USA Car Hire For Christmas Set To Hit Record Prices

Hi all,

Usually around this time of year I take a moment to check the U.S. domestic rates to see how they will impact on car hire USA over the christmas period but we’ve been so busy here that I haven’t had the time, then we got an email through from suppliers warning that this year could see Florida Car Hire especially, hit an all time high so I thought I better do a bit of snooping.

I visited 4 supplier sites and searched for a 7 Seater Minivan picking up on the 20/12/13 and returning 1 week later. These were the domestic prices (not prepaid prices);

Alamo Rent A Car

alamo shop

As you can see one weeks rental will cost $495.00 plus tax taking it above $600 per week!

Budget Rent A Car

budget shop

With Budget we couldn’t even get a quote, they were fully sold out for the dates we required!

Dollar Rent A Car

dollar shop

Dollar Rent A Car at least have vehicles available however for the Christmas period you’ll be asked to pay $1400.49 per week!!!


hertz shop

Just under a $1000.00 per week with Hertz… it does have unlimited mileage though ;-)

So as you can see Christmas pricing in October is already going through the roof and literally just at the time of writing this we’ve had confirmation that Dollar Rent A Car will be imposing a peak season surcharge of up to 108% for pick up’s between the 19/12/13 and the 31/12/13 in Florida.

So if you’re looking to get Christmas car hire USA, i’d advise getting a move on before all our suppliers following suit and raise their prices.



 car hire USA

SPECIAL OFFER: Free Sat Nav Rental With Dollar Rent A Car*


Hi all,

It seems like a long time since I was able to write the words car hire USA “Special Offer”, throughout the year we continually negotiate deals with our suppliers for low rates which when applicable we simply slide them into our search results, we generally don’t make a big fuss about it, we think this is something you guys should expect from us.

However today I’m happy to announce a new Special Offer from our friends at Dollar Rent A Car, here’s the gist of it.

  • Free Sat Nav Rental.
  • Only applicable to New Dollar Rent A Car bookings.(amendments will not qualify)
  • Pick up’s on and between 20/09/13 until the 18/12/13
  • All locations except New York
  • Must be booked on our Gold or Platinum rate.
  • Cannot be added after a rental is made.
  • Sat Nav’s are subject to availability, if the £0.00 option GPS unit does not appear in our optional extras section then unfortunately a unit isn’t available for your dates.

Here’s how to book it

Firstly enter your details into our search engine.

usrac homepage

Remember to qualify your pick up must be on or between the 20/09/13 and the 18/12/13.

Once your results have been returned look for the car category you require. Remember you’re looking for Dollar Rent A Car. Once you’ve decided upon the category to qualify for free Sat Nav rental you need to select either our Gold or Platinum rate.

usrac results

Once you’ve click on either the Gold or the Platinum rate click on the now button to head to the next stage.

The next page is our option extras page, where our customers can select any additional products they may require. You’ll notice the very top one is a Sat Nav unit, you’ll see that the price quoted is £0.00.

free GPS

Simply click add to basket, to claim your free sat nav rental and complete the booking process. Remember this must be done at the time of booking and cannot be added after completion.

Confirmation of your free sat nav will be added to your car rental voucher. When you go to collect your car, Dollar Rent A Car will provide you with a Sat Nav unit for you to use during your hire duration at no extra cost.

We love this special offer and hope you guys will too.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

Chicago O’Hare Airport To Open New Car Rental Facility In 2016

Hi all,

Anyone who’s collected a vehicle from Chicago O’Hare Airport in the last two chicago car rentalyears will have noted the local tax being levied for Airport improvements. One of these improvements earmarked for a 2016 finish is a consolidated car rental facility.

According to the City of Chicago, the facility will provide nearly 4,100 rental car company parking spaces, a customer lobby and approximately 2,000 public parking spaces. Each of the rental car companies will have customer service counters, self-service kiosks and back office areas within the facility.

In addition, the new rental facility will lead to the creation of nearly 3,000 design and construction jobs during construction and 100 concession and rental car positions upon completion.

As Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel put it;

This intermodal facility is one of the largest capital improvements constructed at O’Hare, and will further Chicago’s ongoing efforts to make O’Hare the most convenient international travel hub in the world

The Airport was able to secure a loan of an additional $288 Million by proving that the project will also reduce traffic congestion and increase transit ease for travelers through an extension of the Airport Transit System (ATS) at O’Hare. The total cost of the project is set to hit $800 million.

As one of our more popular locations we’re delighted to see the improvements being made and hope that the additional spaces will allow for additional competition in a market traditional dominated by the big 3.

We’ll keep you updated on Chicago’s progress.



 car hire USA

How Dollar Rent A Car Locations May Look In The Future

Hi all,

Since Hertz purchased Dollar Thrifty last year I’ve been keeping a close-ish eye on what Hertz have been up to and how it may affect Dollar Rent A Car.

As USA Car hire companies go, Hertz is one of the more forward thinking companies and so we were interested to see the redesign of their new rental offices at San Diego Airport.

From the outside Hertz have given their new building a fresh, modern look which is much more welcoming than the previous incarnation.

hertz san diego office

On top of this, they’ve refreshed their shuttle bus design to give the same fresh, clean design and added a friendly forward facing giraffe possibly from San Diego’s popular zoo.

hertz san diego bus

However its inside the Hertz office that houses the really interesting parts, gone are the old style queuing system to be replaced by a row of  self service kiosks similar to the type used by Alamo Rent A Car in Orlando. The idea behind the kiosks is to speed up the customers collection time and overall user experience.

hertz san diego kiosk

The part I love the most is Hertz’s new “Road Trip” offering, which include iPads and apps to help customers do a bit of trip planning even before they’re in their motor. Hertz will also supply charging stations for customers benefit and sell additional items such as sun cream, suit cases and treats, pretty much everything you’d require for a road trip.

hertz san diego

Here at U.S. Rent A Car we think its great to see Hertz offering something a bit more than the tired old traditional collection offices. We hope that this type of office is rolled out in all Hertz owned locations including Dollar and Thrifty.

What do you think?



 car hire USA

U.S. Rent A Car Shortlisted For A Prestigious Travolution Award

Afternoon all,

We’ve just received some good news, we’ve been nominated for a 6th time in 7  years for a Travolution award in the category of best car hire website :-)

We were first nominated in this category back in 2007, we returned in 2009, 2010 (2 categories) and 2011 never quite getting over the finish line. Although I’m pretty sure we hold the record for most nominations.

Travolution_finalist 2013

About the Travolution Awards

The Travolution awards are unique within the Travel Industry, they recognise companies, brands and individuals who excel in the fields of online travel distribution, digital marketing and technology. Judged by a panel of proven business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs, they are the UK travel industry’s highest accolade for innovation and excellence online. Companies and brands compete in a select number of categories, whilst entrepreneurs and rising stars are honoured in the individual awards.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place at the Troxy in London on October 17th 2013.

This year our founders, Karl Hendrie and Gavin Boswell are in a unique position. Not only has U.S. Rent A Car been nominated but also their latest startup, Orlando Attraction Tickets, who have been nominated in the  best Attractions Website category…

Dare we dream a double win???? We hope so.

Congratulations to allthe  companies that have made the shortlist, just getting to this stage is an honour.



 car hire USA

Can You Guarantee Me The Make And Model Of The Vehicle I’ll Get?

Hi all,

Following on from Driving Licences and Credit Cards today’s post will feature Adrain Devine Mustangone of the most popular questions we get asked by customer and one that frustrates us as much as it does the customer.

Here at we understand that driving a Ford Mustang or a Camaro or a Dodge Charger (list can go on) is part of many petrol heads dreams. We would love to be able to tell every customer “No problem, we can definitely get you the  xxxx vehicle you’ve always wanted” but unfortunately the reality is slightly different.

Although we have a rough idea of what each supplier has in their fleets its impossible for us to pinpoint one particular vehicle type, our suppliers purchase vehicles from multiple manufacturers and spread these vehicles across their U.S. locations.

Even if we know a location has a large stock of a certain vehicle type we still can’t guarantee it, here’s a few reasons why…

Customer Freedom

Every customer has the right to extend their rental, for example Mr Smith collect his vehicle, its the Mustang you wanted, he’s due to return it 7 days later, the exact day you arrive. However Mr Smith decides to keep the vehicle for another few days he telephones the supplier directly and negotiates an extension. He doesn’t even have to return to the location he just keeps it for a few more days. According to our suppliers this happens a lot especially domestic customers.

Why?Suppliers won’t guarantee you the make or model in case a customer decides to keep hold of a vehicle.

Breakdowns and Accidents

Its part and parcel of the car hire game I’m afraid, vehicles do breakdown and they are involved in accidents. Our suppliers have a duty of care for all their vehicles, they also want to be able to sell these vehicle on in a booming second hand car market.

Why?Suppliers won’t guarantee you a make or model in case the vehicle you required is involved in an accident or breaks down.

One Way Rentals

With the price of airline fares  soaring many customers are looking at one way car rental journeys as a way of saving a little money. A one way rental (OWR) is when you collect from one location, say Orlando but drop off at an alternative location, say San Francisco. The popularity in OWR’s does mean that its very hard to guess where one specific make or model will be, and when it will be returned to its original location.

Why? –  Suppliers won’t guarantee you a make or model as its very hard to pinpoint where and when a particular vehicle will be at a certain location.

Blame Culture

Although its a bit of a stereotype, the U.S. is regarded as having a blame culture. If something goes wrong it ends up in court. Car hire suppliers are mindful of this. Imagine this scenario, Mr Smith hires a vehicle for a very specific need, an example, he has a wheelchair that he knows will fit in a Tahoe but not other makes. He arrives to collect the vehicle only to find out that his guaranteed Tahoe isn’t there… we then have a problem.

Why? - Suppliers will not guarantee you a make or model for fear of not fulfilling the contract.

A good way of judging the likely vehicle you’ll receive is by using our car hire review section, simply enter in your pick up location, supplier and car category and our engine will display real verified reviews from our customers including the make and model of vehicle they picked up. Its not a guarantee but it give you a very good idea of what the supplier holds in their fleet.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, our Ford Mustang Option is an example of this; however availability for this is very low and I would predict next year this option won’t be available, which is a real shame.

We are constantly in talks with suppliers for ways around guaranting certain makes and models but the hang up is always the cost to implement it. Hopefully we’ll be able to come to some arrangement in the future.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

I Don’t Have A Credit Card, Can I Still Rent A Car?

Hi all,

Yesterday’s post regarding photocopied driving licences proved to be credit cardsextremely popular, for 2013 it was the most read article in one day. It got us thinking that perhaps we should focus on the typical questions our reservation staff get asked and one of the main questions is;

I don’t have a credit card, can I still Rent A Car?

For the majority of our suppliers, being the holder of a major credit card is crucial, it is used within the validation process when you collect the vehicle and is required at almost all locations.

If you are under 25 and you are looking to take advantage of our young driver packages, the lead driver will have to be the holder of a major credit.

If you are looking to collect with Sixt Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, Thrifty Car Rental or National Car Rental at any of their locations, the lead driver will need to be the holder of a major credit card.

Are there any exceptions?

If you are collecting from Orlando International Airport then our supplier Alamo Rent A Car will accept a VISA debit card for the security deposit, however if you are collecting with them at any other location you will require a credit card.

Dollar Rent A Car appear to be leading their rivals on this front, at present you can use a VISA debit card to collect your vehicle from almost all of their 260 location across the U.S.

How much will they block on the card?

Generally the security deposit is approx. $200 per week, this does vary per supplier and per location. See terms for more. This amount is taken on an imprint of your card, the imprint is destroyed upon return of the vehicle. Please note that the security deposit is not an excess. Funds may be deducted from your account for items purchased locally, for example child seat rental. Your card will also be debited for any traffic violations you may incur including toll violations which will also come with an administration fee generally $15.00.

What happens if I don’t have enough funds to cover the deposit?

Then unfortunately the supplier does hold the right to refuse you the rental. As a prepaid car hire usa company we pay the supplier in advance for your rental so in this situation we would not be able to refund you. Please note that U.S. Rent A Car cannot amend any details to a booking once the pick up date has passed.

With more and more people shunning credit cards we hope other companies will take a leaf out of Dollar Rent A Car’s book and accept VISA debit cards, I’m sure they will.

Please note: The information in this article were correct at the time of publishing, car rental suppliers terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime, please make sure you read our terms and conditions before making your purchase.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

Will Suppliers Accept A Photocopy Or Fax Of My Driving Licence?

Hi all,

We’re in peak season, actually we’re right in the middle of it and as you can imagine U.S. Rent A Car towers is heaving with emails, live chats and telephone calls regarding USA car hire.

One of the main questions our team gets asked revolves around driving licences, at the beginning of this year the question was do I need an international driving permit? but generally the question is something like this…


Q: I’ve lost the paper part of my licence, do I really need this?

and usually followed up with…

Q: The DVLA say it will be ok.

driving licence new

We’d love to be able to say this is fine and go ahead, but in reality the answer is this…

A: I’m sorry but yes you do require the paper part of your licence, the paper part along with plastic part make up a Full UK licence and unless you have the old style licence you will have to produce both parts in order to collect your car. The paper part displays any driving convictions or bans that may prevent our suppliers from being able to hire to you.

then usually followed up by;

A: Although the DVLA mean well, our suppliers will not accept a faxed copy of your driving licence, our suppliers require the hard copy of the licence in order to validate insurances.

driving licence paper part

What steps can I take?

Keeping the paper part of your licence in a safe place is an obvious one but could be the difference between you and your car rental. If you have to send your licence away make sure you check with the DVLA that you’ll have it back in plenty of time.

If all else fails you can always give us a call on 0845 226 8523 and we can look into changing the lead drivers name to someone else in your party, assuming this is a viable option.

So in conclusion, take care of your driving licence you really do need it :-)



 car hire USA

Avis Budget Buy Payless Car Rental, How Long Until There Are Only 4?

Hi all,

Last week the FTC gave final approval to the Hertz buyout of Dollar and Thriftypayless Rent A Car leaving the U.S. car rental market bossed by just 3 major companies, Enterprise (Alamo and National), Hertz (Dollar and Thrifty) and Avis Budget.

On the peripheral of these major players sits FSNA, who as part of the Hertz ‘s DTAG purchase took ownership of Advantage Rent A Car making them the 4th largest car hire usa company, a title that sounds impressive but in reality still leaves them some way off the top 3.

One of the companies looking to vye for fourth spot was Payless Car Rental, I say was because as of today Payless Car Rental the Florida based car supplier is now part of the Avis Budget group, who have reportedly purchased the mid tier company for $50 million! Not bad for a company that turns over $80 Million a year.

Why have Avis Budget bought this little known company? Well here’s what Ronald L Nelson Chairman & CEO of Avis Budget said;

Payless expands our global footprint, enables us to support Budget’s mid-tier brand positioning, and gives us greater flexibility to capitalize on opportunities in an additional segment of the car rental market in order to help accelerate our growth

Hmmm interesting… I know what it certainly does, and that is bring Avis Budget in line with Hertz in regards to markets it can enter, allow me to explain.

Prestigious aimed at business class and the affluent -  The Hertz brand falls into this category as does Avis.

Mid-Tier aimed at holiday makers - Hertz have Dollar Rent A Car for this and Avis have Budget.

Value Brand aimed at the no thrills market – Hertz could use Thrifty here and now Avis have Payless…

The more interesting part is what will Enterprise do? Their prestige brand is National, their mid-tier brand is Alamo but will they use their own Enterprise brand as a value option?…

Congratulations to Payless car rental as this cash deal seems pretty impressive, from a consumer view, the competitiveness in the  North American market just shrank.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

U.S. Rent A Car Nominated For British Travel Award…Again

Hi all,

Just as our sister site, Orlando Attraction Tickets was celebrating their very vote for usfirst nomination for a prestigious British Travel Award, here at U.S. Rent A Car we’re celebrating our 5th nomination in as many years. :-) HOORAY!!!

Once again we’ve been shortlisted in the Best Car Hire Company category alongside such heavyweights as Avis and Budget! Its a further pat on the back for the team who have been working in extremely tough and competitive market this year. We hope you take the time to vote for us.

About the British Travel Awards

The British Travel Awards is the largest awards programme in the UK created to reward the best companies in travel.  The British Travel Awards are easily the most recognisable of all travel industry accolades amongst consumer and industry professionals alike with categories spanning all types of holiday experience – transport, destination, cruise, customer service, holiday extras, and accommodation. The British Travel Awards symbol is the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business.  The 2013 BTAs will take place in London on 31 October.

How to vote

As with previous years everybody who votes is entered into a prize draw worth 1000′s in holiday related gifts.

So to vote for simply;

  • Visit the Britsh Travel Awards website by clicking here.
  • Fill in your details, remember to vote for U.S. Rent A Car for best car hire company.
  • While you’re at it why not help out Orlando Attraction Tickets and vote them also. (I note they haven’t done the same for us ;-)
  • Thats it all done, you can vote in as many categories as you want.

Thanks very much for voting.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

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