Driving in New York

America is still the most driver-friendly nation in the world, so it’s no wonder that many UK tourists choose car hire as the preferred way to get around. The only city that may stretch this statement is New York. Car Hire in the five boroughs, and Manhattan especially, brings with it a driving culture that can be intimidating to the first timer – the density of traffic alone on Manhattan is quite astonishing.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t drive or think about car hire in New York – it’s still a great way to get around. Here are some handy tips for anyone contemplating  driving the Big Apple:

First of all, forget the ‘turn right on red’ rule for the most part. It may be legal in every other US city, but here in New York it’s only alright if there is a sign specifically authorising it.

Enter grids at your peril! You don’t want to be the cause of gridlock, so make sure that you enter intersections only if you’re clear to get through to the other side. You may get honked at, but keep cool and observe the law – getting stuck in the middle is far worse!

Parking laws are as strict as any other city. Best to find an official parking lot, but if you do park on the streets, observe any street cleaning signs – be ready to move your car early the next day to make way, or face the consequences. Info is available on the DOT website.

Finally, a few DONT’S: It may be tempting, but don’t honk your horn unnecessarily – in some places, it is even forbidden, with a $100 fine for violators. It’s obvious, but don’t open your windows to strangers – you may encounter beggars at stoplights, but keep your wits about you, and keep your windows up

Alamo and Budget Price Increase

Hi all,

As expected Budget have issued a price increase that will take effect from Tuesday the 26th of Jan. Budget have assured us that this will be the first and last increase this year.

Annoyingly Alamo have also come back with further increases that will come in to effect on Monday 25th.

All bookings made before these dates will be honored at the booking price, however quotes emailed will not.

Remember you can secure your rental by leaving a £50.00 deposit with the balance due 8 weeks prior to departure.

Regards,

Gavin

Car Hire USA in 2010 Reviewed

Hi All,

We are a few weeks in to 2010 now and the USA car hire picture for this year is beginning to take shape. I thought this might be an ideal time to blog about my thoughts on 2009 and the possible goings on in 2010.

Car Availability

The same as last year I’m afraid, demand exceeds supply. The problem isn’t as bad as it is in Europe but companies with the biggest fleets will use their yield intelligently to maximise profits which may see the introduction of peak season surcharging. In December 2009, over Christmas I know that certain suppliers were charging over $400.00 per week for an Economy vehicle!

Alamo

At first glance the Alamo/National/Enterprise Company seem the best equipped for 2010, they have the largest and youngest fleet. They remain firmly in the driving seat (excuse the pun) of the rental market, this was very apparent when they were the first to come out with rates for 2010, setting the bench mark for others to follow.

2009 was a very strong year for Alamo; they seem to have a very good balance between pricing and customer care, possibly the Enterprise influence beginning to take effect.

Customer services wise we saw big improvement from Alamo, their turn around rate in most circumstances was much quicker than the industry standard of 28 days. Disappointingly we did see a rise in complaints regarding Alamo agents trying to sell additional extras, the best tip I can offer is refuse everything locally and always read your rental agreement before you sign it. 

Dollar

Dollar Rent A Car has also invested in some new vehicles, so their Fleet will be a mixture of new and old. We have received the expected price increase from Dollar and at present I can’t see them breaking in to our top two suppliers list. 

Last year was very tricky for the Dollar/Thrifty group, they had to save money and one way they did this was by extending the length of time they kept hold of their fleet. Although they posted healthy q3 results the expense I believe was at the cost of customer care. I cannot remember another example of where their customer services have been so slow to react. I can easily say they have been the poorest by far in 2009. We have received reassurances that these errors have been rectified and with Dollars good track record I see no reason to doubt we will see an improvement in 2010.

Budget

Budget had a very slow start to 2009. They seem to always take a bit of a back seat and see how the market pans out. Q3 and 4 were a lot stronger for Budget and they have continued this trend in too 2010. Although I predict a price increase some time in late Feb. maybe march 2010.

Customer services wise they have improved year on yea and are slowly ironing out the little errors that frustrate us all.

Overall

 

2009 was an extremely hard year for all industries, I believe the talk of recovery is slightly premature and the car hire industry will take probably one more year to full recover.

 

I am very optimistic for 2010 and on a positive note we are already up on last years figures. In February we hope to roll out version 2 of our booking engine with additional features including a first in our sector. We have had several strategy meetings that have ended with some very interesting and encouraging results, so fingers crossed our 8th year of trading will be even more successful than the last.

regards,

Gavin

Alamo Car Hire USA Price Increase on Monday

Hi All,

Unfortunately we have been contacted today by Alamo, who have confirmed a price increase on most vehicles, in most locations, to start from Monday 18th Jan 2010.

All bookings made before Monday will be honoured at the prices shown, however quotes will not.

We hope this will be the last increase imposed this year, but are of course in the hands of the suppliers. Remember you can secure your rental by leaving a £50 deposit.

Regards,

James

Real Time Traffic updates for your Car Hire in Florida

Hi all,

I stumbled across a website today that I thought might be of interest to some of you. http://www.i95travelinfo.net/ offers real time traffic information with the purpose of allowing users to plan long distance travel, along the I-95 Corridor in ways that contribute toward improved safety and/or alleviate traffic congestion.

The website is one of several research efforts sponsored under SafeTrip-21, a component of the U.S. Department of Transportation IntelliDriveSM program. This website is funded and managed by the I-95 Corridor Coalition in cooperation with the University of Maryland.

I-95traveloinfo uses a colour coding system to give users an idea of congestion.

  • Green – Free Flow
  • Yellow – Moderate
  • Red – Heavy
  • Maroon – Stop and Go
  • Black – Road Closed
  • Have a play with it and let me know what you think and if its a useful tool?

    regards,

    Gavin,

    www.usrentacar.co.uk


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