, American author Zane Grey built a pueblo-style home on the hillside overlooking Avalon Bay. He spent much of his later life in Avalon. The home is now a hotel.
     
  • Klamath Basin National Wildlife Refuge contains the largest winter population of bald eagles in the continental United States.
     
  • Author Richard Dana (1851-1882) wrote the novel “Two Years Before the Mast.” He inspired the name for the beach community of Dana Point.
     
  • In Atwater the Castle Air Museum has the largest display of military aircraft in the state.
     
  • The Country Store in Baker has sold more winning California State Lottery tickets than any outlet in the state.
     
  • Reputed to be the most corrupt politician in Fresno County history, Vice-leader Joseph Spinney was mayor for only ten minutes.
     
  • The Iron Door Saloon in Groveland claims to be the oldest drinking establishment in the state. It was constructed in 1852.
     
  • The Hollywood Bowl is the world’s largest outdoor amphitheater.
     
  • The first person to personally receive a star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood was actress Joanne Woodward. She received it in 1960.
     
  • Death Valley is recognized as the hottest, driest place in the United States. It isn’t uncommon for the summer temperatures to reach more than 115 degrees.
     
  • The first motion picture theater opened in Los Angeles on April 2, 1902.
     
  • Inyo National Forest is home to the bristle cone pine, the oldest living species. Some of the gnarled trees are thought to be over 4,600 years old.
     
  • San Francisco Bay is considered the world’s largest landlocked harbor.
     
  • Sequoia National Park contains the largest living tree. Its trunk is 102 feet in circumference.
     
  • Yorba Linda is home to the Richard Nixon Library.
     
  • The Coachella Valley is nicknamed The Date Capital of the world and The Playground of Presidents.
     
  • One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.
     
  • California is the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product.
     
  • California has the largest economy in the states of the union.
     
  • If California’s economic size were measured by itself to other countries, it would rank the 7th largest economy in the world.
     
  • Los Angeles is ranked the fourth largest economy in the United States compared to other states.
     
  • Simi Valley is the home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.
     
  • It is estimated there are approximately 500,000 detectable seismic tremors in California annually.
     
  • During his engagement at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, Otis Redding stayed on a houseboat in Sausalito. While there he wrote his last song and greatest hit: “The Dock of the Bay.”
     
  • The state motto is Eureka!, a Greek word translated “I have found it!” The motto was adopted in 1849 and alludes to the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada.
     
  • California is known variously as The Land of Milk and Honey, The El Dorado State, The Golden State, and The Grape State.
     
  • There are more than 300,000 tons of grapes grown in California annually.
     
  • California produces more than 17 million gallons of wine each year.
     
  • The redwood is the official state tree. Some of the giant redwoods in Sequoia National Park are more than 2,000 years old.
     
  • The California poppy is the official state flower. The California grizzly bear (Ursus californicus) is the official state animal.
     
  • California holds two of the top ten most populous cities: Los Angeles and San Diego.
     
  • Fresno proclaims itself the Raisin Capital of the World.
     
  • The highest and lowest points in the continental United States are within 100 miles of one another. Mount Whitney measures 14,495 feet and Bad Water in Death Valley is 282 feet below sea level.
     
  • Castroville is known as the Artichoke Capital of the World. In 1947 a young woman named Norma Jean was crowned Castroville’s first Artichoke Queen. She went on to become actress Marilyn Monroe.
     
  • California’s Proposition 215 (1996) was the first statewide medical marijuana initiative to pass in the USA – keeping attorneys busy for years.
  • 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


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