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.
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
If you happen to be in Florida between 7th and 10th of April 2011, you might like to take the opportunity to visit the 8th annual Celebration Exotic Car Festival children’s charity event.
This four-day event showcases North America’s largest collection of exotic cars, race cars and iconic Hollywood movie cars, coming together to help children with life threatening medical conditions. Experience the legendary Sebring Raceway, meet the country’s most renowned celebrity chefs at the Jetport Food and Wine Party; enjoy the world class exotic car concours set along the waterfront of Celebration, participate in the acclaimed road rally and more!
Here is the 2009 highlights video of this great spectacular.
Directions to the event can be found here – http://www.celebrationexoticcars.com/2011/directions.php
Just thought I’d make you aware of the new automated toll booths being operated in Florida.
Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise has moved forward with implementing all-electronic open road tolling, which allows customers on Florida’s Turnpike to pay tolls without slowing down or stopping. With all-electronic open road tolling, traditional tollbooths have been removed and ALL customers pay their tolls electronically, through either SunPass transponders or a new “TOLL-BY-PLATE” program. With the elimination of tollbooths, customers experience a safer, faster and more convenient ride to their destination. All-electronic open road tolling is better for the environment because cars are not stopping and idling at the toll plazas, which reduces emissions and improves customers’ gas mileage.
The Turnpike has completed the first conversion to all-electronic open road tolling on the southern 47 miles of the Turnpike, from U.S. 1 in Florida City to the Miami-Dade/Broward County line. The conversion was implemented on February 19, 2011.
SunPasses or equivalent will be available from the supplier locally. I have contacted our three main suppliers Alamo, Budget and Dollar to enquire about the lost, their response’s were as follows.
Alamo Rent A Car
In FL if the customer drives on an unmanned toll road they are charged the Tollpass Convenience Charge (TCC) of $2.00 per day (not to exceed $6.00 per rental) plus the cost of the tolls. The TCC is only for those days where they actually incur a toll. As an example if the customer has a 7 day rental but only drives on a toll road 1 day and incurs a $.50 toll they will be charged $2.50 ($2.00 for the TCC and $.50) for the toll. This fee is charged from the HTA.
Budget Rent A Car
We offer our customer the chance to purchase the Eazipass locally at a cost of $2.95 per day or $10 per week.
Dollar Rent A Car
We are locally offering our Pre Pay Toll product, Pass 24 to customer when they collect and return their hire car. If the renter does not take the Pass 24 product we will charge them along with a $25 admin fee for each toll fine received during their rental. Therefore, every customer that rents a car is asked to sign a disclaimer about the $25 admin charge. The Pass 24 product is charged locally at $5.95 a day or $27.95 a week plus taxes and fees.
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.
As you probably know and have probably seen from our USA Snow in Pictures blog, 49 of the 50 U.S. states were hit with the white stuff.
To date, only Florida has escaped
With ferocious blizzards pounding the East Coast, and a number of other storms blowing across the western U.S. and plains states, the country now has the presence of snow in 49 of the 50 states. An arctic blast rolled across the country earlier this week, sending temperatures falling in southern states that normally are spared winter’s wraith. Only Florida remains free of snow at the moment.
Many residents in the North East of America are getting to grips with 10 inches plus of snow.
According to CNN, meteorologists estimate that approximately 69.4% of the lower U.S. states are currently buried under some amount of snow. Alaska of course has snow all year round and it is not uncommon for Hawaii’s Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea mountains to have snow throughout the winter either.!
Have you had any dealings with the USA snow storms?
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.
Just a quick heads up to remind readers that if you require car hire in the USAover the Christmas period,not to leave it late.
We are already experiencing stop sales from some suppliers for popular ski locations especially the sports utility vehicles (4×4′s). A stop sale means that the suppliers has totally run out of that specific category of vehicle.