How I Would Change The Car Hire USA Pick Up Process

Hi all,

Real innovation in car rental is very similar to the Hare and Tortoise tale, car rental futurehowever in this metaphor the Tortoise never actually finishes the race. In other words its slow. We see some companies start to sell new products like GPS units and recently tablets but real innovation is very rare.

Most car hire USA companies point to their websites for innovation but for me the majority are missing a trick by not reinventing the pick up location. How and where the customer collects their vehicle from hasn’t changed in decades, its the usual, turn up at a desk in the airport or off airport, get in the queue, stand there until its your go.

When we speak to our customers or read their reviews the number one gripe is queuing. Most expect a slight queue but after sitting on a plane for 8 hours a car rental queue of 20 minutes can feel like 20 hours…

How I would change the pick up location

Now this wouldn’t work for every location, but for some of the larger offices it would leave a lasting impression. Abandon the queue system as we know!

Yep I know it sounds impossible but here’s what I’m thinking, at Disney they operate something called a FastPass system, this system allows for virtual queuing, basically you run your ticket through a machine and it gives you a time slot to return the ride, giving you the freedom to explore the rest of the park, eliminating the need to queue.

Rental car companies could operate this similar to a number at a deli counter, freeing up the customer to explore. At the same time you could issue rental agreements so the customer has time to fully read and understand their terms, you could offer this online to match rental agreement to tour market.

But what’s to explore at a car rental location?

Well this is where locations need to think outside the box a little, car rental companies are not solely reliant upon the initial hire fee, they offer additional extra’s like Sat Nav’s, tablets and additional insurances, why couldn’t they display these in a kind of shop environment, allowing customers to browse these add on’s without the need for hard sell?

Why not give customers safe access to the car parks where the suppliers could show off some of their fleet including specific spec in a way that might tempt the waiting customer in to upgrading or at least enquiring about it?

I’ve heard of a few locations, mainly Hertz ran which offer customer the chance to charge up their phones etc at charging stations. I think this is a great idea and goes that little bit further to adding goodwill.

An area where the kids could play or even a shop where the supplier could sell car related items like maps, driving gloves that sort of thing.

When you’re up

When you’re number is up or you mobile is buzzed to let you know its time to collect your rental, you could easily take anything you’ve decided to purchase up with you, which is scanned on to your rental agreement. Seems pretty easy.

With USA car rental dominated by just 3 companies its time for 1 of them to step up and offer the customer something totally different.

Kind regards,

James
 car hire USA

3 Pages You May Have Missed On U.S. Rent A Car

Hi all,

usrentacar.co.uk is a massive website now with thousands and thousands of Binocularspages. Making all these pages easy to find is pretty hard, we try our best but we’re pretty sure some of our better pages are being missed.

So today I thought I’d point out some of the more interesting pages that I believe might aid you in your car hire USA search.

Location Finder

An innovation we first introduced on 2012 and was quickly copied by our competitors. The location Finder serves two purposes, firstly it allows you to type in an address, for example the address of your accommodation, and the location finder will show you the closest car rental offices to that address. It’s great for customers collecting from city locations.

The second part is the One Way Rental finder, the purpose is quite simple, enter your pick up location and your desired drop off location and the finder will display each suppliers local charge for this. Can be really helpful as one way prices can differ per supplier.

Page: http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/locationfinder.aspx

Car Rental Reviews

Almost 10 years ago we started collecting USA car hire reviews from customers regarding the service our suppliers we’re offering, we were the first car rental company to do this and therefore have the largest database of independent car rental reviews.

The obvious part of the review service is that it gives you a great idea of what to expect locally but one of the hidden gems is the car rental make or model. We ask each customer to tell us which vehicle they received locally, this allows us to build up a database of vehicles housed in each category which although is no guarantee it does help our customers select the category which will most suit their needs.

Page: http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/reviews/all-supplier/all-vehicles/within-12-month/all-offices

Pre-Registration 

One of the pet hates of all car renters is having to queue to fill in documentation and collect car details.

Most of our suppliers offer a pre-registration system to speed up the  process locally. We’ve added all these systems under one page.

Page: http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/pre_registration.aspx

I hope you find at least one of these pages useful and we’ll continue too add to them to make car rental as simple as possible.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Picking Up Your USA Car Hire At Christmas

Hi all,

Christmas is fast approaching and for USA car hire the festive period is christmas car hireextremely busy, you can tell how busy it gets by checking out our suppliers local prices over this period.

Checking our upcoming bookings we have over 1000 rentals collecting between the 20th December and the 24th December a lot of these rentals have been booked by repeat customers, those who have used our services in the past, enjoyed it and decided to book again, these customers are fully aware of the collection procedure and what to take with them. However for those who are new to car rental we thought we’d put together a Christmas guide.

What to take with me

To collect your hire vehicle you’ll require the following items;

Your U.S. Rent A Car rental voucher

This is available once the full balance has been paid, you can collect this by logging in to your account at www.usrentacar.co.uk or by using the U.S. Rent A Car voucher app. The car rental voucher is confirmation to our supplier that you have pre-paid everything described under the “what’s included” section, without this the supplier is within their rights to refuse you the vehicle.

Full Driving Licence

Anyone driving the vehicle must produce their full driving licence, UK residents will be required to show both the paper and plastic part of the licence.

Credit Card

The lead driver will be expected to leave an imprint of their credit card for security. The card must be in the name of the lead driver. Some of our suppliers will accept a visa debit card but please check with our reservations department before booking for more information.

Failure to provide any of these can result in the car rental company refusing your hire, in these circumstances no refund will be issued.

Upon Collection

When you pick up your car rental you will be asked to sign a contract with the supplier, this is a legally binding document between yourself and the supplier (not U.S. Rent A Car), it is imperative that you read and fully understand the rental agreement before you sign it.

Any additional charges will be laid out within the rental agreement, if there are additional fee’s and you don’t recognise the nature of them you should make this known to the car rental rep immediately. If you sign for something locally you are agreeing to the additional costs and we (usrentacar) will not be able to retrieve these funds for you.

Always check your rental agreement fully and do not sign it until you are totally happy.

What additional charges could appear on the rental agreement?

Not all additional charges are erroneous,  supplier can charge for one way rental fee’s (picking up in one place but dropping in another), child seat rental, GPS rental or adding additional drivers locally.

Just remember to double check what you’re signing for.

If you’re picking up over the Christmas period have a wonderful time, I’m very jealous :-)

regards,

James

 car hire USA

J.D. Power 2013 Car Rental Ratings

Hi all,

There are  lots of customer satisfaction surveys covering the car rental industry but none are held in such esteem as the  J.D. Power Car Rental satisfaction survey. This will be the 5th year we’ve displayed the results of the survey on the U.S. Rent A Car blog but its been reviewing car rental satisfaction for over 18 years.

The survey is a great indication of how consumers view USA car hire and a great matrix for showing price v’s service.  This year more than any other the old adage “you get what you pay for” has never rung so true, with car rental customers who based their choice on price were the least satisfied with the service they received.

Key Points

  • More than one-third (35%) of customers cite low price as a top reason for selecting their rental car company.  Yet, overall satisfaction is lowest among customers who select based on price (756 on a 1,000-point scale). In comparison, overall satisfaction among customers who choose a rental car company based on good customer service is highest (828).
  • Overall customer satisfaction with their rental car experience averages 775 in 2013, a six-point increase from 2012 and the highest satisfaction score since the study’s current methodology was adopted in 2006.
  • Customers on personal or leisure travel are slightly more satisfied, on average, than are business customers (777 vs. 771, respectively). Personal or leisure customers are more satisfied than are business customers across all factors except the pick-up process.
  • A critical factor associated with rental car satisfaction is expediency of pick up.  Among the 20 percent of customers who use a counter bypass service, satisfaction with the pick-up process averages 820 compared with 770 for those that use the rental counter.
  • A smile from the rental car staff can have a huge impact on overall satisfaction. Overall satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile from one member of a rental car company’s staff is 58 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (693 vs. 635, respectively). Satisfaction among customers greeted with a smile by four staff members is 200 points higher than among those not greeted with a smile (835 vs. 635, respectively).
  • National ranks highest in customer satisfaction among rental car companies, with a score of 809, performing particularly well across all six factors. Enterprise ranks second with a score of 799, followed by Alamo with 782.

Overall Rankings

jd power 2013

A few things need to be remembered when looking at these stat’s. Firstly they are purely based on domestic customers the way a domestic customer is serviced is totally different to inbound customers, secondly all the suppliers that appeared under the top 3 all secured higher marks than the previous year and thirdly with Hertz purchasing Dollar Thrifty and four of last years entries not even making the survey due to low samples the industry average is misleadingly high.

However even with that taken into consideration its still a great result for Enterprise, congratulation to their team who I know work extremely hard.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Thrifty Car Rental Introduce New Packages For 2014

Hi all,

Hertz Dollar Thrifty are on a bit of a roll at the moment, not only have they 2014 heartprovided us with some cracking 2014 rates and the free GPS offer but today they’ve confirmed that our Thrifty product will be give an all important boost for 2014.

For the majority of 2013 Thrifty have only offered our customers the basic Silver rate, which although is a great product for customers with only 1 driver it really prevented them from gaining any business from renters who required more than 1. The cost locally to add an additional driver is approx. $10 per day plus tax far more expensive than the difference between their silver rate and a competitors gold rate.

However for 2014 Thrifty Car Rental will be offering a gold and platinum rate, meaning additional drivers can be pre-purchased in the UK. This automatically makes them more competitive and if that wasn’t enough they too have agreed to honour 2013 rates for 2014 (this can change without notice).

Thrifty Gold Rate now includes

 

  • 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.
  • First tank of fuel
  • Additional Drivers

The Platinum rate includes the same as the Gold plus;

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.

Please note that the additional Platinum insurance is exclusive to usrentacar.co.uk and is not provided directly with the supplier but through our third part insurers, for more details please see our terms.

Great to see Hertz Dollar Thrifty being so proactive. Its a refreshing change and most certainly points to the new ownership looking to push Enterprise for the spot of number 1 in North America.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

Dollar Rent A Car Offer Early Bird Prices And No Florida Summer Surcharge

Hi all,

USA car hire suppliers notoriously play their cards very close to their chests at this time of year. Most of the negotiations for 2014 pricing takes place at World Travel Market which starts on the 4th November.early bird

However this year and its pretty unprecedented, Dollar Rent A Car have decided to come out all guns blazing. If this is the Hertz effect then here at U.S. Rent A Car we couldn’t be happier!

So what’s different, well usually our suppliers raise their rates, this year for now, Dollar have frozen ours, which means you’re getting 2013 prices in 2014. This works out at a saving based year on year of approximately 5%.

Secondly and this is a biggy, at the moment you can book your Florida Car Hire for collection in July and August 2014 without having to pay the usual peak season surcharge this represents a saving of $60 per week!

As with all offers, these are subject to change without notice so I would urge you to take advantage of these great rates. Remember you can secure your rental with a £50 deposit, the balance would then be due 8 weeks prior to departure.

So don’t delay, book today.

regards,

James

 car hire USA

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

Dollar And Thrifty Rent A Car Finally Amend Fuel Policy

Hi all,

For over a year we’ve been asking, shouting and then finally praying that DollarDollar fuel and Thrifty Rent A Car amend their fuel policy. At times it felt like we were banging our heads against a brick wall but today I’m happy to confirm that we’ve finally had a breakthrough.

U.S. Rent A Car customers booking our silver rate with Dollar Rent A Car will be offered the option to return the car the same way as they collected it and avoid a fuel charge.

Here’s the full statement we received moments ago;

NOTIFICATION

As you know, two of our rate packages (Silver and Silver GPS) do not include fuel and the renter must pre-purchase a tank of fuel a time of rental.

This policy has advantages for the renter:

  • · Saves time when returning the vehicle
  • · No need to re-fill the vehicle before return
  • · The fuel is charged at the average local rate

However, we acknowledge that some renters may prefer to collect the vehicle with a full tank and return with a full tank and receive no fuel charges.

With this ‘full to full’ option, if is necessary for us to fill the fuel tank further, we will charge the renter at a premium fuel rate (a higher rate than the rate charged for pre-paid fuel option).

We have decided to offer this “full to full” fuel option for U.S. Rent A Car customers upon return of the vehicle.

The renter will continue to pre-purchase a tank of fuel at the beginning of the rental and then, at the time of return, if they choose to return the vehicle full, they can request that the pre-paid fuel charge be removed from their rental agreement.

The vehicle must be refueled within 10 miles of the return station and the renter must present the receipt from the petrol station (gas station).

If the vehicle is not completely full, the renter will be charged at a premium rate for us to fill the vehicle completely.

So in summary, your renter’s now have 3 fuel options:

1. Gold/Platinum or Gold/Platinum GPS rate – the tank of fuel is included in the rate so car is rented full and returned as empty as possible. No local fuel charge to the renter.

2. Silver or Silver GPS rate – renter must pre-purchase a tank of fuel at the beginning of the rental and should return as empty as possible. Tank of fuel charged locally to the renter.

3. Silver or Silver GPS rate – renter must pre-purchase a tank of fuel at the beginning of the rental. Before returning the vehicle, fill the tank within 10 miles of the rental station and at the time of return, request that the pre-paid fuel charge is removed from the rental agreement. Provide the fuel station receipt and the pre-paid fuel charge will be removed by the rental agent.

So basically, upon collection of your vehicle you will be asked to leave an imprint of your credit debit/card, the usual fuel charge will be made however upon return of the vehicle when you hand the keys over to the Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car staff member if you produce your fuel receipt the initial fuel charge will be removed. The Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car staff members all carry handheld computers which are linked to your rental agreement so the process is very quick and accurate.

We are delighted that Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car have made this amendment for our customers. It  proves the reviews we ask you to leave for each supplier after you rental is complete are being read and taken on board.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

U.S. Rent A Car Shortlisted For A Prestigious Travolution Award

Afternoon all,

We’ve just received some good news, we’ve been nominated for a 6th time in 7  years for a Travolution award in the category of best car hire website :-)

We were first nominated in this category back in 2007, we returned in 2009, 2010 (2 categories) and 2011 never quite getting over the finish line. Although I’m pretty sure we hold the record for most nominations.

Travolution_finalist 2013

About the Travolution Awards

The Travolution awards are unique within the Travel Industry, they recognise companies, brands and individuals who excel in the fields of online travel distribution, digital marketing and technology. Judged by a panel of proven business leaders, experts and entrepreneurs, they are the UK travel industry’s highest accolade for innovation and excellence online. Companies and brands compete in a select number of categories, whilst entrepreneurs and rising stars are honoured in the individual awards.

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony taking place at the Troxy in London on October 17th 2013.

This year our founders, Karl Hendrie and Gavin Boswell are in a unique position. Not only has U.S. Rent A Car been nominated but also their latest startup, Orlando Attraction Tickets, who have been nominated in the  best Attractions Website category…

Dare we dream a double win???? We hope so.

Congratulations to allthe  companies that have made the shortlist, just getting to this stage is an honour.

regards,

James

 car hire USA


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