The Future Of Advantage Rent A Car

Morning all,

In 2012 the Hertz Dollar Thrifty deal provided me with literally 100′s of posts advantagerentacaras the deal, which was became part soap opera, was scrutinised by the FTC. The issue everyone had, including myself,  was that by allowing this deal to go through it would mean that just 3 companies controlled 96% of the market.

What the FTC decided was that Hertz would first have to sell off their low cost brand, Advantage Rent  A Car which they’d purchased the year before, the FTC wanted this brand to be sold off to help kick start another company to compete with the likes of Alamo, Budget and Dollar.

Advantage Rent A Car was sold off to the Franchise Services of North America who own brands such a U-Save and Rent A Wreck. The Hertz Dollar Thrifty deal went through and we all sat back to see what would happen.

What has actually happened is exactly what a lot of people feared. Advantage Rent A Car filled for bankruptcy and it looks like the only option is for someone to purchase them.

Who might buy them?

Back in June, Richard Branson penned a letter enquiring about the option to purchase Advantage Rent  A Car, I would imagine if he was interested we’d see a pretty quick rebrand to Virgin Car Rental. This acquisition makes some sense as it would tie in nicely with their other travel interests.

Sixt Rent A Car the new kids on the U.S. block and could possibly do with some of the key airport locations that Advantage currently have.

Hertz, not sure legally where this stands but I’ve heard a few rumblings that Hertz may have enquired about buying back their brand. As some of the debt that Advantage hold is actually owed to Hertz this might place them in pole position but surely the FTC would block this?

Whatever happens I’m hoping that the Advantage brand lives to fight another day and helps to add more competition in the market place.

Kind regards,


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



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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.



 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?  



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My Take On The Dollar Thrifty Buy Out

Hi all,

As I’ve reported over the past year a couple of companies have lodged official bids to purchase Dollar Rent A Car who also own Thrifty Car Rental. As this process seems to have dragged on I thought it might be a good time to briefly speak about where this deal is right now and what the possible out come could be.

Originally Hertz were the first company to show an interest in purchasing Dollar Thrifty, Hertz required a leisure arm and Dollar Thrifty fit perfectly in to that bracket.  The offer was in the process of being presented to the shareholders when Avis Budget decided to enter in to the bidding. For Avis Budget the purchase would signify a massive boost in market share.

The Avis Budget bid was accepted in principle and both parties handed the details over to the FTC for approval.

The issues with any purchase of Dollar Thrifty with the FTC is, what is best for the customer, does the purchase of one of America’s most successful, and at present cash rich companies, reduce competitiveness within the car rental industry, reducing consumer choice and in doing so push up pricing?

In my opinion the Avis Budget deal would prove very hard to push through, and the amount of time the FTC is taking over deliberating on it seems to back my thinking.

With Dollar Thrifty seemingly preferring the Avis Budget deal, Hertz issued a statement stating they would concentrate on their low cost brand, Advantage Rent A Car…

Then on the 10th May Hertz came back to the party with an improved offer, they also seemed to have a plan on how to win the FTC over by agreeing in principle to sell on their own lesser brand Advantage Rent A Car.

Coincidently Avis Budget agreed a deal to buy out Avis Europe for £635 million practically taking them out of the running to purchase Dollar Thrifty.

Now from where I stand this leaves us with the following senario…

  • Dollar Thrifty want to sell too Hertz but don’t need to.
  • FTC want Hertz to sell Advantage.
  • Hertz wont sell Advantage unless they know they will get Dollar Thrifty.

So we have a bit of a stand off at present… Rumour has it, and its only rumour, is that Fox Rent A  Car could be the company to purchase Advantage Rent A Car, I have no insider knowledge on this, I just saw it on a predominant car rental blog and other sites.

For me, I think Hertz will complete a deal to purchase Dollar Thrifty but I wouldn’t expect a quick sale. Advantage will have to be sold on to make this deal happen and to be fair there aren’t many companies who would have the cash or the know how, so Fox Rent A Car is as good a guess as any.

What’s your take on the this?



 car hire USA

USA Car Hire Revenue Increase For Alamo, Budget, Dollar and Hertz

Hi all,

Today I have been sent the annual survey of USA car rental fleets, locations and revenue  provided by Auto Rental News.

The U.S. Car Hire industry is set to report a combined industry revenue of over 20 billion dollars up on 2009 figures.

The impressive point to this stat is that this year’s revenue total will be achieved with a smaller rental fleet, bringing average revenue per unit to $1,051 per month, a record high.

Alamo Car Hire

Alamo Rent A Car including Enterprise Rent A Car and National Rent A Car have an estimated 850,689 rental cars in service in the USA today covering 6178 locations. Last year’s total revenue was estimated at $9.5 Billion, this years revenue see’s an estimated increase to $9.8 Billion.

Budget Car Hire

Budget Rent A Car including Avis have an estimated 270,000 rental cars in the USA servicing 2100 locations. Last year’s total revenue was estimated at $4 Billion, this years revenue see’s an estimated decrease to $3.85 Billion.

Dollar Rent A Car

Dollar Rent A Car including Thrifty Rent A Car have an estimated 108,000 USA Hire Cars on the road spread out among 464 locations. Last year’s total revenue was estimated at $1.467 Billion, this years revenue see’s an estimated increase to $1.54 Billion.

Hertz Car Hire

Hertz Rent A Car including Advantage Rent A Car have an estimated 290,000 rental cars in the USA servicing 2300 locations. Last year’s total revenue was estimated at $3.95 Billion, this years revenue see’s an estimated decrease to $4.158 Billion.


Based on all the estimates there are 1,629,561 Rental Cars servicing 17,254 separate USA pick up points earning an estimated $20.551 Billion for 2010!

I am n0t entirely sure if these figures include the buoyant second hand car sales market, but the figures are an encouraging sign that the car rental industry is back on a secure foundation after what has been an extremely difficult few years.



 car hire USA

How Blogs can change car hire

Hi all,

Stumbled across a very interesting article about travel blogging and how some companies are now more fearful of blogs than mainstream media.

The one that really caught my eye was the story of Debbie Dubrow who posted a blog after Advantage rent a car, who have recently gone in to administration and subsequently been purchased by Enterprise Rent A Car, who own Alamo,?offered her an “aged, unclean, and in many cases broken” car seats for her child. The resulting blog post had a major effect which I’m sure not even the blogger could have expected.

“It eventually led ABC News to pick up and investigate the story,” she told?CNN.

“Its impact reached far beyond a single news broadcast, though.” Indeed, the company pledged to clean up its act, and California agreed to revisit its child safety-seat laws.

An amazing result and shows what can be achieved by a motivated travel blogger.

Do you feel strongly about anything our suppliers are doing at present either rightly or wrongly?

If you one of our customers, please feel free to send us a link to your blog and we will add it to our blog roll.

Happy motoring,


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