Platinum And Young Drivers Plus Insurance Reminder

Afternoon all,

Here at we offer a unique package that we call either the platinumPlatinum Package (if you’re over 25) or the Young Drivers Package Plus (if you’re 21-24). We launched it back in 2012 and its proved very popular.

The Platinum/Young Drivers Plus Package offers additional insurance not covered within the suppliers pre-paid packages including

  • Excess top up: Total section limit is £2000.00 reimbursement for any physical loss or damage to the rental vehicles for which you are responsible under the terms of the vehicle rental agreement including;
  • Physical damage to the windscreens, tyres and under carriage
  • Towing costs relating to the loss or damage
  • Lock out: If unintentionally locked out of the rental vehicle Halo Car Hire Insurance up to £100.00 to open the rental vehicle.
  • Vehicle Key Replacement; Halo Car Hire Insurance will pay to replace a lost or stolen rental vehicle key, including replacement locks and locksmith charges up to a maximum of £300.00 for each and every claim.

This additional insurance level is not part of the suppliers contracting and you cannot prepay it through the supplier.

It is something that we organise here in the UK through a 3rd party. Its the reason we ask you to print off a separate insurance form located below your car rental voucher found in the customer section.

When you approach the suppliers locally to collect your vehicle, they will have no reference to your pre-purchased top up insurance due to the data protection act. As the guys on the desks work on commision they may even  try to offer you their own version of this, some call it RoadSafe or Advanced RoadSide Protection, they generally charge $15.00 a day for it. You do not need to take this as you have already purchased this through us.

If you have purchased the Platinum Rate or the Young Drivers Package Plus and you sign locally for the suppliers additional insurance we will be unable to retrieve a refund for you for either packages.

Remember: Your pre-purchased insurance through is underwritten by a UK company and the supplier is not notified of this insurance. The insurance though is completely valid.



 car hire USA

2013 Most Rented Vehicles In The USA

Hi all,

2013 is coming to an end and its about this time of year we meet up with our convertiblemustangcar hire USA supplier to discuss the year and look to the future. Its in preparation for these meetings that some interesting facts cross my desk.

As with every year we like to take a look at the most popular vehicle types rented on U.S. Rent A Car and compare them to the year before. I started posting these stat’s in 2011, you can view them here -

2013 has seen our most varied car mix for a long time the difference between 1st place and 10th was surprisingly small.

Here’s what 2012′s top 10 looked like;

  1. Intermediate Sports Utility – Ford Escape or similar
  2. 7 Seater Minivan – Dodge Caravan or 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

In 2012 the Intermediate Sports Utility was out in front by a long way and the Full Size vehicles claimed 2 places..

Here’s 2013′s Most Rented Vehicles

  1. Convertible 2dr – Ford Mustang or similar
  2. Intermediate Sports Utility – Ford Escape or similar
  3. 7 Seater Minivan – Dodge Caravan or similar
  4. Intermediate 4dr – Hyundai Sonata or similar
  5. Full Size 4dr – Chevrolet Impala or similar
  6. Compact 4dr – Ford Focus or similar
  7. Economy 4dr – Chevrolet Aveo or similar
  8. Intermediate 2dr – Dodge Avenger or similar
  9. Economy 2dr – Chevrolet Aveo or similar
  10. Standard SUV – Grand Jeep Cherokee or similar

So in 3 years we’ve now seen 3 different car groups top the charts, 2011 was ruled by the minivan, 2012 the intermediate sports utility and this year the Convertible.

I wonder what 2014 will bring, I’m putting an early bet on the Intermeidate reclaiming its spot.

Kind regards,


 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,


 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.



 car hire USA

SPECIAL OFFER: Free Sat Nav Rental With Dollar Rent A Car*


Hi all,

It seems like a long time since I was able to write the words car hire USA “Special Offer”, throughout the year we continually negotiate deals with our suppliers for low rates which when applicable we simply slide them into our search results, we generally don’t make a big fuss about it, we think this is something you guys should expect from us.

However today I’m happy to announce a new Special Offer from our friends at Dollar Rent A Car, here’s the gist of it.

  • Free Sat Nav Rental.
  • Only applicable to New Dollar Rent A Car bookings.(amendments will not qualify)
  • Pick up’s on and between 20/09/13 until the 18/12/13
  • All locations except New York
  • Must be booked on our Gold or Platinum rate.
  • Cannot be added after a rental is made.
  • Sat Nav’s are subject to availability, if the £0.00 option GPS unit does not appear in our optional extras section then unfortunately a unit isn’t available for your dates.

Here’s how to book it

Firstly enter your details into our search engine.

usrac homepage

Remember to qualify your pick up must be on or between the 20/09/13 and the 18/12/13.

Once your results have been returned look for the car category you require. Remember you’re looking for Dollar Rent A Car. Once you’ve decided upon the category to qualify for free Sat Nav rental you need to select either our Gold or Platinum rate.

usrac results

Once you’ve click on either the Gold or the Platinum rate click on the now button to head to the next stage.

The next page is our option extras page, where our customers can select any additional products they may require. You’ll notice the very top one is a Sat Nav unit, you’ll see that the price quoted is £0.00.

free GPS

Simply click add to basket, to claim your free sat nav rental and complete the booking process. Remember this must be done at the time of booking and cannot be added after completion.

Confirmation of your free sat nav will be added to your car rental voucher. When you go to collect your car, Dollar Rent A Car will provide you with a Sat Nav unit for you to use during your hire duration at no extra cost.

We love this special offer and hope you guys will too.

Kind regards,


 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?



 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.



 car hire USA

Can You Guarantee Me The Make And Model Of The Vehicle I’ll Get?

Hi all,

Following on from Driving Licences and Credit Cards today’s post will feature Adrain Devine Mustangone of the most popular questions we get asked by customer and one that frustrates us as much as it does the customer.

Here at we understand that driving a Ford Mustang or a Camaro or a Dodge Charger (list can go on) is part of many petrol heads dreams. We would love to be able to tell every customer “No problem, we can definitely get you the  xxxx vehicle you’ve always wanted” but unfortunately the reality is slightly different.

Although we have a rough idea of what each supplier has in their fleets its impossible for us to pinpoint one particular vehicle type, our suppliers purchase vehicles from multiple manufacturers and spread these vehicles across their U.S. locations.

Even if we know a location has a large stock of a certain vehicle type we still can’t guarantee it, here’s a few reasons why…

Customer Freedom

Every customer has the right to extend their rental, for example Mr Smith collect his vehicle, its the Mustang you wanted, he’s due to return it 7 days later, the exact day you arrive. However Mr Smith decides to keep the vehicle for another few days he telephones the supplier directly and negotiates an extension. He doesn’t even have to return to the location he just keeps it for a few more days. According to our suppliers this happens a lot especially domestic customers.

Why?Suppliers won’t guarantee you the make or model in case a customer decides to keep hold of a vehicle.

Breakdowns and Accidents

Its part and parcel of the car hire game I’m afraid, vehicles do breakdown and they are involved in accidents. Our suppliers have a duty of care for all their vehicles, they also want to be able to sell these vehicle on in a booming second hand car market.

Why?Suppliers won’t guarantee you a make or model in case the vehicle you required is involved in an accident or breaks down.

One Way Rentals

With the price of airline fares  soaring many customers are looking at one way car rental journeys as a way of saving a little money. A one way rental (OWR) is when you collect from one location, say Orlando but drop off at an alternative location, say San Francisco. The popularity in OWR’s does mean that its very hard to guess where one specific make or model will be, and when it will be returned to its original location.

Why? –  Suppliers won’t guarantee you a make or model as its very hard to pinpoint where and when a particular vehicle will be at a certain location.

Blame Culture

Although its a bit of a stereotype, the U.S. is regarded as having a blame culture. If something goes wrong it ends up in court. Car hire suppliers are mindful of this. Imagine this scenario, Mr Smith hires a vehicle for a very specific need, an example, he has a wheelchair that he knows will fit in a Tahoe but not other makes. He arrives to collect the vehicle only to find out that his guaranteed Tahoe isn’t there… we then have a problem.

Why? - Suppliers will not guarantee you a make or model for fear of not fulfilling the contract.

A good way of judging the likely vehicle you’ll receive is by using our car hire review section, simply enter in your pick up location, supplier and car category and our engine will display real verified reviews from our customers including the make and model of vehicle they picked up. Its not a guarantee but it give you a very good idea of what the supplier holds in their fleet.

There are a few exceptions to this rule, our Ford Mustang Option is an example of this; however availability for this is very low and I would predict next year this option won’t be available, which is a real shame.

We are constantly in talks with suppliers for ways around guaranting certain makes and models but the hang up is always the cost to implement it. Hopefully we’ll be able to come to some arrangement in the future.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

I Don’t Have A Credit Card, Can I Still Rent A Car?

Hi all,

Yesterday’s post regarding photocopied driving licences proved to be credit cardsextremely popular, for 2013 it was the most read article in one day. It got us thinking that perhaps we should focus on the typical questions our reservation staff get asked and one of the main questions is;

I don’t have a credit card, can I still Rent A Car?

For the majority of our suppliers, being the holder of a major credit card is crucial, it is used within the validation process when you collect the vehicle and is required at almost all locations.

If you are under 25 and you are looking to take advantage of our young driver packages, the lead driver will have to be the holder of a major credit.

If you are looking to collect with Sixt Rent A Car, Budget Rent A Car, Thrifty Car Rental or National Car Rental at any of their locations, the lead driver will need to be the holder of a major credit card.

Are there any exceptions?

If you are collecting from Orlando International Airport then our supplier Alamo Rent A Car will accept a VISA debit card for the security deposit, however if you are collecting with them at any other location you will require a credit card.

Dollar Rent A Car appear to be leading their rivals on this front, at present you can use a VISA debit card to collect your vehicle from almost all of their 260 location across the U.S.

How much will they block on the card?

Generally the security deposit is approx. $200 per week, this does vary per supplier and per location. See terms for more. This amount is taken on an imprint of your card, the imprint is destroyed upon return of the vehicle. Please note that the security deposit is not an excess. Funds may be deducted from your account for items purchased locally, for example child seat rental. Your card will also be debited for any traffic violations you may incur including toll violations which will also come with an administration fee generally $15.00.

What happens if I don’t have enough funds to cover the deposit?

Then unfortunately the supplier does hold the right to refuse you the rental. As a prepaid car hire usa company we pay the supplier in advance for your rental so in this situation we would not be able to refund you. Please note that U.S. Rent A Car cannot amend any details to a booking once the pick up date has passed.

With more and more people shunning credit cards we hope other companies will take a leaf out of Dollar Rent A Car’s book and accept VISA debit cards, I’m sure they will.

Please note: The information in this article were correct at the time of publishing, car rental suppliers terms and conditions are subject to change at anytime, please make sure you read our terms and conditions before making your purchase.

Kind regards,


 car hire USA

Will Suppliers Accept A Photocopy Or Fax Of My Driving Licence?

Hi all,

We’re in peak season, actually we’re right in the middle of it and as you can imagine U.S. Rent A Car towers is heaving with emails, live chats and telephone calls regarding USA car hire.

One of the main questions our team gets asked revolves around driving licences, at the beginning of this year the question was do I need an international driving permit? but generally the question is something like this…


Q: I’ve lost the paper part of my licence, do I really need this?

and usually followed up with…

Q: The DVLA say it will be ok.

driving licence new

We’d love to be able to say this is fine and go ahead, but in reality the answer is this…

A: I’m sorry but yes you do require the paper part of your licence, the paper part along with plastic part make up a Full UK licence and unless you have the old style licence you will have to produce both parts in order to collect your car. The paper part displays any driving convictions or bans that may prevent our suppliers from being able to hire to you.

then usually followed up by;

A: Although the DVLA mean well, our suppliers will not accept a faxed copy of your driving licence, our suppliers require the hard copy of the licence in order to validate insurances.

driving licence paper part

What steps can I take?

Keeping the paper part of your licence in a safe place is an obvious one but could be the difference between you and your car rental. If you have to send your licence away make sure you check with the DVLA that you’ll have it back in plenty of time.

If all else fails you can always give us a call on 0845 226 8523 and we can look into changing the lead drivers name to someone else in your party, assuming this is a viable option.

So in conclusion, take care of your driving licence you really do need it :-)



 car hire USA

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