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Car Rental – Three Major Traps To Avoid Automatic 9 Seater Car Hire?

There are three major traps most people do not consider when they are looking to rent a car. Automatic 9 Seater Car Hire  in Westcliff these can significantly make your pay more and result in a financial disaster. Before you rent a car, keep the following in mind:

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1. Search Wide for the Best Deal
The rules of getting the best deal are universal: you have to search wide. Many people simply go for the car rental agency that is near their neighborhood or that they are used to. While this is convenient, it can be very expensive. You have to search and compare the rates and terms of different car rental agencies to get the best deal.

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Use the Internet to do your search. This is more convenient and faster. Travel price-comparison websites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia can help you find a good deal. Unfortunately, there is not one of them that guarantees the lowest price. You have to confirm at the car rental agency’s website or call their customer care office to confirm the prices.

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a) Fuel Charges: If you took the car with its tank full, refill the tank before returning the car. Otherwise, you will have to pay fuel levy fees for the “empty” tank even if it is just a couple of inches below the threshold line.

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b) Late Fees: Most agencies will give you a grace period of 60 minutes but will then charge you late hourly fees. If you are late enough, you may have to pay for an extra day. Late fees are usually high and you could end up paying more than you did for the car rental. On the day when you are supposed to return the car, check the local traffic and weather conditions and start your trip early to avoid being late.

The above are three major things that you should consider before renting a car. They will help to keep your costs down.

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There are many horror stories out there about people who have returned vehicles to a car rental location only to hear later that they are being accused of damage that they are not aware of. While many people think that the "car rental company is out to get them" when this happens, it is usually an unfortunate clerical error rather then any maliciousness. However, at times, many renters returned vehicles that have been damaged while they were on rent even though they did not know it occurred. So keep in mind that the possibility exists.

Here are some things you can do if you find out that you have been accused of car rental damage.

1. Remain calm. Nothing infuriates car rental counter agents more than an enraged customer who makes all kinds of threat that they cannot follow up on. If you remain calm, it is more likely that the agents will help you.

If it is proven that the car rental damage is yours, you will likely be surprised at how expensive it is to repair. Car rental companies do not make money on car repairs but car repairs are very, very expensive and most people are unaware at how pricey it can be. You may however be charged "downtime" to cover for the amount of time that your car was not rentable.

If the damage was not yours, however, using these ideas should help you solve the issue quickly.

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Market Overview

The car rental industry is a multi-billion dollar sector of the US economy. The US segment of the industry averages about $18.5 billion in revenue a year. Today, there are approximately 1.9 million rental vehicles that service the US segment of the market. In addition, there are many rental agencies besides the industry leaders that subdivide the total revenue, namely Dollar Thrifty, Budget and Vanguard. Unlike other mature service industries, the rental car industry is highly consolidated which naturally puts potential new comers at a cost-disadvantage since they face high input costs with reduced possibility of economies of scale. Moreover, most of the profit is generated by a few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal year of 2004, Enterprise generated $7.4 billion in total revenue. Hertz came in second position with about $5.2 billion and Avis with $2.97 in revenue.

Level of Integration

The rental car industry faces a completely different environment than it did five years ago. According to Business Travel News, vehicles are being rented until they have accumulated 20,000 to 30,000 miles until they are relegated to the used car industry whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles five years ago. Because of slow industry growth and narrow profit margin, there is no imminent threat to backward integration within the industry. In fact, among the industry players only Hertz is vertically integrated through Ford.

Scope of Competition

There are many factors that shape the competitive landscape of the car rental industry. Competition comes from two main sources throughout the chain. On the vacation consumer’s end of the spectrum, competition is fierce not only because the market is saturated and well guarded by industry leader Enterprise, but competitors operate at a cost disadvantage along with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a network of dealers over 90 percent the leisure segment. On the corporate segment, on the other hand, competition is very strong at the airports since that segment is under tight supervision by Hertz. Because the industry underwent a massive economic downfall in recent years, it has upgraded the scale of competition within most of the companies that survived. Competitively speaking, the rental car industry is a war-zone as most rental agencies including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the major players engage in a battle of the fittest.

Growth

Over the past five years, most firms have been working towards enhancing their fleet sizes and increasing the level of profitability. Enterprise currently the company with the largest fleet in the US has added 75,000 vehicles to its fleet since 2002 which help increase its number of facilities to 170 at the airports. Hertz, on the other hand, has added 25,000 vehicles and broadened its international presence in 150 counties as opposed to 140 in 2002. In addition, Avis has increased its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 despite recent economic adversities. Over the years following the economic downturn, although most companies throughout the industry were struggling, Enterprise among the industry leaders had been growing steadily. For example, annual sales reached $6.3 in 2001, $6.5 in 2002, $6.9 in 2003 and $7.4 billion in 2004 which translated into a growth rate of 7.2 percent a year for the past four years. Since 2002, the industry has started to regain its footing in the sector as overall sales grew from $17.9 billion to $18.2 billion in 2003. According to industry analysts, the better days of the rental car industry have yet to come. Over the course of the next several years, the industry is expected to experience accelerated growth valued at $20.89 billion each year following 2008 "which equates to a CAGR of 2.7 % [increase] in the 2003-2008 period.”

Distribution

Over the past few years the rental car industry has made a great deal of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Today, there are approximately 19,000 rental locations yielding about 1.9 million rental cars in the US. Because of the increasingly abundant number of car rental locations in the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken into account in order to insure proper distribution throughout the industry. Distribution takes place within two interrelated segments. On the corporate market, the cars are distributed to airports and hotel surroundings. On the leisure segment, on the other hand, cars are distributed to agency owned facilities that are conveniently located within most major roads and metropolitan areas.

In the past, managers of rental car companies used to rely on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make decisions about how many cars to have in a particular fleet or the utilization level and performance standards of keeping certain cars in one fleet. With that methodology, it was very difficult to maintain a level of balance that would satisfy consumer demand and the desired level of profitability. The distribution process is fairly simple throughout the industry. To begin with, managers must determine the number of cars that must be on inventory on a daily basis. Because a very noticeable problem arises when too many or not enough cars are available, most car rental companies including Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a "pool” which is a group of independent rental facilities that share a fleet of vehicles. Basically, with the pools in place, rental locations operate more efficiently since they reduce the risk of low inventory if not eliminate rental car shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most companies throughout the chain make a profit based of the type of cars that are rented. The rental cars are categorized into economy, compact, intermediate, premium and luxury. Among the five categories, the economy sector yields the most profit. For instance, the economy segment by itself is responsible for 37.7 percent of the total market revenue in 2004. In addition, the compact segment accounted for 32.3 percent of overall revenue. The rest of the other categories covers the remaining 30 percent for the US segment.

Conclusion

The rental car industry is in a state of recovery. Although it may seem like the industry is performing well financially, it is nonetheless gradually regaining its footing relative to its actual economic position within the last five years. As a way of insuring profitability, besides seeking market shares and stability, most companies throughout the chain have a common goal that deals with lowering the level of dependency on the airline industry and moving toward the leisure segment. This state of motion has engendered some fierce competition among industry competitors as they attempt to defend their market shares. From a futuristic perspective, the better days of the car rental industry have yet to come. As the level of profitability increases, I believe that most of the industry leaders including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis will be bounded by the economic and competitive barriers of mobility of their strategic groups and new comers will have a better chance of infiltrating and realizing success in the car rental industry.

Sources

“Passenger Car Rental.” Encyclopedia of Global Industries. Dec. 2004. Gale group. 02 Feb 2005. http://galenet.galegroup.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/servlet/BCRC.

“Car & Truck Rental.” Hoover's AB&D Company. Jan. 2005 . Hoovers. 04 Feb 2005. http://premium.hoovers.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/subscribe/ind/factsheet.xhtm. “

Rental car foes war on each other's turf.” The Associate Press. Fall 2004. The Enquirer. 08 March 2005. http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/11/biz_rentalcars111.html.

“United States - Car Rental.” Data Monitor Industry Market Research. Nov. 2004. Gale. 12 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/sessions?products=BNI.

“A synthesis of tactical fleet planning models for the car rental industry.” IIE Transactions. Sept. 2003. Gale. 12 March 2005. [http://www.fleet-central.com/arn/01stat3.cfm].

“Corporate travel plans moving to Web.” Crain's Chicago Business. Apr. 2001. ProQuest. 12 March 2005. http://www.proquest.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

"Tracy Esch." “Car rental market leaders make rebound .” Business Travel News. May 2002. Gale. 12 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Avis Equips Rental Car with Satcomms 1999.” Newsbytes News Network. Oct. 1999. Gale. 12 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Car Rental In the United States.” Data Monitor Industry Market Research. Nov. 2004 . Gale. 13 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Global - Car Rental.” Data Monitor Industry Market Research. Nov. 2004 . Gale. 13 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Corporate and Travel Trends.” Travel Trade Gazette. Nov. 2003 . ProQuest. 14 March 2005. http://www.proquest.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Car rental market leaders make rebound.” Business Travel News. May. 2002 . Gale. 14 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Car rental market leaders make rebound.” Business Travel News. May. 2002 . Gale. 14 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu.

“Ovation Travel.” Wall Street Transcript. May. 2002 . LexisNexis. 14 March 2004. http://www.lexisnexis.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/cis.

“Avis Offers New Deal for Free Weekends.” Newswire. Feb. 2004 . LexisNexis. 15 March 2004. http://www.lexisnexis.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/cis.

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Some people may need to rent a car when they are in a different location. This is especially true for those who are having a long term conference. In some cases, it is also needed by those who want to stay in an area for a while. It could be due to vacation holidays or other personal matters. In this case, one should know how to find a good car rental service. While they are easy to find and avail, one should know the factors to consider. Only this way it is possible to maximize your rental to the company. Now, we will give you a few tips so you can have a worry free rental service. Of course, you need to first know these tips so it is possible to get true value from what you paid for.

One last thing to consider in car rental is to have quality service. We all want to have a worry free vacation. Therefore, we should not be worried about the other matters of the car. The vehicle should be in good condition and runs smoothly. The staff of the company should explain to you their regulations to be followed. Also, there should be a form of insurance so you can do safe driving. If you are going to drive daily, make sure to ask for a car that is suitable for the mission. This way, you will not have any problems with the unit. Of course, there should also be 24 hours customer support.

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