USA Car Hire Statistics For 2012, Who’s Got What!?

Hi all,

Get your nerd glasses on and prepare for a lesson in who’s got what when it comes to car’s and locations in North America.

The big story of 2012 was of course Hertz’s purchase of Dollar Thrifty which cemented Hertz as the 2nd largest Car Hire USA supplier, but in physical cars, what does it all mean…

In total the U.S. Car Rental market has approximately 1.8 million active cars, the gulf between who actually owns these cars from bottom to top is vast with the top 4 (2012) owning 1.7 million of them!

Here’s the breakdown -

No. of vehicles No. of locations (USA)
Enterprise Holdings (Includes Alamo Rent A Car,Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental) 941,064 6,202
Hertz (Includes Advantage Rent-A-Car) 366,000 2,700
Avis Budget Group 300,000 2,500
Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group 122,000 470
Zipcar 8,800 151
Fox Rent A Car 15,000 17
U-Save Auto Rental System Inc 11,500 325
Payless Car Rental System Inc. 11,000 44
ACE Rent A Car 9,000 92
Rent-A-Wreck ofAmerica 5,600 184
Triangle Rent-A-Car 4,000 28
Affordable/Sensible 3,300 180
Independents 60,000 5,400
Total 1,857,264 18,293

*The information above is based on data, public documents, industry research and ARN estimates.

Looking at these compiled stat’s you can see why Hertz’s purchase took so long to go through as the FTC were very concerned about lack of competition in the market place.

Yesterday Avis Budget entered negotiations to purchase car sharing leader Zipcar (shown above to own 8800 vehicles) which will again strengthen the hold the top 3 have on the industry.

More and more now the industry is becoming about relationships, as the top 3 break away for the rest its important to be in the right camp. Car Rental Brokers and Tour Operators may have to look at the smaller car rental companies to stay competitive and offer something different. U.S. Rent A Car is in a unique position where we have great relationships with the top 3 and have the freedom to push whoever is offering the customer best value.

One thing I know for sure, 2013 is going to be interesting…



 car hire USA

U.S. Rent A Car’s Top Posts Of 2012

Hi all,

Now some might say that a list of our most read articles of 2012 is slightly lazy writing and perhaps means we’ve run out of thing s to write! But those people would be very wrong…. wrong I tell you… wrong ;-)

Anyway today’s post is to highlight‘s top 10 most read articles this year.

  1. How Can I Guarantee A Ford Mustang?
  2. Alamo Car Hire Now Accepting Visa Debit For Security Deposit
  3. Best Locations To Collect A Ford Mustang From In Florida
  4. What’s The Kick In Route 66?
  5. Alamo Car Hire Choice Product
  6. The Dollar Rent A Car Buyout And 2012
  7. Dollar Car Hire Confirm Customer Choice For US Rent A Car Clients
  8. 5 Things You Might Want To Pay For Before Collecting Your Rental Car
  9. Have You Driven? Glenwood Canyon, Colorado
  10. 1 In 5 People Upgrade Upon Arrival

As you can see people love to read about Ford Mustangs so perhaps 2013 will be packed Mustang related articles…



 car hire USA

2012 Most Rented Vehicles In The USA

Hi all,

Seems like I blinked and now we’re almost in December!! Where has the time gone! 

Last year I posted about the top 10 vehicles collected in 2011 by U.S. Rent A Car customers I thought it would be an ideal time to look over 2012′s top 10 and perhaps compare the results.

2011′s Top 10 

  1. Intermediate Sports Utility – Ford Escape or similar
  2. 7 Seater Minivan – Dodge Caravanor similar
  3. Convertible 2dr – Ford Mustang or similar
  4. Economy 2dr – Chevrolet Aveo or similar
  5. Full Size 4dr – Dodge Charger or similar
  6. Intermediate 4dr – Hyundai Sonata or similar
  7. Standard Sports Utility – Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar
  8. Full Size 7 seater Sports Utility – Ford Explorer or similar
  9. 12 Seater Minivan – Ford E-350 or similar
  10. Full Size 2dr – Dodge Charger or similar

2012′s Top 10 

  1. Intermediate Sports Utility – Ford Escape or similar
  2. 7 Seater Minivan – Dodge Caravan or similar
  3. Full Size 4dr – Ford Taurus or similar
  4. Convertible 2dr – Ford Mustang or similar
  5. Intermediate 4dr – Hyundai Sonata or similar
  6. Economy 4dr – Chevrolet Aveo or similar
  7. Compact 4dr – Ford Focus or similar
  8. Standard Sports Utility – Chevrolet Equinox or similar
  9. Standard 4dr – Ford Fusion or similar
  10. Premium 4dr – Ford Crown Victoria or similar

So as you can see the Intermediate SUV and the 7 seater minivan are still the most popular vehicles to hire in the USA. However looking at the actual numbers, the gap between the 3rd and 4th vehicle and the top 2 is actually decreasing.

I wonder what 2013 will bring. What vehicle will you be hiring?



 car hire USA Hits 20k Customer Reviews Milestone

Hi all,

Back in 2006 started asking customers to leave a review about the service our suppliers were providing. We were the first car rental company to do this and only recently have we begun to see competitors replicate our service.

Today I’m delighted to announce that we have hit the impressive milestone of over 20k verified car hire USA reviews, making U.S. Rent A Car the largest user generated car rental review service in the world.

Our 20,000th review came from Mr F Andrews, regarding Dollar Rent A Car from San Francisco Airport who he scored an overall 77 out of 100 based on such things as, vehicle quality, pick service and value for money. He collected a Chevrolet Impala his full review stated

We had an accident where a car drove into the back of us. The Dollar desk at LAX were really helpful and sorted us a replacement straight away. The initial desk at San Francisco was quick also but certain things weren”t explained. Overall it was good though.

At present we have over 8k reviews regarding Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car, 5k reviews regarding Alamo/National Rent A Car and 7k reviews regarding Budget Rent A Car.

The location with the most views is Orlando International Airport (MCO) with an impressive 5170, the vehicle type with the highest number of reviews is the 7 Seater Minivan which from MCO with Budget Rent A Car has over 500 unique reviews.

Our review section has proved so popular that we created a central engine where customers can view and filter reviews for a more personalised experience. It can be found here Car Hire USA reviews

Here’s to 20k more reviews and a great insight in to the collection process at different airports across the U.S.



 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, 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.



 car hire USA

Budget Rent A Car Issue Huge Amendments

Hi all,

We’ve been informed today of some major amendments to the Budget Rent A Car packages being sold here on These new amendments will take place from 1st August 2012 and will effect all new or amended rentals.

Major Changes

Unfortunately some of the unique selling points Budget offered are either being removed or amended, I will try to break down the major alterations here.

Free upgrade deal

For a few years now Budget Rent A Car have been offering a free upgrade on certain categories of vehicles based on availability. A huge number of our customers have taken advantage of this offer however as of today this offer is not available on new bookings.

Additional Driver

This one keeps altering, but for now the additional driver included within the Budget Rent A Car silver rate is now only applicable to spouses and domestic partners.

Pre-Paid Sat Nav’s Collected Locally

Another amendment to the contract now prevents us from pre-booking GPS units to be collected upon arrival. You can still purchase our Sat Nav sent to you here in the UK though.

Young Drivers Package

This one for me is the real blow, unfortunatley as of today Budget Rent A Car have removed their Young Drivers Package. This is a real shame as Budget were one of the pioneering suppliers for under 25 driving.

Remember we still have Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental to provide our young drivers service.

We will continue to speak to Budget and where we can look to add more value to their product.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us,



 car hire USA

5 Things To Consider When Renting A Car

Hi all,

Car hire in the USA can seem quite a daunting prospect, here at we try to make something that can be complicated as simple and easy as possible.

Today’s post revolves around 5 key things you need to consider when booking your Florida car hire. I will attempt to cover what I believe to be the most important parts of your hire determine by questions we get asked by customers.


Our reservations staff answer questions all day regarding insurances included within our car rental packages. Customers should be looking for these insurances as the absolute minimum.

CDW (collision damage waiver) or LDW (Loss damage waiver) both offer the same insurance feature. 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.

UMP (Uninsured Motorist Protection) 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.

SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance) 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.

All our packages (Silver, Gold & Platinum) include these insurances, recently we have also added the new Platinum package which offers additional coverage.

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 and is not provided directly with the supplier but through our third part insurers, for more details please see our terms.

Our Platinum rate was added due to continuing feedback from our customers who were being offered the additional service locally but at a rate we deemed to high.

Car Size

Its important not to undersell your parties needs; a family of 4 with luggage is not going to comfortably fit in the cheap Economy 2dr model. I have come across many a holiday maker who thought it would be cheaper to purchase the smallest vehicle available and then haggle locally over an upgrade.
The problems they come across are these; firstly the supplier can see that you wont fit in the economy with your 4 pieces of luggage and child seat in tow, secondly they guy behind the desk works on commission for what he can sell, he gains less from giving you a real cheap deal. Thirdly, the rates we offer are specifically designed for the UK and European market, purchasing locally means all the individual insurances have to be priced separately and all incur tax so this can bump your price right up.

The other important factor to remember when selecting a vehicle is that our suppliers do not guarantee make or model of their vehicles, for example an Intermediate Sports Utility is described as a Ford Escape with Dollar Rent a Car however within this category of vehicle also falls the Jeep Liberty and the Jeep Compass. So when selecting your vehicle bear in mind that due to the fact we cannot guarantee make or model of the vehicle we also cannot guarantee luggage space or additional features.

In car hire terms bigger is always better.

On Airport / Off Airport

Something to consider when picking your car rental supplier is where their vehicles are located. On we show you each supplier and provide information stating either if the supplier is On airport or if their car lot is Off airport collection provided by a free shuttle bus service.

Now for some, on airport or off airport doesn’t really matter but for people with small children or elderly relatives the difference between a 10 min bus journey or walking across the road to a car park can make all the difference. Make sure you know where your supplier is located.

Online reputation 

There are quite a few car rental brokers out there at the moment, so apart from price how else should you be thinking about before booking.

Here at we offer two review types; firstly we offer independent reviews about our own company via our link up with Trust Pilot which we launched in May and secondly we offer reviews about the suppliers themselves provided by our customers after the rental has taken place; these reviews are available here Car Hire USA reviews and can be manipulated to show reviews of your supplier, pick up location and vehicle type.

This will give you a good impression of the level of service you will receive from our suppliers and of course us.

Optional Extras / Rental Agreement

I think I write about rental agreements every other post, so here it is again; upon collection of your hire you will be asked to sign a rental agreement, the rental agreement is your contract with the supplier. Please make sure you read this document and fully understand its contents before you sign it.

With regards to optional extra’s offered locally our suppliers may offer you the following

Personal accident insurance – Insures against person injury; items within this optional extra are generally covered by your travel insurance.

Pass24 or SunPass - This pass allows you to take advantage of the special automated lanes and speeds up your drive. Florida is slowly phasing out all manned toll booths but until then it is worth bearing in mind that dependant upon where you are going in Florida you may only come across one or two booths.

Advanced Roadside Assistance - We have covered this one in a  recent blog, remember your rental comes with basic roadside assistance this covers you for mechanical failure. The reservations staff locally may try to sell you advanced roadside assistance which covers instances such as losing your keys, running out of petrol and a lock out service.

Remember our reservation staff are always available to answer any query you may have either via the telephone on 0845 226 8523, via email or via our live chat facility located at the top of every page.

Kind regards,


 Florida car hire

Take The Stress Out Of USA Car Hire With Our Essential Guide

Hi all,

A recent survey conducted by YouGov suggested that car hire was one of the most stressful parts of people’s holiday.

Today I thought I’d go through the surveys results and point out how are tackling each issue.

The survey revealed;

Over one in 10 people (11%) queued for more than an hour to pick up their rental car

Here at we have introduced a couple of initiatives to counter this statistic. The first is the introduction of our exclusive Wait Time feature, powered by the usrentacar voucher app; upon arrival users of the app are prompted to add the length of time they have had to queue, this data is then averaged and displayed within our search results so customers are aware of possible delays.

The other feature we promote are our suppliers  pre registration options, by pre-registering your details here in the UK you will not be required to do this locally and in some circumstances you can use a dedicated desk.

Over one in ten (12%) found damage on the rental car that was not originally disclosed

This statistic is more about European car hire than Florida car hire the difference being is that car rental in Europe for the most part have insurance excesses associated with the rental, so damage on the vehicle is payable by the customer, however in the U.S. the insurances we offer come with zero excess (excluding parts of New York and Alaska) so the issue of damage to the vehicle is not really applicable.

Over a sixth of consumers (17%) did not get the rental car they ordered

Here at all our vehicles are hired as “or similar” although we can never guarantee make or model of the vehicle we can guarantee the category; so for example if you hire a (sports utility vehicle) Grand Jeep Cherokee or similar, you are not hiring that specific model but a sports utility vehicle.

To help our customers get an indication of which vehicle they are most likely to get we offer USA car hire reviews gathered from our customers which state the make and model the customer received from that category of vehicle.

One in seven (14%) car hire respondents said they did not read the small print of the rental agreement with the same number again (14%) saying they couldn’t be bothered to read all the bits of paper.

Reading your rental agreement upon arrival is one of the most important things we try to stress here at usrentacar. Your rental agreement is a legally binding contract between yourself and the car rental supplier, here are a list of posts relating to rentals agreements.

Car Rental Agreements – Read it before you sign it.

The Guys On The Desks Work On Commission, Here’s How To Survive

How To Survive Easter USA Car Hire

Car Hire USA – Things to remember

What Does An Alamo Rental Agreement Look Like?

Car rental can be stressful however if you follow these brief rules you’ll be fine.

  1. Book a car suitable for your requirements; if you have a lot of suitcases make sure you book something capable of accommodating them all, a 7 seater wont take 7 pieces of luggage for example.
  2. Make sure you read What’s Included in the rentalthoroughly.
  3. Pre-register your details.
  4. Read your rental agreement thoroughly and only sign it when you are totally happy.
  5. Enjoy your holiday.

If you would like to add to this list please feel free to comment below.



 Florida car hire

What’s The Kick In Route 66?

Hi all,

Just behind Las Vegas to San Francisco, Route 66 is our most popular one way rental. This iconic drive which has been immortalised in song and film, manages to capture the imagination of many a road warrior.

Route 66 traditionally starts in Chicago, from our experience most of our customers select Chicago O’Hare Airport to start their hire from; however Chicago’s second airport; Chicago Midway; actually works out as the cheaper option(see O’Hare’s local tax for more details). Route 66 ends in Santa Monica; most customers select Los Angeles International Airport as their drop off location. All our USA Car rental packages include unlimited mileage so the 2450 mile route wont add any additional mileage charges.

Remember Route 66 is iconic, if possible take your time, one of the best parts of a road trip is exploring. Route 66 takes you through some of the most interesting a picturesque locations in America.


From Chicago we head off to St Louis, things to do range from breath taking views from the Gateway Arch to a wonder around the massive Forest Park. From St Louis we head past Springfield (not that Springfield) and Tulsa to Oklahoma, home of the Cowboy and all things Western; highlights include the City Zoo and the Space/Science museum. At present we’ve covered just over 800 miles and been through 3 states.

Next up is Amarillo (yes that Amarillo), more cowboy country, well known for its massive portions of steak, I hope you’re hungry! Heading off now to Santa Fe and Las Vegas, get your camera’s ready as this part of the drive is known for its awesome scenery, obviously a quick stop at the Grand Canyon is required just to let you realise how small we all are compared to nature and then off in to Sin City to gamble your hearts away (hopefully not literally) .

The last leg of the journey takes us through the Mojave Desert and then on to the coast of Santa Monica…. 2450 miles completed, a load of pictures and I’m sure a few amazing stories to tell!

Things to consider

  1. As I’m sure you can imagine Convertible’s for this run become sold out quickly book very , very early to avoid disappointment.
  2. You will be charged an additional fee for picking up in one location and dropping at another (one way rental fee). You will be alerted to the local charge during the booking process.
  3. Don’t book the smallest vehicle! You’re going to be in this vehicle for a long time, get something comfortable.
  4. Take the gold or platinum rate, make sure you can share the driving.
  5. Plan regular stops, not just for the amazing views but to rest the driver.

I hope this helps a little. If you’ve driven route 66 I’d love to hear about your adventures below.



 car hire USA

The Guys On The Desks Work On Commission, Here’s How To Survive

Hi all,

Peak season, high season, holiday season; call it what you like we’re in it. At no time during the year will more people collect their USA Car Hire than in July and August.

So what things should you remember to make sure the process runs as smoothly as possible?

Your rental voucher

The rental voucher provided by either via our app or printed from our website details exactly what is included within your package, it also tells our supplier that you have prepaid your car hire.

Producing this at the desk is a must for an easy pick up.


The guys and girls on the desks of all rental suppliers work on commission, they are paid a base rate and then make up a large portion of their salary by selling optional extras, for example; upgrades, personal insurance, top up breakdown cover and the toll passes.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t purchase these extras if you really want to, but bear in mind they are trained to sell as well as offer great customer services.

Rental Agreement

Upon collection, you will be asked to sign a rental agreement, this rental agreement is a legally binding contract between yourself and the supplier. Stated on this agreement will be any addition charges you owe the supplier; for example; if you hire a GPS unit locally or upgrade your vehicle.

We advise that you read this agreement and only sign it once you are completely happy with what you are signing for. It is very hard for us to argue a customers case in any dispute if the supplier has a signed rental agreement.

Double Check

I appreciate that when you’re at the airport you really just want to get to your accommodation and start your holiday, so you may skim read the rental agreement.

Once you’ve got to your villa or hotel and settled down a little, take another quick look at your rental agreement and make sure you’re happy with exactly everything you’ve signed for. Most of our suppliers offer a 24 hour satisifaction guarantee where if you aren’t happy with something you’ve purchased at collection you can simply call a number and have it removed. Alamo Rent A Car at Orlando Airport have recently been known to give each customer a business card with contact email addresses answered within 2 hours.

Now you’re armed with all this free knowledge go forth and drive our rental vehicles…. enjoy. Remember is always here to support you.



 Florida car hire

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