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Leading car hire company to launch electric rentals by Christmas

Leading car hire company, Hertz, have revealed plans to launch electric powered hire cars in the US by Christmas.

The first fleet of electric cars will be introduced in Manhattan, New York City, next week. Hertz dropped a big hint that eco-friendly car hire was about to be introduced when they pitched up at the busy Times Square in New York this week to give demonstrations of the new electric vehicles, which will soon become part of their fleet.

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan Leaf are two of the electric vehicles which will be available to hire through Hertz. However these green cars will only be available to Connect By Hertz members which is a car sharing scheme. It is not known whether the electric cars will be available to hire by non Connect members within the coming 12 months.

It has been reported that Hertz plan to have 1,000 electric powered vehicles within their fleets across the US by the end of 2011.

The first 20 electric cars will form part of the Manhattan branch of hire cars however electric cars are also coming to branches in San Francisco, Texas and at selected College campuses. Outside of the US, Hertz are planning to launch electric car hire in both London and China within the coming 12 months.

Cars for Stars battle the elements to transport terminally ill children to awards ceremony

Despite the heavy snowfall and treacherous driving conditions, Cars for Stars succeeded in transporting 21 terminally ill children and their families to a special awards ceremony in Newcastle this week where all of the youngsters were due to receive awards.

Each of the children has courageously battled a life threatening disease, and all of them were in line to receive a Brave Heart Award at the ceremony held in St James Park, Newcastle this week.

Cars for Stars originally took a booking for a mix of 6 limos and party buses for the event, but a further 5 vehicles were booked at the last minute after another supplier let the Brave Heart Awards organisers down.

In total 11 limos including 4 hummer H2 limos, a H3 hummer, a party bus, Audi Q7, 2 Chrysler limos and 2 Lincoln Towncars supplied by both Millennium Limousines and Elite Limos, were booked to ferry the 21 brave youngsters and their families to the awards ceremony. Tragically, one limo had to be cancelled at the 11th hour after one of the children sadly passed away.

However the planned event ran into serious trouble after the UK, and particularly the north of the country, was hit by snow, ice and plummeting temperatures. The severe weather conditions threatened the whole event as the roads were so treacherous, there was no hope of sending the chauffeur driven limousines to collect the children.

Determined to not let the youngsters down, Stephen Welch at Cars for Stars and Millennium Limousines set to work pressuring the local authorities to bring out the gritting lorries to clear the impassable roads so that the planned limo rides for the sick children could go ahead.

Cars for Stars and Millennium Limousines succeeded in persuading the council’s gritting lorries to put in overtime in order to clear the roads so as to ensure the limos could reach the Brave Heart children so they could enjoy the special treat so they very much deserved.

We are delighted to report that all 21 children and their families made it to the Brave Heart Awards ceremony in their chauffeur driven limos and a great time was had by all.

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Avis car hire launch female only chauffeur service in India

Avis rent-a-car has become the first premier car hire provider to launch a female only chauffeur hire service in India.

The female only chauffeur hire service will be available in India only initially at a top Mumbai hotel, The Oberoi. A fleet of luxury cars, including the BMW 5 Series, will be used for the service based at the Oberoi Hotel. Avis are planning to roll the scheme out to other parts of the country if there is enough demand.

It is anticipated that the service will be especially popular with females travelling alone in India. Avis believe their female chauffeur policy will help alleviate any feelings of insecurity a female traveller may have when visiting an unfamiliar city alone.

All of lady chauffeurs are aged between 25-53 years of age and are all fluent in English which will benefit those visiting India on business from the UK. Each chauffeur has undergone 2 months of training before getting behind the wheel as an Avis chauffeur. The training includes enhancing customer relation skills, instruction on handling a luxury car, and improving their navigation ability around the city of Mumbai and other local areas.

Avis car hire currently operates in 16 cities across India, but has outlined expansion plans to launch a number of new branches in various locations across the country.

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Car hire firm outlines development plans for 2011

Car rental firm, Economy Car Hire have outlined their plans to develop their business in the coming year.

Economy Car Hire has revealed their intention to expand their service to a number of key locations including launching a car rental service in Portugal, Turkey and Spain. The vehicle hire firm is also planning to expand further in the UK by introducing a number of new branches in specific areas of the country.

By opening a number of new rental outlet in the UK, Economy Car Hire are hoping to tap into the growing trend for “staycations” in Britain.

By expanding in a number of key areas, both in the UK and in European destinations, Economy Car Hire is aiming to offer a wide of choice of available vehicles for hire, which will ensure the company can continue to offer highly competitive rates.

The head of Economy Car Hire believes the firm has a number of important features which will help the business grow, and potentially become one of the leading car hire providers in the UK. Economy Car Hire doesn’t charge customers for extra drivers, for example, and nor do they add on extra cost for taxes or insurance, unlike many other car hire providers.

The boss of the car rental provider also revealed that 93% of their customers would recommend their services to others, which is an encouraging statistic for Economy Car hire.

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Women only chauffeurs for new private hire service in Prague

A brand new private hire transport service has been launched in Prague using only female chauffeurs.

The new service is offered by GlamourCars and aims to provide a luxurious and refined transport experience for tourists, locals and business professionals visiting the city.

With female only drivers who are fluent in both Czech and English, driving top quality saloon cars with perfumed interiors, onboard refreshments, newspapers and magazines and Wi-Fi facilities, GlamourCars are aiming to target a high calibre of clientele.

However all of this comfort and luxury does come at a price, roughly double the cost of your average taxi cab in Prague. However regular clients will receive some kind of concessionary rate or special discounts of other services it has been claimed.

All of the female chauffeurs possess excellent local knowledge of Prague and are experienced and safe drivers who adhere to all speed limits and driving regulations, the private hire company states.

The female only chauffeur driven car hire service in the Czech Republic’s capital city is planning to start out small in order to test the water to see how well the scheme is received. Initially the private hire service will only be available on weekdays, with one car in operation with a pool of professional female drivers working on a rota system.

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£76k car hire bill for Wales Office

Official figures revealed this week showed that the Wales Office spent £76,000 on car hire in the four months between May to September of this year.

Spending figures for the government office detailing everything from bills for office furniture, to heating costs and credit card spending were revealed in the recent figures. The information was made public after a pre-election promise from the coalition government to promote transparency within public spending.

One of the biggest bills revealed as part of the publication of spending figures was for car hire, coming in at £76,000 for four months. The previous year the bill for chauffeured cars came to £184,005.

The cost of keeping two chauffeur driven cars in operation in London, and one in Cardiff, for use by the Secretary of State and the Welsh Minister was said to be £13,656 a month. However the second car in London has been axed in recent weeks as part of spending cuts.

A spokesperson for the Wales Office added that ministers always travelled standard class when travelling between Cardiff and London by rail.

The move to publish government spending figures was made in the wake of the expenses scandal which revealed that some government MPs had been working the system to their advantage. It is hoped the increased transparency into how public money is spent by government ministers will go some way to regaining the trust of the public.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.