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3 Aug, 2016

Advance Car Rental Opens New Location in Virginia

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Advance Car Rental, an independent car rental company based in Virginia, has opened a new office in Arlington.

This new location provides double the space for the Arlington rental operation and will serve as the corporate headquarters for Advance Global Solutions, its parent company.

“We have been in the Arlington market for 19 years and value the strong relationships we have built with renters, suppliers, area companies, and Arlington County,” said Carlos Estin, CEO of Advance Car Rental. “This exciting move will allow us to better serve our existing clients and provide room for expansion and growth.”

Founded in 1997, Advance Car Rental provides a standard fleet of vehicles and a high-end luxury fleet, including the Mercedes E350, Cadillac XTS, Camaro SS, Porsche Cayenne, and Range Rover Evoque. It has a location in Arlington as well as Tysons.

“Clients from Georgetown and NW Washington DC like the close proximity of our office and the lower rental taxes available by renting at a non-airport Virginia location,” said Estin.

28 Jul, 2016

More Than 45M Recalled Vehicles Still Not Repaired

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More than 45 million vehicles that were the subject of safety recalls — issued between 2013 and 2015 — are still not repaired, according to data from theNational Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that was analyzed byJ.D. Power.

Over the past 20 years, more than 437 million vehicles have been affected by safety recall decisions in the U.S. In 2015, alone over 51 million vehicles were the subject of safety recalls, more than in any previous year.

By analyzing NHTSA and proprietary J.D. Power benchmarking data using itsSafetyIQ platform, J.D. Power has identified these primary factors impacting completion rates for those recalls: vehicle age, vehicle type, overall population of recall, and type of recall.

“The steady surge in recalls, combined with NHTSA’s stated goal of 100% recall completion rates, have made the number of un-remedied recalls still on the road a critical statistic for automakers and dealers,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive at J.D. Power. “By understanding the behavioral trends of vehicle owners, as well as recall completion rates among different vehicle and recall types, as an industry we can better tailor communications to improve those completion rates.”

Here are some key findings in the J.D. Power SafetyIQ analysis (all data is based on recall decisions made from 2013-2015, as reported through six quarters of completion information):

Un-Remedied Vehicles More Common in Older Models: The total recall completion rate for vehicles with model years between 2013 and 2017 is 73%. This compared with a completion rate of just 44% for vehicles manufactured between 2003 and 2007.

Vehicle Type Plays a Big Role in Recall Completion: Among vehicle segments, large/work vans have the highest overall recall completion rate at 86%, followed closely by compact premium SUVs at 85%. This is a contrast with the mid-premium sports car segment, which has a completion rate of just 31%, and large SUVs, which have a completion rate of 33%.

Larger Populations Present Bigger Completion Challenges: The completion rate for individual recalls affecting more than 1 million vehicles is 49%. This compares with a 67% completion rate for individual recalls affecting less than 10,000 vehicles. It is sometimes difficult to obtain parts to launch large campaigns. In addition, customers can more easily receive a targeted communication method, such as a phone call, with a smaller population of vehicles.

Powertrain and Electrical System Recalls Most Likely to Get Fixed: Of the major safety components, the groups with the highest recall completion rates are powertrain (71%), electrical (62%), and hydraulic brakes (66%). Air bags and suspension issues have the lowest completion rates at 47% and 48%, respectively.

“By better understanding the specific factors driving recall compliance among vehicle owners, manufacturers, and dealers can better tailor their communications and manage the recall process much more efficiently,” said Stephens. “This is a critical level of intelligence for the industry, which we believe will ultimately help reduce the number of un-remedied vehicles still on the road.”

28 Jul, 2016

Carsharing Companies Face High Taxation

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A study by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development reviewed the tax policies of 80 carsharing locations in various U.S. cities.

The carsharing economy is facing a high tax burden due to the requirement that carsharers pay the same taxes as those using conventional car rental services, according to the study. Ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber face a lower retail tax — if they face these taxes at all.

Nearly a quarter of the country’s 40 largest cities impose retail taxes that increase the costs of a one-hour carshare by more than 30%, according to the study. Many cities impose $2 to $4 per transaction fees, which were originally created to generate revenue from conventional car rentals.

Nearly half of the largest cites impose tax rates of 15% or more on longer (five-hour) reservations, according to the study. These rates are particularly high in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

To measure the tax burden, the study looked at the fees and surcharges added by public bodies to reservations from 80 locations in 75 U.S. cities. Prices were collected from March through May 2016 at neighborhood-based locations instead of airport locations. The data was collected usingZipcar.com’s reservation portal.

According to the study, here are some key findings:

– Eight of the 12 largest U.S. cities impose taxes of 15% or more on all types of reservations (1-, 5-, and 24-hours). This results in rates of taxation at least 50% higher than local sales taxes. In Chicago and New York, rates are around 20% while in Philadelphia and Phoenix rates are more than 33% in some cases.

– In 25 of the 40 largest cities, carsharing taxes are more than 5 percentage points higher than local sales taxes.

– Average tax rates rose from 15.6% in 2011 to 17.0% in 2016.

– Taxes on carsharing are now higher than almost any other travel-related sector, including hotel rooms and airline tickets.

– Carsharing competes with ride-sharing (Lyft and Uber) and bikesharing, which generally aren’t subject to retail taxes.

28 Jul, 2016

Los Angeles to Launch Electric Vanpooling, Carsharing Service

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Green Commuter will introduce its all-electric carsharing and vanpooling service in Los Angeles with a fleet of Tesla Model X vehicles.

Green Commuter’s proprietary software will enable its fleet of all-electric seven-passenger SUVs to be used by thousands of workers to commute to and from their jobs during rush hour and will be offered as a carshare for all Green Commuter members the rest of the time, according to the company.

“Angelenos understand traffic and care about the environment,” said Gustavo Occhiuzzo, CEO of Green Commuter. “We offer a premium all-electric vanpool option that’s affordable. Gasoline vanpool vehicles are very polluting, usually with ratings from 12 to 18 MPG in real-life driving conditions; we’re the first to use only zero-emissions vehicles instead.”

Occhiuzzo chose the Tesla Model X for the program because the all-electric vehicle meets vanpool criteria, including seating for seven passengers and a battery capacity sufficient for long-range driving.

“Our goal is to provide a great vanpool and carshare experience which is affordable, desirable, and sustainable,” said Occhiuzzo. “We’re starting in Los Angeles, one of the most forward-thinking cities in the country, but one that has great environmental challenges and congestion issues. Our members will experience a better commute or a great carsharing experience in one of the most exciting, advanced cars on the road — the Tesla Model X — while reducing their carbon footprint and alleviating congestion on our roads.”

Green Commuter is based at the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), where it was selected to become a portfolio company in 2015.

“We’re thrilled to mark this inauguration,” said Fred Walti, president and CEO of LACI. “Green Commuter is a terrific example of an innovative social enterprise aimed at sustainable solutions for the transportation sector. We are proud to work with them and we look forward to the impact they will have on affordable green commuting in Los Angeles.”

With its Aug. 2 inauguration, Green Commuter will launch an Indiegogo campaign to offer its services at discounted rates: packages start at $10 an hour and $150 per weekend rental.

Vanpool users will be able to lease the vehicles on a monthly basis, with total commuting costs comparable to current vanpools that use standard vans or SUVs, according to the company.

“Green Commuter developed an app that enables the synergy between the vanpool and carshare systems that will dramatically increase the benefits for all users and maximize the use of the vehicles,” said Occhiuzzo.

28 Jul, 2016

Hertz Appoints Frecker EVP, General Counsel

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Rick Frecker has been appointed executive vice president and general counsel for Hertz Global Holdings Inc. Frecker has served as the company’s acting general counsel since April.

“Rick has performed exceptionally throughout his eight years with the company and is held in high regard throughout our organization,” said John Tague, president and CEO of Hertz Global Holdings. “Heading our general counsel office over the past several months, Rick has proven himself extremely capable leading complex transactions, such as the separation of our equipment rental business, while also providing valued counsel to the senior leadership team. I am very pleased to see Rick take this next step at Hertz Global Holdings.”

Frecker, who joined the company in 2008, previously served as vice president and deputy general counsel. In that role, he was responsible for all corporate securities matters and served as head legal counsel on treasury and corporate development activities together with responsibility for corporate compliance, according to Hertz. Additionally, he has had responsibility for legal activities related to the company’s franchise agreements.

Frecker received his legal degree from the Fordham University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Western Michigan University.

28 Jul, 2016

Jimpisoft Launches Rentway Document Scanner

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Jimpisoft, a provider of car rental software, is now offering a new application through its Rentway software system. The Rentway Document Scanner helps fill in the driver’s details, according to the company.

Benefits include saving time at the rental counter, increasing accuracy of obtained data, improving customer service, providing an easier way to share information, minimizing fraud, and eliminating photocopy files.

To use the document scanner, a rental agent scans a driver’s license or passport. Then the application automatically fills out Rentway’s driver information page, according to the company. Then the agent saves the scanned document.

28 Jul, 2016

Most North Americans Travel for Three or Less Days

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Sojern, a performance marketing platform for travel brands, has released itsQ2 2016 Global Travel Insights Report based on the analysis of more than a billion traveler intent data points across the globe.

Globally, the top 10 booked destinations during the second quarter were: France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Spain, U.S., U.K., Portugal, and Switzerland.

For North America, the top five destinations were New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Most North Americans wanted to travel on their own (74%), followed by a group of two travelers (18%), and a group of three or more travelers (8%). And when it comes to trip duration, 43% of North Americans planned trips for 0 to 3 days, followed by 32% at 4 to 7 days, 11% at 8 to 11 days, and 14% at 12 or more days.

Sojern also looked at the top destinations searched by region:

– Latin America: Miami, New York City, Madrid, Orlando, and Los Angeles
– Europe: London, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Lisbon, and Paris/New York City (tied)
– Middle East/Africa: London, New York City, Paris, Istanbul, Dubai
– Asia-Pacific: Bangkok, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and London

For Q3, the top destinations searched by North Americans for the short haul include Las Vegas, New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For the long haul, the top destinations are London, Cancun, Paris, San Juan, and Dublin.

As we get closer to the Summer Olympics, Japan, the U.K., and Brazil continue to show strong intent on traveling there. The U.S. and Italy show increasing interest, but they are further behind when it comes to travel intent (U.S. at 18% and Italy at 13%).

28 Jul, 2016

Zipcar Offered Free Rides to Pokemon Go Players

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Last Thursday, Zipcar offered free rides for Pokemon Go players in Boston, according to a report by Ad Week.

The car rental provided Pokemon Go players free rides around Boston if they tweeted @zipcar on Twitter during a one-hour time slot, according to a report. It was a one-day offer.

The chauffeur-styled service included a phone charger and snacks for players, says the report.

Click here for the full Ad Week report.

28 Jul, 2016

Virginia Airport Adds Fee to Build Rental Car Facility

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Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has added a customer facility charge for rental car customers, according to a report by WDBJ 7. The fee will help build a new rental car facility and upgrade the parking lot.

The fee is about $3 per car per day, totaling nearly $800,000 a year, according to the report.

Currently, the on-airport rental companies have the customer service counters in the airport’s lobby and the maintenance is off-site, according to the report. The airport wants to combine it all to make it easier for the rental companies and their customers.

“(Customers) would be able to pick the car up at the centralized facility,” Brad Boettcher, regional airport marketing director, told WDBJ 7. “Right now sometimes people get a little confused as to where to pick up the cars because the current pickup lots are blended in with the short-term parking, and that can be a little bit confusing.”

The new quick turnaround maintenance facility will include space for washing and fueling the rental vehicles, says the report.

Click here for the full WDBJ 7 report.

28 Jul, 2016

Avis Budget Group Teams Up With TrueCar

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Avis Budget Group Inc. and TrueCar Inc. announced the signing of a new partnership agreement.

Through this multi-year agreement, those in the market for a used vehicle can access Avis Budget Group’s inventory of well-maintained off-rental vehicles through Truecar.com.

Avis Budget Group offers more than 100 makes and models on TrueCar’s website from domestic and foreign manufacturers, including BMW, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo, according to the company.

Vehicles are available for purchase at competitive low prices, and customers can schedule an “ultimate test drive” to experience driving the vehicle of their choice. Ultimate test drives are free-of-charge for two hours or can be as long as three days for a nominal rental fee, according to Avis Budget. If the customer decides to purchase the vehicle, the base rental fee will be refunded after the purchase is completed.

“TrueCar powers car-buying programs for some of the country’s largest membership and service organizations, such as USAA, AARP, American Express, AAA, and Sam’s Club, and TrueCar’s platform receives approximately six million unique visitors per month,” said Michael Schmidt, senior vice president of fleet services, Avis Budget Group. “This new partnership exposes our inventory to a much wider audience and serves as a catalyst for vehicle sales growth. We’re thrilled to work with TrueCar and continue to drive efficiency throughout our organization as we dispose of vehicles through this new channel.”

“We’re delighted to have this opportunity to work with Avis Budget Group as it will provide consumers a greater selection of high-quality used vehicles,” said Chip Perry, TrueCar’s CEO and president. “Demand for pre-owned vehicles is expanding and becoming a larger part of TrueCar’s business.”

The TrueCar partnership builds upon Avis Budget’s vehicle disposition program for consumers. Avis Budget’s consumer car sales program offers buyers a wide selection of late-model Avis and Budget rental vehicles for purchase. Featuring more than 100 vehicles makes and models, the program is available in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Washington.