Will They Try And Sell Me Something Extra?

Hi all,

Today’s post covers our friends on the desks. The guys and girls of Alamo, Budget and Dollar who process your orders locally and provide you with your first taste of American customer service.


Now the first thing to remember is that these guys all work on commission, they are generally paid a small basic wage and boost this by earning commission on the optional extras they sell locally, for example upgrades, GPS systems, advanced RoadSide assistance and Toll Passes.

They are obviously within there rights to offer you these extra’s, you are not obligated to take them and should never feel bullied in to accepting them.

Tip: Both Alamo and Dollar Rent A Car offer a 24 hours satisfaction guarentee on anything purchased locally. So if after upgrading or adding something locally you have a touch of buyers remorse, simply call the number provided on the documentation given to you at the time of rental and these charges will be removed.

Scare Tactics

Now the vast majority of the rental staff are excellent and are very much focused on customer services, as is the American way.

However, one bad apple can spoil the bunch and although I have not heard of these type of tactics being deployed to our customers I have read of other car rental staff operating some of the practises described below.

Advanced RoadSide assistance

We have covered this one on 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.

You do not need this extra to rent the vehicle, I have heard of instances of hard sell where customer have been told they must have this extra to rent the vehicle! This is not true.

Vehicle Upgrades

Vehicle upgrades are the no. 1 way for rental operatives to earn additional commission. Now as above, most of the guys and girls will be very upfront about the total cost of your upgrade and you will be fully aware of the total amount.

However, again not through our suppliers; but I have heard of instances of customers complaining that the agent locally did not make it clear that the upgrade was per day, for example “the cost of your upgrade is $40″ when the actual cost is $40 per day.

Personal Accident Insurance

Not as commonly sold as in the past, this optional extra served the same purpose as your own Travel Insurance.

Toll Pass

One of the latest optional extra to be offered locally is the Toll Pass also called SunPass, Ezpass or pass 24. 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.

The Reality

Customer complaints regarding our suppliers are below the industry standard of 2% so the majority of the time they are doing things correctly. The idea of this post is to help raise awareness and perhaps arm you with a little knowledge and not to scare you. Most of the guys on the desks do a great job and your own car hire usa reviews support this.

Key Points

  • Make sure you know exactly what is included in your rental – http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/whatsincluded.aspx
  • Make sure you read and fully understand the rental agreement you sign locally.
  • Double check your rental agreement and contact the supplier if you require clarification.

Hope this helps.



New Alamo and Dollar Upgrade Special Offer

Hi All,

U.S. Rent A Car is happy to announce a limited time guaranteed upgrade deal for new bookings with both Alamo Rent A Car and Dollar Rent A Car in Florida.

 Alamo Rent A Car Deal

 For all new Alamo Rent A Car, Compact and Intermediate vehicles picking up from 07th APRIL 2010 – 30TH JUNE 2010. U.S. Rent A Car customers will receive the following.

Book a Compact 2dr receive an Intermediate 2dr

Book a Compact 4dr receive an Intermediate 4dr

Book a Intermediate 2dr receive an Full Size 2dr

Book a Intermediate 4dr receive an Full Size 4dr

Dollar Rent A Car Deal

For all new Alamo Rent A Car, Compact and Intermediate vehicles picking up from 10th APRIL 2010 – 30TH JUNE 2010. U.S. Rent A Car customers will receive the following.

Book a Compact 2dr receive an Intermediate 2dr

Book a Compact 4dr receive an Intermediate 4dr

Book a Intermediate 2dr receive an Full Size 2dr

Book a Intermediate 4dr receive an Full Size 4dr

We hope some of you can take of advantage of this great offer.




My week in Car Hire, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Babies, Upgrades and Reviews

Hi All,

Hope you are all well.

This week has been a very long, tiring but interesting week. On a personal note my third son is teething! So he’s decided to keep my sleep down to a minimum, bless him!!

On the professional front we’ve had meetings with Budget, Avis and Alamo. We’ve seen a sneak preview of the U.S. Rent A Car booking engine upgrade and?partnered up with a start up review site.

Budget Meeting

The budget meeting as far as I’m concerned went well. As we sort of guessed already prices will be going up for next year, the actual rise will probably be proportionate to the q3 results that are due around the 03/11/09, however we are thinking between a?5-8% rise. The rise is very much to do with the interest rate now being charged to Budget for re-financing, believed to be around 9% an increase of roughly 6% allegedly.

We raised our concerns regarding how budget staff are selling their “toll passes” to customers and?hope the message has got through.?Feedback from customers tells us that staffs have been including the pass automatically in the hire car and then charging locally once the customer signs the agreement. Not something we are very impressed about.


The positive outcome of this meeting was that we now have Avis at Orlando International Airport to offer. Avis consider themselves (probably rightfully) to be a premium product and so rates reflect this, however so does the service.


Alamo confirmed that there will definitely be a price increase next year of 8% across the board. Their justification for the increase is that they are the only car rental company who is not hanging on to their fleet for another year, so in theory if you rent an Alamo car you will be guaranteed a vehicle of no more than 6/8 months old, rather than over a year as with others.

We also spoke about speeding up the process once you guys get to the U.S. and hopefully we have stumbled upon a solution, I’ll tell you more once we’ve signed some documents.

U.S. Rent A Car Booking Engine

Frank (Business Development) and I,?got a sneak preview from the IT guys of the booking engine upgrade this week. The resulting effort seems to make the engine a lot quicker and slicker. We also managed to brain storm a few new ideas to freshen up the engine and perhaps innovate again within the industry.

The car rental industry is very slow to innovate; I still can’t believe we are the only company to include user generated reviews on our site. Which leads nicely too…..

Partnered up with review site

This week we launched inconjuncation with www.rentacars.co.uk the largest car hire opinion and review site in the UK.

At present it has over 10k unique reviews, the site is in its infancy and I would predict it will probably change again at some point but we are hoping it could become the trip advisor of car hire… wishful thinking perhaps…

World Travel Market (WTM) draws nearer and I?m very lucky to be attending the Travel BlogCamp (@tbcamp on twitter) hosted by Darren Cronian of Travel Rants fame. The list of attendee?s is very impressive and although I usually dread WTM I?m actually looking forward to it this year.

That?s it for this week, have a good weekend and a happy Halloween.





U.S. Rent A Car.co.uk


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