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Car Rental News

dollar-rent-a-car

Irish car hire franchise wins customer service award

Every year car hire company Thrifty Car and Van Rentals honours one franchise with a coveted customer service award for their performance over the last 12 months. This year, the accolade was awarded to the Irish franchise who have excelled in customer service over the last 12 months.

Thrifty Car and Van Rentals analysed the feedback from hundreds of car hire customers from franchises across the company to find the best performing region. The Irish franchise came out on top having “set the standard” in terms of superior customer service practice within the Dollar Rentals company.

The Irish branch of Dollar Car and Van Rentals were praised for maintaining outstanding levels of customer care, despite the current economic climate which has been a challenge for the car hire industry as a whole. But despite the problems faced by the industry which included a sharp drop in customer numbers, the Irish franchise ensured standard of customer service didn’t slip.

Accepting the award on behalf of the Thrifty Car and Van Rentals team, Chief Executive Colm Menton praised his staff for the award who worked hard to ensure an excellent standard of customer care across all Thrifty Car hire locations in Ireland.

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Car hire firm and airline join forces

Leading car hire experts, Hertz, and Eithad Airways have joined forces in order to offer their customers an integrated land and air travel service.

Kicking off the partnership in true style, Hertz and Eithad have launched an exclusive competition. Any customer who flies with Eithad Airways and rents a vehicle with Hertz will be entered in a prize draw to win a luxury package holiday courtesy of the two companies.

The lucky winner will win two return flights tickets to either a European destination or Australia where they’ll also receive 5 night’s accommodation in a 5 star luxury resort, plus use of a vehicle from Hertz’s Prestige Collection for the duration of their trip.

The three year contract between Hertz and Eithad will offer airline and car rental customers the opportunity to integrate their air and road travel needs. Eithad customers will be given the chance to book car hire with Hertz through the airline’s main website, or through any Eithad call centre. Plus customers will also be awarded bonus 500 guest miles with every Hertz car rental, and receive a special priority booking service for Hertz products.

Hertz and Eithad say the new partnership will offer their customers “superior access” to their products, as well as an exceptional service which is focused on value for money.

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Introducing the world’s biggest limousine, the Midnight Rider

The Midnight Rider has been officially named as the heaviest limousine in the world, according to the most recent edition of the Guinness Book and Records, and can be yours for just £650 an hour.

Weighing in at a whopping 22.5 tons, measuring 70 foot in length, 13 feet in height and boasting 22 wheels, the Midnight Rider is a beast of a limousine and is proving a big hit with revellers in California.

With room onboard for 40 passengers, the Midnight Rider also comes with 5 staff members who will be on hand to assist guests during their event. The limo comes fully equipped with 3 luxurious lounge areas, a bathroom, and a full size and well stocked bar. Plus there’s a pole for any wannabe dancers, and also a laser guided satellite receiver with internet capability.

The owners of the Midnight Rider wanted to create a high end luxurious feel onboard the limo which harks back to the bygone age of opulent railroad travel. The decor has been finished with impeccable detail in the style of an old fashioned train carriage.

Described by its owners as “460 square feet of pure luxury” they say the vehicle is less of a limo and more of a “travelling nightclub” due to the extensive onboard entertainment features and spacious interior.

If you’re not planning a trip across the pond to California any time soon, Cars for Stars has a stunning array of luxury limos and giant hummers available for hire across the UK. Call now to receive a low cost quote for hummer limo hire for any occasion.

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Electric car hire launched in Portugal

Car hire giant Sixt is leading the way with green car rentals in Portugal having recently launched a fleet of electric powered cars for hire in the country.

Sixt has joined forces with Mitsubishi Portugal to offer travellers to the popular European holiday destination the option of hiring an eco-friendly vehicle.

From January, Sixt will have several Mitsubishi i-MiEV models available to hire from their Lisbon rental centre. The electric powered Mitsubishi vehicle produces zero emissions making it an ideal rental vehicle for those who are concerned about their carbon footprint.

As well as the reduced emissions, the Mitsubishi i-MiEV model also offers car rental customers the chance to save money on fuel costs as the electric vehicles offer savings of up to a third on fuel costs compared to petrol and diesel powered vehicles.

The electric vehicle will only be available to hire from Sixt’s rental centre in Lisbon initially, although if there is sufficient demand, the electric Mitsubishis could be rolled out to a variety of other rental centres in Portugal during the year. Rental rates for the electric Mitsubishi start from €59 a day.

Sixt is one of the Europe’s leading vehicle rental companies and is renowned for leading the way with innovative services.

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Car hire is big business in Beijing

Car hire is currently one the fastest growing industries in China’s capital city of Beijing due to the recent restrictions put in place to limit car ownership to reduce traffic congestion in the city.

Over the course of the last 5 years the number of cars on Beijing roads has almost doubled, resulting in nightmare driving conditions with gridlocked roads, and also increased pollution levels within Beijing.

In an attempt to curb car ownership, Beijing has issued a month long ban on purchasing cars, after which a car plate lottery scheme will be put in place. Just 20,000 people picked at random from the lottery will be permitted by purchase a car in the city. A ban on car number plates from outside Beijing has been put in place during peak times to help further reduce congestion on city roads.

However the upshot of these stringent car ownership rules is that car hire in the capital is booming. Beijing residents are flocking to car rental dealers due the convenience car hire services offer.

Selected car hire providers have reported that over 90% of their fleet is regularly out on rentals at any given time. Due to the surge in demand for car hire, some operators are planning to double their fleet.

The good news for car hire customers is that the competition between providers in hotting up, which means that operators are continually coming up with great offers of up to 50% off rental rates in order to outdo their competitors and secure more customers.

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Hertz and Beverly Hills Rent a Car join forces to offer luxury car hire

Top name car rental company and leading California based luxury car hire operator Beverly Hills Rent a Car have joined forces in order to fulfil the growing demands for luxurious car hire in the state.

Beverly Hills Rent a Car has a vast array of top quality cars available for hire from world renowned brands such as Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes which will allow Hertz to offer a different calibre of vehicle to their car rental customers.

Hertz is a world leader in the provision of car rentals for general use and airport car hire services, however the partnership with Beverly Hills Rent a Car will allow Hertz the opportunity to branch into a whole new market of luxurious travel.

Launching the new luxury car hire service in California is a shrewd move as there is a definite demand for the service in this area from film studios and celebrities either visiting or living in the state.

The joint venture will offer a range of services including complementary pick-up and drop-off to and from several Hertz car rental bases in California, plus VIP collection from airports, and the choice of a wide range of luxury and classic cars.

Hertz say the decision to partner Beverly Hills Rent a Car in this new venture was based on the growing interest in luxury travel in California.

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Paris to launch self service electric car hire

Paris is set to launch a self service electric car hire scheme which is scheduled to be up and running by the end of 2011.

Known as AutoLib, the system will be based on a similar scheme the city introduced three years ago which offers bicycle sharing facilities across the city. The two schemes will hopefully help to improve the air quality in the city by reducing CO2 emissions and pollution levels.

The cars have been designed by the Italian car makers, Pininfarnia, with technology created by a French company, Group Bollore.

The electric car sharing scheme plans to introduce 3,000 battery powered 4-seater cars to the city, situated at 1,200 different points throughout Paris.

The system will be trialled during August and September 2011, with the official launch of the service scheduled for October. If the system goes ahead as planned, it will put Paris on the map as no other city has an electric car sharing scheme on this scale.  

To be eligible to hire an electric car as part of the new AutoLib service in Paris you will need to hold a full valid driver’s licence, and also subscribe to the scheme. Annual subscriptions start from €12 per month, although daily and weekly subscriptions are also available. A deposit of €250 is also required.

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Cheaper car hire rates predicted for the New Year

There’s good news on the horizon for car hire customers as experts are predicting cheaper rates in the New Year as the industry recovers from the effects of the economic downturn which has been hampering services over the last two years.

As car rental firms struggled to get financial backing from the banks to purchase new vehicles for their fleet, the number of hire cars available was heavily reduced, which pushed up the cost of rentals as there was still the same amount of demand, but not enough cars to go around.

The cost of car hire in certain holiday hot spots rocketed by as much as 500% as a result which hit holidaymakers hard.

However as the car rental industry starts to emerge from the gloom of the recession, the after effects are also paling in significance. Many operators are now able to obtain the backing of the banks, which means they are in a position to add to their fleet of rental cars.

This spells good news for car hire customers as there will be an increase in the choice of rental cars available which will in turn, help keep rates competitive between car hire providers.

The advice being given by car rental experts to those planning to book car hire is to do so as far in advance as possible in order to take advantage of early booking incentives being offered.

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Bristol businesses turning to chauffeur driven car hire as cost of rail fares soar

It’s been reported that chauffeur driven private hire companies in Bristol are seeing an increase in business from local companies as many are turning to their services to make savings as the cost of rail travel continues to rise.

With many Bristol based businesses needing to travel to London on a regular basis for meetings and functions, the cost of travel via rail can really mount up for companies sending more than one employee at a time on business trips to the capital. Plus, selected rail operators are planning fare rises in the New Year, which means the cost of travelling by train is due to escalate further.

With the cost of two first class return rail tickets for a peak period costing as much as £440, but a chauffeur driven car with the capacity to carry up to four passengers priced from £275, many companies are opting for the chauffeur option as there are great savings to be made.

While weddings and special events such as birthdays and nights out used to be the bread butter jobs for chauffeur hire operators, the tide is slowly turning for some Bristol transport providers who’ve reported a marked increase in corporate contracts.

While most companies are attempting to make cut backs during this time of economic uncertainty, the trend of hiring a chauffeur driven car as opposed to travelling by rail, could be something we could see repeated across the UK, spelling good news for all private hire operators.

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Cardiff car hire scheme to expand within the next year

A newly launched car hire scheme in Cardiff has ambitious plans to expand its fleet from 10 to 50 cars within the next 12 months.

The City Car Club, which was launched for the first time at the beginning of the month, is designed to help ease congestion within the city which will in turn help to reduce carbon emissions in Cardiff.

The scheme is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government which contributed £120,000 to help fund the new public car hire system. Earlier this year, Cardiff Council also introduced a new bike hire facility which has made 45 bicycles available for hire at different spots around the city. Both schemes are part of the wider initiative, the £30 million sustainable Travel City Project which aims to help lower congestion in cities and also reduce CO2 emissions.

Cardiff Council are reportedly in the process of earmarking different sites around the city which will become new bases for the City Car Club as additional vehicles are introduced throughout the year.

The City Car Club currently comprises of two hybrid vehicles, the Toyota Prius cars which can be powered by petrol and electric, plus eight low emissions Ford Fiesta cars. Within the first 5 days of launching the public car hire scheme, the cars were used twice each covering a collective total of 224 miles.