Chauffeur driven Mini Cooper service launched by top hotel in the US

Peninsula Hotels have launched a brand new chauffeur driven Mini Cooper service for guests staying at either their New York or Chicago establishment.

The chauffeur driven Minis will be at the disposal of guests staying at either hotel, with those booked into a suite at the hotels being granted three free hours of travel in the snazzy new ride every day.

The fleet of Mini Coopers come in dark green known, as Peninsula Green by the hotel. Each Mini is fully fitted with an onboard fridge so passengers can enjoy a chilled drink, and also cold towels so they can freshen up during the trip. Extra luggage space has also been added with a box roof rack so there’s plenty of room for shopping bags if you’re planning a bit of a spree.

The official unveiling of the Peninsula Hotel’s Mini Cooper fleet is due to take place in New York this week. The scheme is due to be rolled out in Chicago in time for the Christmas season.

The chauffeur driven Minis will be available for guests to use for sightseeing tours, with a specific tour of New York having already been set up which will take the visitors on a ride around Cloisters Museum, Manhattan and also the Meatpacking District. In Chicago guests can take a tour of famous locations featured in top movies.

The luxurious hotel chain first introduced the chauffeur scheme at its Hong Kong hotel last Christmas, and the service proved so successful, they decided to roll it out across a number of other Peninsula hotels in key areas.

As well as launching chauffeur driven Mini Cooper hire in New York and Chicago, Peninsula Hotels are planning to offer the service at its Tokyo establishment in the New Year.

Car hire company Europcar wins two top awards

The car hire company Europcar was honoured at the World Travel Awards earlier this month when they took home two of the biggest awards of the night.

Europcar was named World’s Leading Car Hire Company for the fourth consecutive year, and also the Worlds’ Leading Green Transport Solution Company for the second time.

The World Travel Awards are highly regarded within the industry as the awards are voted for by some 187,000 travel experts across seven regions of the world.

Europcar were delighted to accept both awards at the glittering ceremony in London earlier this month. The leading car hire firm were especially happy to receive the green award as it shows the company’s commitment to environmental protection is being recognised by the travel industry.

It was the second time Europcar had taken home the Green Transport Solution award and the firm said that winning the accolade the first time round, spurred them on to achieve even better environmentally friendly car hire solutions.

Last year, Europcar became the first car hire company to launch a specialist environmental agency and the first in Europe to introduce an Environment charter. Europcar also boasts an impressive fleet of low emission cars, and also hybrid vehicles, which helped them to secure the green award at this year’s World Travel Awards.

Car rental company teams up with hotel chain to offer great deals on hire

Sixt Car Rental has joined forces with leading hotel chain, Best Western Australasia to offer great deal on vehicle rental for hotel loyalty card holders.

As a Best Western loyalty cardholder you’ll receive a number of benefits thanks to the new partnership with Sixt car rental including reduced hire rates, and free upgrades to better vehicles, free GPS navigation systems in all hired cars, plus you’re guaranteed a car is delivered to your within 4 hours of making a car hire booking if you’re staying at a selected Best Western establishment in Australasia.

A spokesperson for Best Western Australasia says the joint venture with Sixt car hire will be especially beneficial to their customers as a high percentage of people who stay at Best Western hotels in Australasia are on self-drive holidays. Thanks to the new scheme, car hire will now be cheaper and more convenient for these holidaymakers.

Different tiers of loyalty cards offer different rates of discount on car hire with Sixt. Gold cardholders receive a 10% discount, while Platinum loyalty card members will receive 15% off, and the highest tier, namely the Diamond cardholders, will receive a 20% discount on car hire with Sixt.

Best Western customers will also earn points through their car hire with 1000 points being rewarded onto their loyalty card for any car rented, while 2000 points are rewarded for limo hire.

Wedding car chauffeur attacked in US carjacking

A wedding chauffeur was attacked inside of the limo he was driving after a thief attempted to make away with the luxury limousine.

The terrifying incident happened over the weekend as the wedding limo, which was transporting a group of bridesmaids, waited outside of a church in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The attacker was reported to have been fleeing the scene of another crime he’d committed, believed to be a house break-in, when he carried out the carjacking. The robber entered the limo by smashing the passenger side window with a hammer. The bridesmaids travelling onboard fled from the wedding vehicle in fear as the chauffeur attempted to fight off the thief inside the limo.

After wrestling with the assailant for several minutes, the chauffeur was eventually ousted from the car by the violent thief, who then made his getaway in the blacked out wedding car.

The police were called, but despite their quick response, the robber got away in the stretch limo. The vehicle was later found abandoned a few miles from the church.

Not wanting to let the incident cast a showdown over the wedding day, the five bridesmaids hid the terrifying ordeal from the bride, and walked down the aisle without mentioning a word to the happy couple. The bride and groom exchanged vows completely unaware of the drama which had unfolded a few minutes earlier outside of the church.

Hertz car hire plans to launch more off-airport rental centres

Car Hire Company Hertz say they are focusing their attentions on opening more off-airport rental centres as this area has benefitted from an increase in revenue is the last year.

Hertz predict that their revenue from non-airport based outlets will reach $1 billion from this year alone. If they achieve this figure, it was will be an increase of $100 million compared to 2009.

In order to boost this avenue of income further, Hertz have revealed they plan to open a further 60 new off-airport rental centres by the end of 2010, bringing their total of new non-airport bases this year to 250.

The emphasis on off-airport locations will bring Hertz into direct competition with another leading vehicle rental company, Enterprise.

Although a high percentage of car rental business is generated from airport based outlets, with the recent decline in air travel, many companies are focusing on other areas of the car rental market to keep revenue up.

Non-airport centres are often popular with customers looking to hire a vehicle as a courtesy car while their own vehicle is being repaired, or for corporate clients who maybe travelling around the country on business, or holidaymakers looking to hire a vehicle for leisure purposes.

This area has seen healthy growth in recent times, which Hertz is planning to capitalise on by investing in more non-airport rental centres in the coming year.

BMW introduce hourly car hire scheme

BMW look set to join the car hire market with news they are about to introduce an hourly car rental scheme in Munich.

The luxury car maker is planning to debut the new car hire system close to the company’s head quarters in Munich. BMW will offer a range of its top vehicles for hire in the city, all of which are available to hire by the hour.

BMW’s decision to introduce a car hire scheme comes as statistics show that more and more people are opting to hire cars, instead of owning them. With the current economic climate, many people are choosing to a hire a car for the times when they need their own transport, in order to save on the cost of running a car of their own.

Daimler have already introduced a similar scheme, Car2Go, which offers Peugeots and Smart Cars for hire on a short term basis. Known as the Mu scheme, the system is in the process of expanding across Europe.

For just €16 an hour, customers can hire a 1 Series Compact from the luxury car manufacturer, and for €32 an hour you can drive away in a 7 Series Sedan BMW. The scheme offers consumers the opportunity to hire top class vehicles for special occasion such as weddings and birthdays at a reasonable rate, as well as providing clients visiting the city on business the freedom to get about in their own high quality vehicle.

Porsche to introduce a hybrid version of each of their models

The development chief at Porsche has revealed the luxury car maker’s plans to offer a hybrid version of each of the company’s models.

The announcement comes after the renowned car manufacturer revealed its first ever eco-friendly vehicle, the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid, earlier this year. It’s believed the Porsche Panamera Hybrid will join the Cayenne and will be available for sale sometime next year, after which a 918 Spyder hybrid model is planned for 3-4 years time.

The green Panamera will have full electric driving ability and will provide up to 6km of fuel-free driving, according the development officer at Porsche, Wolfgang Duerheimer.

Porsche’s commitment to offering drivers a hybrid version of each of their models extends as far as their most sporty vehicles. In the future, the luxury car maker plans to offer both its Boxster and 911 models with hybrid engines.

The move to introduce more eco-cars comes after the European Union issued Porsche with a fleet emission restriction with a reduced target of emissions which must to be achieved by 2015. In order to meet the emissions target set by the EU, Porsche have had to come up with new ways to create their world renowned vehicles, in a more environmentally friendly way.

In some cases Porsche will have to reduce the size of the engines used in some of their vehicles, however the company stress that this will not be done to detriment car’s performance, as this is Porsche’s main priority.

German scientist creates car that acts as its own chauffeur

Scientists in Germany have designed a car which drives itself, making it the second self-driving car concept to be revealed this month after we brought you news last week that Google are working on a similar project in California.

Germany’s self-driving car, known as the MIG (Made In Germany) was masterminded by computer scientist Raul Rojas and created along with his team at Berlin’s Free University.

The inconvenience of forgetting where you parked your car will become a thing of the past thanks to the new technology used in the design of the MIG. Using an iPad or smartphone, the new design car will track the signal using its inbuilt GPS system to locate where the call is being made from. The car’s computer then plans a route, and provides the caller with an estimated time of arrival.

The autonomous car works by creating a 3D image of its surroundings which allows it to navigate around other road users and objects. The car is fitted with sensors to detect objects to avoid collisions. According to the makers of the MIG, it has been equipped with the artificial intelligence to adhere to the Highway Code enabling it to give way to traffic, for example. It’s also able to navigate traffic lights independently.

The car’s self-driving system can be overridden via the iPad which can be used to turn the technology off and enable it to be driven by a human. Mobile devices can be used to link up to the car’s electronic system creating a remote control access to the car’s system.

It’s not known when, or even if, this kind of self-chauffeuring car will be available for legal use on roads. It’s believed further trials will be needed and also changes in the law before the self-driving car can become a reality.

Chauffeur warns of travellers’ cheques scam

A self-employed chauffeur from Aberdeen has come forward to warn other drivers about a fake travellers’ cheques scam which would have cost his bank thousands of pounds.

David Craig advertises his chauffeur services on online, and was contacted by a potential customer via the driving site. Using the name Kelvin Moore, the man stated he would like to employ Mr Craig as his chauffeur while he was visiting Aberdeen for research purposes from Nigeria.

The customer then offered to pay the 66-year-old chauffeur an advance payment of £300 and sent over three travellers’ cheques, worth €1,500. However Mr Craig became suspicious when the customer then asked for him to cash the cheques at a Western Union branch, take out his share for his chauffeur services, and transfer the rest of the money back to him to pay for “airport fees.”

Suspecting there was something amiss, the chauffeur took the cheques to the bank where they discovered they were indeed fake. However the bank believe the cheques stood a high chance of being cashed at a Western Union branch, and should this have happened, the bank would have been thousands of pounds out of pocket.

The chauffeur from Aberdeen decided to come forward with his story to warn other chauffeur who could well find themselves in a similar position.

The incident has been reported to the police. They believe Mr Craig could be one of thousands of people in the UK who are targeted by Nigerian gangs to have money sent out to them through the use of forged cheques.

Luxurious limo hire offers available for city breaks in Edinburgh

Whether you’re planning a night out to celebrate a hen or stag party, a shopping spree with friends, or a weekend away with a loved one, Edinburgh is a great city to visit as it has a raft of superb attractions to offer with something to suit every occasion.

Cars for Stars is offering a range of low cost deals on limo hire in Edinburgh so now you can see all the beautiful Scottish capital has to offer from the comfort of your own chauffeur driven limousine.

With a wide range of top of the range limousines to choose from, including sleek black Lincoln Town Cars, pink hummer limos, and the elegant Rolls Royce Phantom, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding the right limo for your big event.

Cars for Stars is offering affordable limo hire all over the Edinburgh area, so whether you require a chauffeur driven limo to transport you to your wedding in Newhaven, a birthday bash in Dalkeith, an anniversary celebration in Craigleith, or a corporate event in Livingston, or a function in Musselburgh, you won’t find a better deal anywhere else.

If you’re visiting Edinburgh for the very first time you’ll be amazed by the number of great things there are to see and do in the city. If you’re looking for a great night out, check out the many bars at clubs in the Grassmarket or Cowgate area of the city. For a shopping spree to remember, head to Princes Street, and to get a taste of Edinburgh’s rich history take a stroll down the Royal Mile and visit the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

With the largest fleet of top class limos to choose from for your special occasion in Edinburgh, all of which are available at unbeatable rates, you won’t fail to have a limo hire trip to remember when you enlist the expert services of Cars for Stars. Get in touch now to receive a free quote.