My week in Car Hire, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Babies, Upgrades and Reviews

Hi All,

Hope you are all well.

This week has been a very long, tiring but interesting week. On a personal note my third son is teething! So he’s decided to keep my sleep down to a minimum, bless him!!

On the professional front we’ve had meetings with Budget, Avis and Alamo. We’ve seen a sneak preview of the U.S. Rent A Car booking engine upgrade and?partnered up with a start up review site.

Budget Meeting

The budget meeting as far as I’m concerned went well. As we sort of guessed already prices will be going up for next year, the actual rise will probably be proportionate to the q3 results that are due around the 03/11/09, however we are thinking between a?5-8% rise. The rise is very much to do with the interest rate now being charged to Budget for re-financing, believed to be around 9% an increase of roughly 6% allegedly.

We raised our concerns regarding how budget staff are selling their “toll passes” to customers and?hope the message has got through.?Feedback from customers tells us that staffs have been including the pass automatically in the hire car and then charging locally once the customer signs the agreement. Not something we are very impressed about.

Avis

The positive outcome of this meeting was that we now have Avis at Orlando International Airport to offer. Avis consider themselves (probably rightfully) to be a premium product and so rates reflect this, however so does the service.

Alamo

Alamo confirmed that there will definitely be a price increase next year of 8% across the board. Their justification for the increase is that they are the only car rental company who is not hanging on to their fleet for another year, so in theory if you rent an Alamo car you will be guaranteed a vehicle of no more than 6/8 months old, rather than over a year as with others.

We also spoke about speeding up the process once you guys get to the U.S. and hopefully we have stumbled upon a solution, I’ll tell you more once we’ve signed some documents.

U.S. Rent A Car Booking Engine

Frank (Business Development) and I,?got a sneak preview from the IT guys of the booking engine upgrade this week. The resulting effort seems to make the engine a lot quicker and slicker. We also managed to brain storm a few new ideas to freshen up the engine and perhaps innovate again within the industry.

The car rental industry is very slow to innovate; I still can’t believe we are the only company to include user generated reviews on our site. Which leads nicely too…..

Partnered up with review site

This week we launched inconjuncation with www.rentacars.co.uk the largest car hire opinion and review site in the UK.

At present it has over 10k unique reviews, the site is in its infancy and I would predict it will probably change again at some point but we are hoping it could become the trip advisor of car hire… wishful thinking perhaps…

World Travel Market (WTM) draws nearer and I?m very lucky to be attending the Travel BlogCamp (@tbcamp on twitter) hosted by Darren Cronian of Travel Rants fame. The list of attendee?s is very impressive and although I usually dread WTM I?m actually looking forward to it this year.

That?s it for this week, have a good weekend and a happy Halloween.

?

Regards,

?

Gavin,

U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk

@gavinboswell


Bad Behavior has blocked 654 access attempts in the last 7 days.