Florida Senate Passes Ban On Texting While Driving

Hi all,

2013 for me so far has been symbolised by the word Senate, I’m pretty suretexting while driving I’ve never written this word before this year but with the almighty muck up that the International Driving Permit its become a staple entry into all my posts.

However this time the Senate (there it is again) have actually unanimously voted on something I agree with, it seems strange but Florida up until today has, with a handful of states, had no official law when it comes to texting while driving. Despite numerous studies showing the dangers of distraction while driving Florida had no bill in place.

The new bill (SB 52) will ban manually typing into a mobile device while in front of the wheel. However unlike the UK drivers will still be able to text while motionless at a traffic light. Hands free and typing done through voice activation would remain legal.

The bill must still pass the House before the session ends May 3 and although its a step in the right direction for Florida the bill for me doesn’t go far enough, 11 teens a day die due to texting while driving in the U.S. Florida consider texting while driving to be a secondary offense, so drivers would have to be pulled over for another offense,  in order to receive a $30 ticket plus court costs.

At least its a start…

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Top Tips For Collecting Your USA Car Hire

Hi all,

Here at usrentacar.co.uk we are about to hit one of the busiest USA car hire top tipspick up times in the year, Easter! Along with the Summer holidays and Christmas,  Easter will see the largest number of our customers collecting their hire vehicles from our suppliers.

So I thought it might be a good idea to go over the process of collecting your car rental and what to look out for in regards to optional extras.

Collecting your car hire

To collect your car rental you will require the following

  • Your usrentacar.co.uk Car Rental Voucher – you can print this from our website or download our free voucher app.
  • Your full driving licence – If you’re from the UK this means both parts, it also has to be the actual licence regardless of what the DVLA tell you a fax copy is not sufficient.
  • A major credit card in the name of the lead driver. The credit card is used for security and must be in the name of the driver specified on your voucher.

At the desk

When collecting your car rental you will be expected to sign a rental agreement, this rental agreement is the contract between yourself and the car rental supplier, it is not the same as the terms and conditions offered by ourselves.

We appreciate you’ve been travelling for a long time but you must fully read and understand this document before signing it. U.S. Rent A Car can not be held responsible for anything you sign and agree to locally.

Remember you are the customer so take you time to read the document do not allow yourself to be rushed regardless of how long the queue is behind you.

Items you maybe offered

The guys and girls on the desks generally work on commission, they are paid a low basic wage and make up the remainder of their salary by up-selling customer. These add on’s are totally optional and refusal will not prevent you from renting the vehicle.

A few items that you might be offered are;

  • GPS units.
  • Advanced Roadside Assistance – your rental comes with basic roadside assistance, the supplier may offer you an advanced option which covers human error for example, putting the wrong petrol in the car or locking your keys in the vehicle.
  • Upgrades - The option to upgrade your vehicle to a hire spec, generally upgrading your vehicle is cheaper to do so before collection. Remember any upgrade offered will be at a per day rate.
  • Toll Passes - called various things like SunPass or Pass24 this optional extra is useful for those on a road trip or passing automated tolls. Prices vary from location to location and supplier to supplier.
  • Personal Accident Insurance - generally covered by your own travel insurance it covers you for personal injury.

Remember to fully read your rental agreement and double check if any of these items appear in error, some suppliers assume you’d want to take advantage of these items.

Top Tips

A few other tips you might bear in mind are;

  • Re-read your rental agreement when you get to your accommodation  anything you are unsure of is generally covered by the suppliers 24 hours satisfaction guarantee. Call them if you’re unsure.
  • Use the pre-registration services offered by our supplier to speed up your collection.
  • If possible, send once person to the car rental desks while the others get the bags sorted.

If you have any tips that I’ve left out please feel free to comment below. Have a great holiday and tell us all about it when you return.

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Florida State Officials Confirm They Will Amend New IDP Law

Hi all,

Yesterday State Officials confirmed that they will be looking to amend the new law introduced on the 01/01/13 requiring non-residents to be holders of International Driving Permits.

A spokesman for Governor Rick Scott confirmed in a statement to Reuters;

We will work with the legislature to amend the law this year so it does not burden international visitors to our state, who make up an important part of our tourism industry

 

The passing of this law and then the apparent lack of communication has caused quite a stir in English speaking countries such as Canada and Britain who make up a very large percentage of travellers to the Sunshine state every year.floridalaw

International travellers accounted for nearly 15% of Florida’s 87.3 million visitors in 2011. Canada tops the list of foreign visitors at 3.3 million, followed by 1.5 million Brazilian and 1.3 million British tourists. So you can see why Rick Scott can not afford to annoy English speaking tourists.

How quickly this Law is amended is anyone’s guess but at present officials will not be enforcing it.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

 

What We’ve Learnt From The Florida International Driving Permit Fiasco

Hi all,

A week has passed since we broke the alterations to the Florida senate law tomystery our customers regarding UK drivers needing an International Driving Permit.

Since then we were one of the first to confirm that the Florida senate had frozen the alteration while they investigated it further and would not be penalising UK drivers for not having an IDP.

So what have we learnt?

Well obviously the first thing we’ve learnt is that the Florida law makers definitely didn’t think this one through, not only has the introduction of the IDP been met with amazement in the UK, but also in Canada where the majority of the pressure to alter the law has come from.

The second thing we’ve learnt is the value of car hire USA brokers, it wasn’t the suppliers who found out about this law (Alamo, Budget, Dollar etc), it was car rental brokers, I personally emailed each and everyone of our suppliers warning them to the alteration and asking for their official stance.

On the day we ran with the story and notified all our customers I called each supplier pretending to be a customer and asked them one very specific question.

Do I require an International Driving Permit to hire in Florida?

These were my replies.

Supplier: Alamo Rent A Car

Date: 13/02/13

Time: 15:35

Agents name: Bob

Answer: Bob immediately stated that an IDP was not required. When I informed him of the rule change he popped me on hold to double check and then returned to state that again no IDP was required.

Verdict: Bob was wrong.

 

Supplier: Budget Rent A Car

Date: 13/02/13

Time: 15:51

Agents name: Natalie

Answer: Again Natalie hadn’t heard about the IDP change and told me it wasn’t required. When I told her, she popped me on hold and returned to state that Budget wouldn’t stop me from renting the vehicle however if I felt it was necessary to have one then I should get one. She’d didn’t know where I could get one from though.

Verdict: Although she wasn’t fully equipped with the information I thought her advise was ok.

 

Supplier: Dollar Rent A Car

Date: 13/02/13

Time: 16:00

Agents name: Charles

Answer: Actually I first spoke to their customer services department, who stated they didn’t know anything and sent me to reservations. Charles stated I definitely only needed a UK driving licence, again I informed him of the change in law, he popped me on hold to verify. Charles returned some time after to confirm I definitely did not need an IDP.

Verdict: Charles was wrong.

On Friday after we posted and contacted our customers to confirm that the amended law would not be actioned until further notice, I repeated the above calls.

I obviously didn’t get through to the same people but each of the suppliers then confirmed I would require an IDP…

What did I learn? 

When picking your Florida Car Hire supplier, remember its not just price you should be thinking about, its also the after care…

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Budget Rent A Car Announces Additions To 2013 Fleet

Hi all,

We are fully emerged in 2013 now, I’ve even got to the point now of not typing 2012 by accident! Today I received an PR release from Budget Rent A Car confirming some new additions to their 2013 Fleet.

Budget has taken deliveries of new cars and Sport Utility Vehicles from a number of suppliers, including  Nissan, Volkswagen, Ford, Chrysler, Hyundai and General Motors.

A few of the stand out additions include the 2 dr Volkswagen Beetle, which sports 17-inch alloy wheels and is does 31 miles per gallon (info provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); the latest Ford Fusion, which is rated at 34 mpg; the Dodge Dart, Chrysler Group’s “first vehicle based on parent company Fiat’s architecture,” with a fuel efficiency rating of 36 miles per gallon; and the Nissan Altima rated at 38 miles per gallon.

Other vehicles to catch the eye are the 2013 Toyota Avalon, the manufacturers “first car designed and engineered in North America“; the third-generation Hyundai Santa Fe with two-row, five-passenger seating; and the redesigned Ford Escape, with seating for five and more cargo space than their older models.

The Jeep Wrangler, Ford F-150 SuperCrew pickup truck and Ford Econoline E-350 12-passenger van have also been added to the Fleet.

Makes and models of vehicles unfortunately  can never be guaranteed but its refreshing to see a supplier being so forth coming with Fleet information.

Is there a vehicle you’d love to hire that they’ve missed?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

2013 Orlando International Airport Car Hire Wait Times

Hi all,

Seems a long time ago that I took a look at the average Wait Times for eachqueues supplier from some of our more popular locations. Today I’m taking a closer look at Orlando International Airport one of the busiest airports in the world.

How do we collect the data?

We are the only car hire USA company to collect data regarding the length of time it took the customer to collect their vehicle. We do this via our unique iPhone app available for free from the app store.

Customer’s are prompted to add their wait time on the day of collection and this data is displayed on our website. The wait time data is specific to location and supplier.

So who’s top dog?

Alamo Rent A Car - 14 Mins

Budget Rent A Car – 17 Mins

Dollar Rent A Car - 13 Mins

National Car Rental - 15 Mins*

Sixt Rent A Car - 12 mins*

Thrifty Car Rental - 14 mins*

*The data on usrentacar.co.uk is based on 100 individual wait times, suppliers marked with a * are yet to hit 100 individual wait time reviews.

So Dollar Rent A Car are still quickest from Orlando International Airport, however all the suppliers wait times have increased since we last viewed them in June 2012.

How can I speed up my collection?

An old tip but a good one is to send one of you party off the the car rental desks immediately upon arrival while the rest of you get the luggage. However the best way is to take advantage of our suppliers pre-registration facilities, further information can be found here.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Why We Are Number 1

Hi all,

usrentacar.co.uk is the UK’s number 1 USA car hire specialist, we’ve helped red-number-1over half a million British residents rent a car in America and 100′s of thousands of Europeans as well.

What’s the secret?

We are niche! We aren’t bothered about European car hire or Australian car hire or any other car hire, we are fully focused on the USA. All our attention is  on our core market and continue to ask how we can make the experience better for the user.

Our culture is based on providing the best customer experience we possibly can and this culture has allowed us to be the first to offer a mobile app dedicated to making the customers collection easier and  quicker, we aren’t concerned about making money from it.

We were the first to offer reviews of our suppliers written by our own customers, we started this back in 2004 and now this idea is copied across the industry.

We were the first to show multiple suppliers within one search, we pre-dated meta search engines, in many ways we were the first car rental comparison site.

Why use us?

If you needed dental work done you wouldn’t go to a Doctor, you’d go to a Dentist. Its similar here; if you need Florida car hire you go to a U.S. specialist and that’s exactly what people do!

You can view testimonials from previous customers via our partnership with independent review specialist Trustpilot and you can also see how the media has covered us on our about us page.

What we offer

We offer fully inclusive USA car hire but that’s just the start, we offer advice, tips and news via this blog. We offer access to cheap Orlando Attraction Tickets and we offer first class customer services.

What’s not to like?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

A Refresher On What You Need For Your Florida Car Hire

Hi all,

For most readers of this blog you already know what’s required for yourflorida car hire 
Florida Car Hire
 but some this may be your first experience of renting a car in Florida. So I thought I’d put together a little post on what you should be looking for and accept from your Florida Car Hire.

Suppliers

Florida offers the most diverse amount of car rental suppliers of all the USA States due to it’s popularity with tourists. On usrentacar.co.uk we offer car rental with

  1. Alamo Rent A Car
  2. Budget Rent A C ar
  3. Dollar Rent A Car
  4. National Car Rental
  5. Thrifty Car Rental
  6. Sixt Rent A Car

The first 5 companies listed above  make up the top 3 USA car hire companies in North America. Enterprise who are number 1 own both Alamo and National, Avis own Budget Rent A Car and Hertz have recently purchased Dollar and Thrifty.

Sixt Rent A Car are the new boys on the block who are looking to offer something different to the market, including some great higher end prestige vehicles.

Insuance

All car hire brokers independently negotiate with the car rental suppliers, so insurance exclusions can vary. Here at U.S. Rent A Car we offer the following,

  • Unlimited Mileage.
  • Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) which is a combination insurance of both Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft Waiver. As long as you adhere to the rental policy of the supplier you will not be held responsible for the cost of replacement or repair to your hire vehicle.
  • Uninsured Motorist Protection (UMP) up to $1m Liability Cover. Offers an Uninsured/Underinsured/Hit-and-Run Motorist Protection (UMP) that provides the renter and family members travelling together in the rented vehicle with up to $1,000,000 of non-stacked coverage for bodily injury sustained while driving the rental car, and caused by another driver who has no insurance, minimal insurance, or is a hit-and-run driver.
  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) up to $1m Liability Cover. All drivers included on the rental agreement will not be held liable for third party claims for bodily injury or property damage resulting from an accident.
  • Basic Roadside Assistance
  • All Taxes and Airport Fees.

Our Gold rate extends the insurance to multiple drivers and includes your first tank of fuel.

We also offer our exclusive Platinum package which extends the insurance further via our 3rd party supplier to cover the following

Reimbursement for any physical loss or damage to the Rental Vehicle for which You are responsible under the terms of the Vehicle Rental Agreement, including: (Total section limit: GBP 2,000.00)

  • Physical damage to windscreens, tyres, and undercarriage.
  • Towing costs relating to the loss or damage.

If unintentionally locked out of the Rental Vehicle.

  • Our supplier will pay up to GBP 100.00 to open the Rental Vehicle.

Pay to replace a lost or stolen Rental Vehicle key, including replacement locks and locksmith.

  • charges up to a maximum of GBP 300.00 for each and every claim.

Young Drivers (under 25)

We also offer great deals for drivers under 25, generally each supplier will charge approx. $25 per day per driver plus tax to extend the insurance to younger drivers.

We’ve managed to negotiate our own Young driver package which not only pre-pays these charges but actually makes them more cost effective.

Locations

We cover all major airports including Orlando International Airport, Miami International Airport and Tampa International Airport but it doesn’t just end there. We can offer car rental collection from the Disney area, cruise ports and city locations.

Our handy location finder can help you pick the location that’s best for you.

What I’ll need to collect the vehicle

To collect your car rental you will need;

  1. Your usrentacar.co.uk car rental voucher, which you can print from your account.
  2. Your full driving licence, both parts.
  3. A credit card in the name of the lead driver for the security deposit.

Things to remember

  1. The main one is to remember you are fully covered, the guys and girls on the desk at all the car rental companies work on commission  so they may offer you additional extras. Some of these extras can be useful, for example the toll pass can save you money and time if you’re going to be doing a lot of driving through toll roads or the manager may have an upgrade special offer on, for  that Ford Mustang you’ve always wanted… remember though none of the extra’s offered if refused will stop you from collecting your vehicle.

I think that about covers it without turning it in to a novel…

If you think I’ve missed something important out please comment below.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Sixt Rent A Car Look To Push Franchise Locations In USA

Hi all,

As I reported on back in December I felt the next major player in the U.S. sixt-logomarket could very well be German, in the form of new car hire USA supplier Sixt Rent A Car.

Today I got hold of a promotional email doing the rounds targeted toward potential car rental franchises from Craig Olson, Vice President Franchise Development at Sixt. I thought I’d share its contents to show just how committed they are to developing a U.S. product to match their impress European arm.

Greetings,

Sixt recently announced its plans to add franchise partners in the United States. This presents a great opportunity for independent car rental operators to take their business to the next level, and for entrepreneurs to get in on the ground floor of our US expansion.

Sixt is one of the world’s largest car rental companies with Franchise locations in 85 countries and counting. We have been in the business for over 100 years, are family-run, and have a strong balance sheet.

Sixt franchisees will enjoy the benefits of our world-class brand, global customer base, visibility on all major online and offline reservation channels, and state-of-the-art rental software and rate management tools. Both airport and local market franchises are available. Join the Sixt network now!

Click the “Learn More” button above for more information. You can also visit sixt-franchise.com or inquire directly at 1 (888) – xxx- xxx xxxx or xxxxx@sixt.com!

Craig Olson

Craig Olson
Vice President Franchise Development
Sixt Franchise USA, LLC
1489 SE 17th St. Suite 2E
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316

So Sixt appear very motivated to build an alternative car rental supplier to compete against the big 3.

They are already getting positive reviews from usrentacar customers could 2013 be the year of Sixt?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Alamo Rent A Car Issue Stop Sale On Minivans

Hi all,

As I reported back in August I thought there maybe a shortage of vehicles over the Christmas period, so it comes as no surprise that today Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental both part of the largest car rental supplier in the U.S., Enterprise, have issued a stop sale (no vehicles available) for 7 and 8 seater’s from the following Florida locations between 20/12/12 & 27/12/12.

Alamo Rent A Car

ORLANDO AIRPORT

SANFORD AIRPORT

PEABODY HOTEL

SHERATON STUDIO

DISNEY CAR CARE

BUENA VISTA PALACE RESORT

DISNEY DOLPHIN

HOLIDAY INN MAIN GATE

SHADES OF GREEN

 

National Car Rental

ORLANDO AIRPORT

SANFORD AIRPORT

ORLANDO  WALT DISNEY WORLD DOLPHIN

ORLANDO BUENA VISTA PALACE RESORT

ORLANDO DISNEY CAR CARE

SHADES OF GREEN

If you’re looking to hire a people carrier over this time and you think you may get a last minute deal, I can assure you this wont happen. I would expect to see similar stop sales issued with other suppliers shortly.

So don’t delay, book today.

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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