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

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.

regards,

James

 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?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

FSNA Complete Advantage Rent A Car Deal Plus A Little Extra

Hi all,

The Hertz buyout of Dollar Rent A Car was one of the major stories of 2012 and  finally reached a climax in November, one of the side stories was the FTC demanding Hertz sell of their value brand Advantage Rent A Car and additional locations.

The buyer’s of Advantage Rent A Car turned out to be the Franchise Services of North America (FSNA) who operate known brands such as U-Save and Rent A Wreck. Yesterday FSNA confirmed that they had completed the deal with the added advantage (excuse the pun) of picking up not the expected 16 Airport locations as originally agreed but also the other 13 locations that the FTC said would be up for grabs.

Thomas P. McDonnell, III,  CEO and chairman of FSNA said,

This is a great day for FSNA, our partner Macquarie Capital, and the more than 600 employees of Advantage Rent A Car. We are all excited to become North America’s fourth largest car rental company, and we look forward to continuing a legacy of great service to our customers, both new and old.

The transition will begin in early 2013 and places a heft full stop in the deal that has taken over 2 years to complete.

It does put an end to the rumours circulating the car rental industry regarding who was going to pick up the additional airport locations, with Sixt Rent A Car‘s name being banded around.

usrentacar.co.uk offers fully inclusive Car Hire USA via the newly created Hertz / Dtag brand from as little as £13.00 per day.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Finally The Deal Is Done Hertz Complete Deal To Purchase Dollar Thrifty

Hi all,

It’s official; finally Hertz have confirmed the purchase of Dtag (Dollar Thrifty) for  $87.50 per share in cash, Hertz have snapped up 99.6% of the shares.

Hertz Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mark P. Frissora said

In the 94-year history of Hertz, our employees and business partners have never been this excited. Over the past six years, we have competed successfully with only one global premium brand in place while our competitors have had multiple brands to work against us. Starting today, we now have two additional, popular brands to compete across multiple market segments, with plans to offer them to our many partners and customers. That’s why we are pleased to announce that the transaction is complete, and we look forward to working expeditiously with Dollar Thrifty to integrate the strengths of our two great companies.

Dollar Rent A Car tweeted

When we announced the deal had gone through on our facebook page within 15 min’s a facebooker raised concerns that they believed this would lead to a price increase.

So Hertz have a bit to prove to customers who are concerned that the deal could harm the consumer.

Here at usrentacar.co.uk we have been assured that this wont be the case but I guess only time will tell…

What are your thoughts?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

FTC Squeeze Hertz One Last Time Before Confirming Dollar Deal

Hi all,

So the FTC have finally given the green light for Hertz to complete its buyout of Dtag (Dollar Thrifty). The deal which I’ve been writing about for close to 2 years received FTC approval with a vote of 4-1 on Friday and mean’s Hertz will now become the second largest USA car hire company.

However the FTC who were rightly concerned about restriction of  competition  in the U.S. have asked for a few compromises before agreeing to the deal.

Advantage Rent A Car Sale

The main compromise was the sale of Hertz’s value product; Advantage Rent A Car to the organisation who currently own U-Save Car Rental and Rent A Wreck for  $16 million, half the sum that Hertz originally paid for it.

Although the diluting of one of Hertz’s brands was seen as a positive step, doubters still believed that this wasn’t going far enough, the main reason being cited was “can the Franchise Services of North America, Inc. (FSNA) compete with the likes of Avis/Budget and Enterprise?”

Airport Locations

Well no, they can’t really and one of the reasons is getting hold of airport locations. The FTC were also concerned that the Hertz Dollar deal would impact airports hugely with Hertz at some locations being represented by 3 well known brands.

So part of the agreement has seen Hertz agree to give up some of their prime airport locations  I was originally told it would be 15 or 16 locations but reports have now confirmed that Hertz  have agreed to give up 29 Dollar Thrifty locations.

16 of these airport locations will be sold to FSNA the other 13 locations will be sold to another party to be determined before the deal is finalised.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said.

American consumers rent more than 50 million vehicles at airports nationwide each year, spending $11 billion, so this is a real pocketbook issue for everyday people. Today’s bipartisan action by the FTC will ensure that consumers are not forced to pay higher prices for rental cars when they travel.

As I have mentioned before the deal has concerned many as the car rental market alters from 4 competing firms to 3 with no other supplier really armed to even compete on an even scale.

Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch the only FTC member to vote no explained

I voted against acceptance of the consent decree because I found it inadequate to resolve the competitive concerns at several dozen other airports affected by the transaction. I would have instead voted to challenge the transaction because of the significant risk of post-merger coordinated interaction among the remaining competitors.

usrentacar.co.uk facebook community also felt the deal was problematic and voted narrowly against the deal in our online poll.

I guess only time will tell as the proposed deal is open to public comment until the 17th December.

What do you think?

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Understanding Your USA Car Rental Agreement

Hi all,

Apologies for the lack of posts recently I’ve been helping test out some new features we are going to add to usrentacar.co.uk, the first will hopefully be ready to launch next week and looks very promising.

Today’s post is about understanding your USA car rental agreement before you collect your vehicle.

Upon arrival in the U.S. you will be required to sign a rental agreement, this agreement is the contract between yourself (driver) and the car rental supplier (Alamo, Budget, Dollar etc). This is a legally binding contract and should be treated as such. We recommend you fully read and understand this document before signing it. Here are some items to look out for;

1. Rental Agreement No.

Designated by the Rental Agreement number, the rental agreement must be completed at the rental pick up location and should be carried with you in case you are required to prove you are legally in posession of the vehicle.

2. Car Serial Number

Designates the vehicle rented on the rental contract.

3. Rental Date, Time, Office

Shows the date, time, and rental station to return the vehicle, in which the vehicle was rented.

4. Return Date, Time, City

Shows the requested date, time, and rental station to return the vehicle without incurring any additional charges.

5. Allowable Drivers

Lists the drivers who are authorised to drive the vehicle. Extra drivers may be added at the time of rental and in some cases aftecolection. Additional charges may apply for additional drivers or underage drivers.

6. Additional Options/Other Information

Lists the additional options that may have been selected, such as, an upgrade of car, personal protection options, fuel options, etc.

7. Charges

Lists the itemisation of charges associated with the rental. As our rentals are pre-paid all the insurances we include (What’s Included) will be listed as $0.00, any additional charges will be noted here and should be queried if you do not recognise them.

The lead name on the confirmed reservation (the primary renter) must be the person whose credit card is used to pay any charges.

8. Rental Signatures

Confirms the terms of the rental agreement by all persons listed on the rental agreement.

example Alamo rental agreement:

 The rental agreement is very important and you should not feel rushed or pressured to be quick if you are at the head of a long queue; remember the queue is there problem not yours.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

This Is How I Think Hertz Will Use Dollar & Thrifty

Hi all,

The buzz around the Hertz Dollar Rent A Car deal hasn’t really died down yet, yesterday both companies released statements confirming the deal at $87.5 per share equating to a buyout of $2.6 Billion, Hertz also confirmed that they have a buyer for their low cost brand Advantage Rent A Car who equate to about 1% of Hertz’s overall sales.

So what is Hertz’s plan for both Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental

USA car hire is basically split in to three sales tiers, Premium, Mid and Value. At present Hertz are competing in the Premium tier and through their Advantage brand, the value tier.

With the purchase of Dollar and Thrifty I believe they will attack all three markets.

The example above only includes suppliers that have made an impact in the UK outbound market it does not include value brands such as Fox Rent A Car, Payless Car Rental or Mid-Tier companies like Enterprise.

As you can see from the example above Hertz’s three pronged attack really allows them to compete in all tiers while at the same time protecting their Premium brand.

I also found it interesting that Hertz CEO Frissora confirmed they will position Thrifty as a “Spartan brand”, I assume this mean competitive?

Do you think the Hertz/Dollar deal is good for the consumer?

regards,

James

 Florida car hire

Deja Vu In The Hertz And Dollar Rent A Car Deal

Hi all,

Its with a dreaded feeling of deja vu that I write this post, its over 3 months since I last spoke about the proposed Hertz/Advantage/Dollar/Thrifty takeover, sale thingy and still nothings really happened.

On the 1st August Hertz and DTAG (Dollar and Thrifty) released their quarterly reports, nothing odd about that and both companies had very good quarters. Dollar  reported a net income for the 2012 second quarter of $49.4 million, compared to net income of $42.5 million for the second quarter of 2011. The company also reported Corporate Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter of 2012 of $88.3 million, up from $81.2 million in the second quarter of 2011. Hertz meanwhile reported second quarter 2012 worldwide revenues of $2.2 billion, an increase of 7.4% year-over-year. Both companies taking full advantage of a very buoyant second hand car market.

The part that was missing in both their second quarter market calls was any proper mention of firstly; the continued process of the merger between Hertz and Dtag and secondly; the proposed sale of Advantage Rent A Car (Hertz’s economy brand).

In their first quarter report Hertz mentioned they had been in talks with a potential buyer of Advantage Rent A Car, thought to be U-Save Car Rental but not confirmed. Rumour also had it that the sale would move forward very quickly but since then nothing seems to have happened… Could the deal of gone cold?

Hertz did state

Hertz remains engaged with the FTC to secure antitrust clearance to potentially acquire Dollar Thrifty, which requires, among other things, the divestiture of our Advantage business.

However Dollar’s CEO Scott Thompson according to popular blog auto rental news,

expressed unusual candor – and exasperation. Aside from joking about his hair loss over the issue, he said the company has lost employees and has been negatively impacted when negotiating with strategic partners. He said no offer has been extended, and called for an end to this three-year-long saga.

So we look no closer to an end to the on off saga, but I will of course keep you updated if anything else arises.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

Are Hertz Closer To Buying Dollar Thrifty Than We Thought?

Hi all,

Amazing!! Two days in a row and I’m not talking about the redesign, so you know something must have caught my attention…and it has…

Yesterday we spoke about the Hertz quarter 1 results and the effect they could have on future inbound business, well buried within the full report which can be viewed here were some very direct wording in regards to Hertz’s marathon pursuit of Dollar Rent A Car

Within the forward statement to investors was this little nugget

Among other items, such factors could include: our ability to obtain regulatory approval for and to consummate an acquisition of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group; the risk that expected synergies, operational efficiencies and cost savings from a Dollar Thrifty acquisition may not be fully realized or realized within the expected time frame; the operational and profitability impact of divestitures that may be required to be undertaken to secure regulatory approval for an acquisition of Dollar Thrifty;

So Hertz are stating to investors that the acquisition of Dollar Thrifty could have an impact on their 2012 profit as they slimline the organisation, also looking at the report you can see a substantial amount has been spent on Acquisition related costs.

So popping on my deerstalker, I’m going to assume the following

  • Hertz will shortly announce an agreement with the FTC regarding the purchase of Dollar Thrifty.
  • We will see a fresh Hertz bid for Dollar Thrifty this quarter.
  • Hertz have found a buyer for Advantage Rent A Car (their value brand).

Now I’m no Sherlock Holmes but I’m pretty confident when I say Dollar Thrifty will become part of Hertz this year and I’m going to take a guess that either Sixt Rent A Car or Fox Rent A Car will be the new owners of Advantage Rent A Car.

What do you think?

regards,

James,

 car hire USA

Hertz Quarter 1 Results Hit Record Proportions

Hi all,

I’m giving you a one day break from me banging on about all the great new
features we’ve introduced since our latest re-design to talk briefly about Hertz’s quarter 1 results.

Released on May 2nd, Hertz were very happy to report adjusted net income of $19.4 million, versus a loss of $14.2 million in the same period of 2011. Loss before income taxes, on a GAAP basis, was $36.8 million, versus a pre-tax loss of $158.9 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Worldwide car rental revenues for the quarter increased 9.8% year-on-year to $1.66 billion. Worldwide car rental adjusted pre-tax income for the first quarter of 2012 was $91.6 million, an increase of $30.3 million from $61.3 million in the prior year period.

Mark P. Frissora, the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said,

“We are gratified by strong first quarter 2012 results, further validating our long-term, balanced approach to running global businesses, which generated double-digit revenue and profit growth despite difficult conditions in Europe.”

Looking at the report which can be seen here Hertz look to have produced such great results by

  • Increased volume
  • Robust residual values
  • Strong cost management performance, partially offset by a decrease in rental rate revenue per transaction day (“RPD”)
  • A strong showing from it’s value brand Advantage Rent A Car.
  • Increased activity in City areas.
  • and interestingly an increase in U.S. citizens pre-booking their hire cars!

The last point is interesting in the fact that usually U.S. citizens will roll up at the desk and look to book. The growing trend of American’s pre-booking their vehicles could have a very real negative effect on UK availability and rates, as the amount of cars reserved for our inbound market could be decreased to sustain the more profitable domestic market!!!

Hertz also are continuing their commitment to install their car sharing technology in there entire fleet!! How do you think this will effect traditional car rental models?  

regards,

James

 Florida car hire


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