Introducing The Silver Plus

Hi all,

Here at U.S. Rent A Car we’re always looking at ways of making your USA car hire not only run more smoothly but also at ways of offering you the best deals around. Today we’re happy to announce the launch of a new product, we’re calling it Silver Plus.

Silver Plus at the moment is only available with our supplier Sixt Rent A Car the German based car rental company who are making a real inroads in the U.S. market. The consolidation of the American market recently which sees the majority of the major brands owed by just 3 companies does leave a great opportunity for someone to put the cat among the pigeons, Sixt are ideally placed to be that cat.

You’ll find the Silver Plus option within our search results for an of the Sixt locations;

silver plus

 

What’s included in the Silver Plus

Silver Plus Rates (inclusive)

  • 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.
  • All Additional Drivers

We feel this is a great addition to our expanding offerings and hope some of you can take advantage of this great offer.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Staying At The Disney Resort? Here’s The Best Way To Collect Your Car

Hi all,

As we all know Disney (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom & Hollywood7-day-disney Studios) is the most popular theme park in Florida it attracts millions of visitors every year from all around the world, so much so they had to build their own hotels!

One questions I get asked a lot is, what’s the best way of collecting a Florida car rental if I’m staying at the Disney resort and I don’t want to collect from the airport?

Well our supplier Alamo Rent A Car have you covered here, they operate an office based within the heart of Disney called Disney Car Care. Now none of our suppliers offer a delivery service, so you will have to head to the office but here’s the good bit, Alamo will collect you.

Alamo run a shuttle service  that will pick you up from any Disney hotel and take you to the car care centre where you can complete your rental agreement and grab your car hire. Not only that but when you’ve completed your rental the shuttle will take you back to your Disney accommodation.

We advise anyone wanting to use this service to call the Disney car care office at least 24 hours before your pickup day to arrange collection. Please be aware that in busy periods this service may not be available.

You can call Alamo’s Disney Car Care on 407-824-3470 or alternatively you could ask your hotel to give them a call ;-)

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

How We Can Use Historical Data To Predict Car Makes & Models

Hi all,

The most  frequently asked questions we’re asked here is also the one question we can never fully answer.

“Which make/model vehicle will I receive?”

Our suppliers do not guarantee make or model of any of their vehicles, its the reason that all our categories state “or similar” after them, it’s another reason we can never guarantee how many suitcases will fit in the boot or how many miles the vehicle will do to the gallon. It’s infuriating to everyone, but from the suppliers point of view its better to be slightly vague than disappoint.

The prime example would be the promise of a certain model of vehicle that the customer knows will fit all their luggage in only for the previous renter of the said vehicle to be involved in an accident and the vehicle written off. In this instance the supplier would be liable. This is just one imaginary scenario that stops our suppliers from guaranteeing a make or model.

When we’re asked about the make or model of a vehicle that a customer is likely to get we do two things

1) Supplier Recommendation

We have direct links with all our suppliers who feed their information in to our system. Our suppliers will generally feed the most likely vehicle type in to our search results.

2) Historical Data

For me this is the best and most useful data we have, here’s how it works. After every rental (and we do a lot) we ask our customers to review the service they’ve received from the supplier, part of this review asks our customer to confirm the make and model of the vehicle they’ve received.

usrentacar data

This allows us to build up a database of real time makes and models  from verified customers.

Here’s how to check it yourself ;

  1. Visit www.usrentacar.co.uk/reviews.aspx
  2. Enter the location you’re looking to hire from.
  3. You can select a specific supplier or view all reviews.
  4. Select the vehicle category you’re interested in or view all vehicles.
  5. You can select how far back you want the reviews from.
  6. Scroll through the reviews, car makes/model can be found on the right hand side of each review.

The review system can be manipulated to specifically pick out vehicle category, location and supplier so there really is no better way to get an idea of what vehicle you’re likely to collect.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Dollar Rent A Car Release 2014 Fleet Guide

Morning all and happy New Year,

With 2014 firmly into its stride we’re beginning to get information regarding the car hire USA Fleets for 2014. First to send me the information is Dollar Rent A Car.

Industry experts (and myself) believe 2014 will be a very interesting year for Dollar,  their parent company Hertz hopes to have them full integrated into their system within quarter 1 which will mean that a company which had total  access to roughly 170,000 vehicles in the U.S. will now have access to approximately 700,000 cars. What does this mean? Well it should mean we’ll see a lot more competitive and flexible Dollar Rent A Car.

We’ve already been witness to the “Hertz effect” here at U.S. Rent A Car, average user review scores have risen year on year and an amendment in their customer services department has seen a massive increase in response times, which we hope will continue over 2014.

Dollar Rent A Car Fleet Guide

dollar fleet 2014

Now as it states above this is only for guidance and is not a guarantee of make, model, luggage capacity, MPG etc but it does give a great indication to what vehicle types you can expect and in which category. The most important one for us as its the question we’ve asked the most, is the convertible category…. and it looks like Dollar Rent A Car will again have the most Ford Mustangs on fleet for 2014. :-)

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Dollar Rent A Car Alter Fuel Policy Again..But For The Better

Hi all,

Back in 2012 Dollar Rent  A Car were one of the only suppliers that requiredpetrol pump customers on our Silver rate to pre-purchase their fuel upon arrival. Customer’s rightly didn’t like this as airport petrol prices can be more expensive than from a station.

Therefore after a lot of badgering from ourselves, they amended their fuel policy and introduced a new ruling in August. This fuel policy required the customer to purchase the prepaid fuel from the supplier as usual however the customer could receive a full refund if they produced proof of a receipt from a petrol station within 10 miles of the airport showing the car to be refuelled fully.

Customers reacted warmly to this new policy and its been running successfully for just under half a year but both ourselves and Dollar weren’t totally satisfied. With 2014 approaching and Hertz very firmly in the driving seat (excuse pun) Dollar Rent A Car took another look at their petrol policy and have decided to revise it once again. This time I think they’ve got it spot on!

So as of the 01/01/2014, any customer collecting a Dollar Rent A Car vehicle booked with us, on our silver rate will not be required to pre-purchase their first tank of fuel on pick up. The vehicle will be collected with a full tank of petrol (or close to full) and the vehicle must then be returned at the same level. Failure to return the vehicle at the same level will result in a charge to your card for the fuel and a small service surcharge.

The prepaid fuel option locally will still be made available to customers and Dollar point out that the prepaid option does have its benefits;

  • Saves time upon return
  • All charges on one receipt
  • No having to stop to purchase gas on return

Here at U.S. Rent A Car we’re just happy that Dollar have introduced a much easier and customer friendly way to petrol. We definitely believe this has been influenced by Hertz and hope this continues.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Check Out The New Redesign For The Ford Mustang

Hi all,

A very quick and not at all scientific poll of people in my office has just confirmed that the Ford Mustang is the vehicle we’d most like to drive route 66 in.

Yesterday Ford announced the Sixth Generation version of the Ford Mustang 50 years since its original debut. The 2015 model has been redesigned with the  old 1969 Mustang model in mind.

ford mustang 2015

It will have a v8 engine and with options to  upgrade the basic model  including valve train and cylinder heads that bring 420 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.

Here’s Fords Mustang Video

What do you think of the new Ford Mustang 2015?

Regards,

James

 car hire USA

Car Hire USA Market Hits Another Record Year

Hi all,

Our good friends at Auto Rental News have just released their annual look at the Car Hire USA market. I always find these statistics interesting and this year even more so, as it gives us our first look at how Avis Budget have done with their acquisitions of Payless and Zipcar and of course  the new Hertz Dollar Thrifty brand.

2013 has definitely been a buoyant one for the car rental industry, total revenue for the year is estimated to hit $24.546 billion, a 3.9% increase year on year. The revenue increase could be put down to a gradual increase in fleet which has risen to  1.95 million, a 4.8% increase over the average fleet size in 2012.

Chris Brown, Executive Editor said;

The car rental industry in America is on solid footing. While revenues have reached an all-time high, RPU remains robust, even in the face of rising new car costs and softening used car values.

Here are the stat’s;

car rental market

As you can see privately owned Enterprise who also operate the Alamo and National brands have almost 1 Million cars in operation which easily makes them the number 1 car rental company in America. These stat’s also show how important it was for Hertz to purchase Dollar Thrifty to cement their position as the number 2 company ahead of Avis Budget.

Another thing these stat’s highlight is the huge gulf between the top 3 car rental companies in the U.S. and everybody else… the number 4 spot is taken by Advantage Rent A Car, a company who has recently filed for bankruptcy!

For me the USA car hire market is in need of deeper competition and whoever gets Advantage Rent A Car could possibly mount a challenge given time.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

U.S. Public Holidays 2014

Hi all,

Just a very quick post to list 2014 public holidays in the U.S. We posted a Holidayssimilar blog for 2013 and it proved to be very popular so hopefully some of you will find it interesting.

This year we’ve bulked out the list with holidays specific to states and included the day the holiday falls upon.

As of 2012, there are eleven federal holidays in the United States, ten annual holidays and one quadrennial holiday (Inauguration Day). Pursuant to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 (effective 1971), official holidays are observed on a Monday, except for New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.

 

Date Day Holiday Federal Holiday? State
1 January Wednesday New Year’s Day Yes National
20 January Monday Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr Yes National except Rhode Island
4 February Tuesday Rosa Parks Day No Ohio
12 February Wednesday Lincoln’s Birthday No Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York
15 February Saturday Susan B. Anthony Day No Florida, Wisconsin
17 February Monday Washington’s Birthday / Presidents Day Yes National except Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, & Wisconsin
31 March Monday César Chávez Day No California, Colorado (optional), Texas (optional)
16 April Wednesday Emancipation Day No District of Columbia
18 April Friday Good Friday No Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,
21 April Monday Patriots’ Day No Maine, Massachusetts
26 April Saturday Confederate Memorial Day No Georgia
28 April Monday Confederate Memorial Day No Alabama
28 April Monday Confederate Memorial Day No Mississippi
10 May Saturday Confederate Memorial Day No South Carolina
26 May Monday Memorial Day Yes National
2 June Monday Jefferson Davis Day No Alabama
4 July Friday Independence Day Yes National
1 September Monday Labor Day Yes National
13 October Monday Columbus Day Yes National except Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, & Wyoming
11 November Tuesday Veterans Day Yes National
27 November Thursday Thanksgiving Day Yes National
28 November Friday Day after Thanksgiving No California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, & West Virginia
28 November Friday Native American Heritage Day No Maryland
28 November Friday Washington’s Birthday No New Mexico
28 November Friday Family Day No Nevada
28 November Friday Lincoln’s Birthday No Indiana
24 December Wednesday Washington’s Birthday No Georgia, Indiana
24 December Wednesday Christmas Eve No Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, ¶ Wisconsin
25 December Thursday Christmas Day Yes National
26 December Friday Day after Christmas No Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
31 December Wednesday New Year’s Eve No Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Wisconsin

Some of the holidays we’ve posted are specific to individual states, mostly it will mean a complete shutdown of local services for that day as Americans spend time with their families.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

5 Things To Make USA Car Hire Perfect

Hi all,

Being a company that specialises in providing Car hire in the USA is a tricky perfectthing logistically, not only do you have to be competitive, have great locations and purchase the correct amount of vehicles (not supplier wants cars sitting around) you also have to provide great customer service.

Today’s post is about 5 things I think customer want that would make the perfect car rental supplier.

Pricing

The old adage “you get what you pay for” rings true in car rental. I think customers would pay a little more if they were guaranteed a higher level of service. If car rental company A is £40.00 more expensive than car rental company B than I think its only fair that the customer gets £40.00 worth of better service.

Makes and Models

We can never guarantee make or model of  the vehicles our suppliers provide, they buy from a selection of manufactures and therefore they can differ location to location. This has always been the case.

What the suppliers could do though, is provide more than one make or model that are likely to fall into that category to give the customer a wider idea of the likely model they will get. It would be pretty easy to manage, as the supplier will already have this information stored within their systems.

The advantages are pretty clear, the customer is able to select the correct vehicle to suit their needs and for the supplier it adds a opaque quality that is missing.

Quicker Queues

Pet peeve for everybody, Queuing!!!

It really isn’t that hard to speed this section up, we live in a word of high speed wifi. I recently wrote a post about how I would improve that car rental office, if we have to queue at least make it interesting and above all quick!

Completely Eliminate Hard Sell

Although hard sell tactics are very rare, just that fact that a small minority of staff do this leaves a very bad taste in customers mouths and promotes a negative vibe towards collection.

We’ve always been a big supporter of rewarding staff based on customer services instead of sales. Is it ever worth selling a customer something they don’t require and losing them forever?

Open Up

At the moment we (U.S. Rent A Car) have access to certain parts of the suppliers inventory and booking process. It would make things a lot easier if the supplier opened up more of their information to us. For example Rental Agreements, in this example if we had access to this information after the customer had signed we could make them aware of any additional charges that were due. It would also speed up customer service queries and lighten the workload for the suppliers CS team.

These are just a few basic idea’s on how to improve the car rental experience. I’d love to hear what you think and if you have any ideas of your own?

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Nearest Florida Car Hire Locations To The Theme Parks

Hi all,

We get it, you’ve just spent 9 hours on a flight, you’re tired, you don’t want to queue for your hire car and then drive the 30 mins or so to your accommodation! But what you do understand is that to really get the most out of your Florida holiday you need the flexibility a car gives you.

Don’t fear you don’t have to return to the airport, our suppliers offer numerous downtown or city locations where you can collect your vehicle, granted they don’t hold the same amount of fleet as an airport location but if you pre-book your Florida car hire then vehicle will be there waiting for you.

Today’s post will detail the nearest pick up locations to the main Orlando Theme Parks.

Magic Kingdom (1180 Seven Seas Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830)

disney car rental

The closest office to Disney’s Magic Kingdom is with Alamo Rent A Car and is their Disney Car Care location which is approximately 7 mins away.

Universal’s Islands of Adventure (6000 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819)

universal car rental

The first location you can see pinned in blue and yellow is the Alamo locations Four Points By Sheraton – 5905 International Drive, Orlando, florida it is approximately 7 mins away by taxi. The second location is a Dollar Rent A Car office, International Palms Resort, 6515 International Drive, Orlando depicted by the red and blue pin this location is 6 minutes away by taxi.

SeaWorld Orlando (7007 SeaWorld Dr, Orlando, FL 32821, United States)

seaworld car hire

The closest office to SeaWorld Orlando is actually the Dollar Rent A Car location that was also nearest to Universal Studios, International Palms Resort, 6515 International Drive, Orlando which is 10 minutes aways by taxi.

The estimated distances are taken from google maps and if we add more suppliers these nearest locations could alter if so I will post again.

Kind regards.

James

 car hire USA


Bad Behavior has blocked 2004 access attempts in the last 7 days.