Posts Tagged ‘car hire’

Enterprise pledges Sustainable Construction Protocol

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Car hire giant Enterprise is continuing to move forward with its commitment to greener practices by pledging $150 million to improving existing locations and making sure new locations conform to its Enterprise Sustainable Construction Protocol. The green building standard is to be implemented over the coming five years and it is predicted that by the time it is complete, the company will be making savings on water and energy of some 35 per cent.

Enterprise Holdings’ director of corporate sustainability, Lee Broughton, said the company’s initiative will have a dramatic impact on thousands of existing locations as well as future projects. Currently, the car rental firm is concentrating on around 1,000 projects which include retrofitting plans and new locations.

There are seven areas Enterprise will be concentrating on as set out in its ESCP. These include using a range of sustainable materials in existing locations and new builds, improving the use of energy, undertaking better recycling practices and conserving water. Broughton said that Enterprise hoped that the investment would reap substantial returns.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car has already been awarded accolades for its green initiatives. Last summer, the firm’s new vehicle rental location at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport was given the silver certificate by LEED, an award set up by the Green Building Council. A call centre run by Enterprise, as well as the company’s fleet management headquarters, are also LEED-certified.

Enterprise is also involved in a number of other green initiatives including research into renewable fuels and a programme for offsetting the amount of carbon the firm puts into the atmosphere.

Carrentals.co.uk is top car hire search site

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

Internet car hire search expert, Carrentals.co.uk, is celebrating being ranked number one when it comes to natural searches for comparative rental prices on the net. A report released by search engine marketing specialists, Greenlight, shows that for October 2010, the site achieved 53 per cent of over 760,000 searches related to hiring a car.

This was not just domestically, but also world wide. Gareth Robinson, Carental.co.uk’s managing director said: “The latest Greenlight report highlights our online expertise, with our approach to search engine optimisation positioning us at the forefront of the car hire sector and allowing us to continually reach new audiences. Over the last year we have incorporated an enhanced social media marketing strategy, offering new and existing customers a quick and easy way of interacting with us, and this investment is now achieving demonstrable results.”

The latest figures back up Carrental.co.uk’s Highly Commended award at last year’s Travolution Awards in the category for Best Meta-search / Price Comparison. October’s figures are up by six percent on figures recorded by Greenlight for July 2010.

Robinson went on to say: “Securing our position as the most visible online car hire website reflects the success of our online strategy, and we will continue to develop and refine this over the coming months. Social media, in particular, is a rapidly growing area and we’re excited to be leading the way for the car hire sector in such an important field.”

Carrentals.co.uk allows customers to easily search the best prices across more than 50 independent sites and choose vehicles in over 10,000 locations around the world.

Analysts predict that car rental prices will drop in the New Year

Friday, December 24th, 2010

Industry analysts are cautiously optimistic that the price of renting a car in the New Year will become cheaper. Signs are that as confidence returns to the financial sector, rental firms are now finding banks more willing to offer up the necessary capital they need to replace older vehicles and grow their fleets with newer models.

Following the financial crash, many institutions put a freeze on lending to rental firms. This meant that as older cars were taken out of service fleets were quickly being reduced. In many cases this meant companies had no other choice than to dramatically hike the price of remaining vehicles, sometimes by as much as 500 per cent.

Last summer, many turning up at popular holiday destinations expecting to pick up a car were left disappointed by a lack of availability or stunned by just how much it was costing them. Fleets were being reduced but demand from customers continued to remain high.

As firms begin to rebuild the number of cars on their forecourts competition will return, and this is always good news for the consumer. A greater range of makes and models will mean customers can once again pick and choose rather than accept the only vehicles remaining as had been the case for much of the last two years. Car hire firms will also begin to roll out special deals once more to wrestle customers from their rivals.

Industry experts are still advising customers to book as early as possible to obtain the best deals available.

Avis opens in Victoria station

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Avis, one of the country’s most popular car hire brands, has announced it will now be serving customers through a new branch in London’s Victoria train, underground and coach station. The branch is conveniently situated for those travelling to the capital wishing to continue their journey by car. Victoria is currently one of the busiest stations in London, and the new Avis office will also benefit residents looking to get out of the city.

Avis UK’s head of marketing, Nick Mountfield, said the new office at Victoria marks a significant milestone in Avis’ expansion plans throughout the country. He added that the rental firm continued to look for suitable sites across the UK so it could increase its market share while offering loyal customers affordable transport solutions.

He went on to say that it was particularly gratifying to be able to offer car hire solutions at one of London’s busiest travel hubs. The opening of the new site coincides with the relocation of Avis’ Mayfair branch.

As of now, customers looking to hire a car in Mayfair will find the Avis office at Marble Arch in the Marriott Hotel. This is the ideal situation for those wishing to explore central London before collecting their rental vehicle.

As well as expanding locations throughout the capital, Avis offers residents the opportunity of having a vehicle delivered and collected from their front door or an equally convenient location. The Home Delivery service is aimed at giving people who don’t have the time to travel to an Avis branch the option of convenient car hire.

Alamo and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts extend alliance

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Car hire firm Alamo has extended a multi-year agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to be the official car hire brand at its theme parks in Orlando and California. The extended agreement means it will also continue to be Walt Disney Travel Company’s official rental car provider.

Alamo’s parent company, Enterprise Holdings, said the partnership would continue to provide customers at Walt Disney World and Disneyland with the superior service they have come to expect from the brands. Enterprise’s vice president of travel industry relations, Ron Cerko, said the firm was proud to be able to offer the speed and efficiency provided by its self-service kiosks to individuals and families taking a holiday at the resorts.

The kiosks operate on award winning technology which means the need to join long queues in order to collect a rental vehicle is a thing of the past. As well as being available for customers’ use at the on-site car rental stations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Alamo has kiosks at 67 airports in the US.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts’ senior vice president, Alliances and Operating Participants, George Aguel, said the continued alliance with Alamo would mean all aspects of a holiday with Disney would remain seamless for guests of its resorts. He added that the wish by both companies to provide a superior service to customers made the partnership an obvious one.

Alamo’s website will provide those wishing to holiday at Disney’s resorts with a link to ticket sales. Alamo will promote its ongoing partnership through adverts both on the television and online.

Travellers warned to be vigilant of car hire scams

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Customers of foreign car rental firms are being urged to take precautions when hiring a vehicle to avoid being scammed. The UK European Consumer Centre has reported a 30 per cent rise in those who feel they have been treated unfairly after returning their vehicles abroad.

Complaints include being charged extra for unnecessary repairs, being billed for petrol when the vehicle has been returned with a full tank and paying upfront for a vehicle which is unavailable when the customer arrives to collect it.

Manager of the UK European Consumer Centre, Jed Mayatt, said he was concerned about the increasing number of complaints his office was receiving. He added that he believed the number represented only a small percentage of cases, most of which go unreported.

Leaseurope, which represents car hire companies on the continent, said the figures were just a fraction of the 60 million car rental transactions which take place each year. In a statement, it added that it was working towards a better way of handling the complaints made by consumers.

Mayatt conceded that many customers were happy with their car hire experience. He added that simple precautions, such as making sure a representative signs a document saying the car has been returned in the required condition, can avoid disputes. He added that if a car has to be dropped off in the absence of a witness, photos should be taken and kept as a record that the car was in good condition, in case a dispute does arise.

Avis steps in to acquire Dollar Thrifty

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

Dollar Thrifty’s management was foiled in its attempts to reach a deal with Hertz last week by its own shareholders. The day before the vote on whether to accept Hertz’s offer, which equated to $50.88 per share, Hertz announced that the offer would be its last. It is believed that shareholders voted against the offer because Avis had announced that its counter offer of $53 per share would remain on the table.

Avis has said it will now work with Dollar Thrifty to persuade antitrust regulators that a tie up will not breach competition guidelines. The antitrust issue is believed to be one of the main reasons Dollar Thrifty’s board favoured a deal with Hertz, even though Avis has offered more money for the firm.

Dollar Thrifty has asked Avis not to pursue its bid until the authorities give approval for a deal. Avis has said it is willing to wait.

The battle for Dollar Thrifty has been going on for months. Both Hertz and Avis believe the acquisition of a budget car hire brand like Dollar will help grow revenue at a time when the business traveller is noticeably absent.

Consolidation is also seen by many as a way of ensuring future growth. In 2002, the company which owns Avis bought the Budget brand. In 2007, Enterprise’s parent acquired Alamo and National. According to IBISWorld, Enterprise and its subsidiaries now have a market share of 37 per cent; Hertz owns 20 per cent and Avis currently has 17 per cent. Dollar Thrifty has less than seven per cent.

Renault EVs to join Avis’ European fleet

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Car hire giant Avis has announced it will increase the number of electric vehicles in its European fleet by the end of 2011. The firm recently signed an order for 500 new Renault electric cars. The Kangoo Express ZE and the Fluence ZE will be available to customers in seven EU countries including Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Uwe Hochgeschurtz, Renault’s corporate sales senior vice president, said: ”We are the only European carmaker who is developing a complete range of affordable electric vehicles with our own batteries, our own technologies and our own production system to guarantee a high level of quality and performance. By hiring an electric vehicle through Avis, the public will be able to experience new driving technology and learn about the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.”

Renault is also developing two other vehicles which will run exclusively on electric power. The Renault ZOE is a hatchback designed for use on a day-to-day basis and the Renault Twizy will be a two-seat car specifically designed for manoeuvrability in the city.

Pascal Bazin, Avis Europe chief executive officer, said: At Avis, we’re committed to providing customers with choice when it comes to mobility and our partnership with Renault is another way in which we are fulfilling this commitment by expanding our fleet to include electric vehicles.”

“The vehicles complement our existing mobility offer, providing an alternative to traditional car hire that will benefit both business and leisure customers who are concerned about their impact on the environment,” he added.

Hertz offer for Dollar Thrifty not good enough for investors

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Car hire firm Hertz has seen its latest bid for Dollar Thrifty refused by the company’s shareholders who delivered a no vote on the takeover last Thursday. Hertz had offered stock and cash for the budget rental firm worth $50.88 per share. However this was not good enough for the majority of Dollar Thrifty’s investors.

Hertz’s board will have been disappointed by the decision because they have always supported a takeover by Hertz. Rivals Avis last week increased its offer for the company to around $53 per share. It has also included a $20 million reverse termination fee. Scott Thompson, Dollar Thrifty’s CEO, said it was time to reassess the company’s options and maximise the firm’s value for its shareholders.

Mark P Frissora, Hertz’s CEO, said the company wanted to start concentrating on its off-airport business. Before the vote, Hertz said the offer it had made would be its final one. Avis confirmed the day before Dollar Thrifty’s shareholders cast their ballots that it would remain in the running and that its offer would remain on the table.

Hertz and Avis are keen to acquire Dollar Thrifty because its main customer base is the leisure market. Since to global recession, the business traveller, the customer on whom Hertz and Avis have always concentrated their efforts, has been noticeably absent. Leisure travellers, by contrast, are still spending.

The car hire market peaked in 2007 with revenues of around $30 billion, according to market analysts IBISWorld. In 2010, revenues dropped to around $25 billion. This is encouraging rental companies to look at consolidation as a way of increasing their share of a dwindling pot.

Avis sponsors second ever South African Solar Challenge

Friday, September 24th, 2010

Competitors in the second ever South African Solar Challenge have crossed the starting line and are battling it out in their solar powered vehicles. The race, which is expected to last 10 days and covers 4,000 miles, is being sponsored by car hire company Avis. The rental firm has committed 21 vehicles to provide support for the teams taking part in the event which aims to promote the benefits of alternative forms of energy.

Wayne Duvenage, Avis’ chief executive, said the company would be supplying six low emission hybrid Toyota Prius vehicles to illustrate its own commitment to sustainability and conservation.

This year’s event has attracted international teams from countries such as Germany, Iran and Japan. South African entrants include vehicles from the University of Johannesburg and the German School in Johannesburg.

Talking of the decision to sponsor the event, Duvenage said Avis was always looking to do more than was expected of it. He added that the race fitted with the firm’s ethos. Over the past few years Avis has invested in a number of projects aimed at reducing the impact the company has on the environment.

Having invested R2.5 million in recycling the water at its car wash facilities Avis is now saving 75 million litres of water a year and R1 million, according to Duvenage. The Avis boss added that it was also refitting its head office so that it can reduce energy use by around 30 per cent. The first solar powered vehicle is expected back in Pretoria on 2 October.