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Traveling is expensive, especially if you opt to fly. But it’s not just airfare that hurts; parking your car while on vacation for a week can cost a small fortune. Car-sharing services could be the answer to this problem.
Hertz has announced its Dream Car Program, which will allow car renters the opportunity to get behind the wheel of their dream luxury or exotic vehicle.
Hertz announced today that it will soon introduce its own spin on car sharing services like Zipcar and Car2Go.
The “redneck” comedian Jeff Foxworthy used to joke about how safe of a driver his grandmother was, but as soon as she got behind the wheel of a rental car, all bets were off. It’s a commonly held belief that motorists abuse borrowed vehicles, taking out pent-up aggression on hired Impalas from Hertz. When it comes to buying a used car are second-hand rentals a smart choice, or something to be avoided like a holiday in North Korea?
This year kicked off a campaign by rental car companies to prohibit the rental of recalled vehicles, hoping to create a standard amongst all the car rental firms. All the major car rental companies have now agreed to back Senate legislation to pull vehicles from the road if they’re recalled for safety defects.
Joining in a promise that heralds improved customer safety, both Enterprise and Avis car rental agencies just pledged not to rent vehicles under recall.
Out in Shenzhen, China, tourists can rent a BYD E6 electric vehicle from Hertz and it appears that the EV will be making its way to America as part of Hertz’s rental fleet in the U.S.
Jack Hidary, the global EV leader for Hertz, spoke about the Chinese government’s support of electric vehicles while explaining the reason behind the BYD E6′s popularity. Shenzhen governors have deployed charging stations throughout the city and residents purchasing EVs are currently getting a rebate of around $19,000. The E6 isn’t cheap in China however, priced at around $58,000 – but when it makes its way to America it should be cheaper.
Rental car company Hertz is looking to the government for enforcement on the repair of recalled vehicles before they are returned to the rental lot and offered to the public.
Currently, the largest rental car company in the industry has an internal policy requiring all recalled vehicles to be immediately fixed before being rented out again. But not all rental car companies abide by that belief. As a result, there are plenty of rental cars out there on the road that have been recalled but never brought in to be repaired.
So long as a vehicle isn’t on their lot to be rented out, that company is losing money… and most businesses aren’t in the business to lose money.
Unfortunately NHTSA can only oversee automotive manufacturers currently, but has been investigating the rental car industry to discover that many highly demanded vehicles are often rented out despite not being repaired. This is a bold move from Hertz, and as much as we’d like to believe that they’re doing it to enhance the general public’s safety, it’s more likely that they’re looking for a way to level the playing field while looking like the good guys.
Nonetheless, everyone should benefit from such government oversight. Less possible risk of injury to the customer, which in turn means no lawsuits like what Enterprise had to deal with when two women died due to a recalled vehicle being rented out.
[Source: The Detroit Bureau]
In their desire to offer their customers a greater variety of exciting cars that they can rent, Hertz’s Adrenaline Collection will now feature the 6.2L V8 powered Camaro SS and Corvette convertibles. The Camaro SS comes packing 400-hp and a six-speed automatic transmission while the Vette has 430-hp and a six-speed manual. The Adrenaline Collection is available in California, Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Florida, New York and New Jersey.
The Prestige Collection now adds Cadillac’s CTS to its lineup, featuring a 3.6L V6 with 318-hp, NeverLost GPS, satellite radio and Bluetooth capability. Hertz’s Prestige Collection is available in Hawaii, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Arizona, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Over in the United Kingdom, Hertz has teamed up with Premiere Velocity in order to offer their customers the ability to rent some of the world’s finest exotic supercars. The list of exotics being offered is impressive including Lamborghini‘s LP560-4 Bicolore and Aventador, Porsche‘s Carrera 4 GTS Cabriolet, Ferrari‘s 458 Italia, Range Rover‘s Evoque, Mercedes-Benz‘s Brabus S-Class and SLS AMG Roadster, Rolls-Royce’s Phantom and even McLaren’s MP4.
The full range of cars available is up on Hertz’s website and a 5-percent discount is offered when booking through http://www.hertzsupercars.com. Prices vary, but a C63 AMG for example is £201.25 a day ($314) while an Audi R8 is £362.25 ($565). Hertz wand Premiere will also offer customers with a bespoke meet, greet and delivery system at any agreed location whether it be their home, office, hotel or airport.
The requirements? Enough money, 25-years of age and no more than six points on their driver’s license.
There’s a new kid in Los Angeles, BYD. The Chinese battery and electric car manufacturer opened its California office today.
BYD says it will bring 150 green-collar engineering and management jobs to the city. The event highlight, however, is a deal between BYD and Hertz to provide airport shuttles to the rental agency. This could prove to be a key time for the company to move into the California electric car market.
Their opening is hot on the heels of the California government deciding to limit HOV lane benefits to electric cars in an effort to encourage greener transportation. BYD has a chance to get a jump on the electric car market considering the only EV’s available to consumers are the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Roadster.
Things may not all be bright though, BYD saw their profits drop by just over a third between 2009 and 2010 and lackluster sales in the first half of this year aren’t boding well either.
Their financial woes are largely due to poor car sales in China, where they failed to meet even half of their projected numbers.
Their push into the North American market could prove to be a good source of revenue, but BYD Vice-President Michael Austin admitted earlier this year to the Glendale News-Press that “the paradigm of driving a Chinese car in the U.S. is going to be hard to break.”
[Source: Auto Observer]
There’s a scene in the movie Just Married—scratch that, every comedy about Europe ever—where the main characters squeeze themselves into a hopelessly small rental car that may or may not be a Smart, and then zany hijinks ensue. But those traveling to Europe might get the chance to rent something a little more exciting than that.
Hertz is now offering the Lotus Evora, as part of their Adrenaline range. The Adrenaline collection is already available Stateside with the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, but beginning now, customers in Spain, France, Germany, and the UK can choose from forbidden fruit such as the Alfa Romeo Brera, Fiat 500 Abarth, and the VW Scirocco. The Evora tops off this range, and Hertz will be the only company to offer a Lotus in its lineup.
If you feel like plonking down 250 Euros per day, the Evora will be available from all major airports in Rome, Barcelona, London, Bordeaux, and Frankfurt. No word on whether the Evora will make it into America’s lineup, however—those coming from big American cars might still find room to complain about the size.
Shelby American may pair up with Hertz to offer a “rent-a-racer” program that offers upgraded Mustang GTs for enthusiast-oriented consumers. The Shelby Mustang would be offered in two traditional configurations: black and gold or white and gold. The Mustang would be powered by the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 engine cranking out 412-hp coupled with an automatic transmission.
The companies teamed up in 1966 to produce 1,000 copies of the performance mustang and did so again, forty years later with the GT-H. Currently, Hertz offers the Mustang GT as part of the “Adrenaline” collection, but a Shelby variant hasn’t been available recently.
Shelby has not finalized the potential 2012 program so we will have to see what happens!
Hertz is trying to change this stereotype by offering their new Adrenaline Collection. This new collection features American muscle. The three hot rods included in this collection consist of the new 2012 5.0-liter Mustang GT, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS, and the 2011 Dodge Challenger R/T (all three in automatic transmission only). All three feature powerful V8′s and have over 370-hp. Hertz has previously offered cars like the Shelby GT-H and Chevrolet Corvette ZHZ.
[Source: Car and Driver]
Like a lot of people, you may not be willing to take the plunge and buy an electric car. But now, you can rent one from Hertz.
It was announced recently that Hertz Corp. and Smart USA are joining forces to bring the all-electric version of the Fortwo mini to Connect by Hertz car sharing and Hertz Rent A Car locations in New York, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.
Starting December 15, you’ll be able to rent the Smart Fortwo in New York City through Hertz’s car sharing program, followed shortly by San Francisco and Washington DC. More cities will be added later next year. The Hertz Global EV program will offer a variety of electric and plug-in hybrids, including the Chevy Volt and Mitsubishi i-MiEV, to car sharing and rental customers.
Hertz has plans to employ a fleet of 2011 Fortwo electric drive vehicles across the United States, hoping to target early adopters of electric drive technology before series production begins in 2012 and as the car goes on sale through Smart USA’s dealer network.
Looking to perhaps grow the Lotus name in the land of exotics, Lotus has just announced a deal with Hertz Italiana S.p.A. to offer the new coupe for rent in Italy.
“I am delighted that Lotus has renewed this agreement with Hertz and we’ve been given the opportunity to make our stunning world class sports car available to the luxury rental market. The iconic, lightweight mid-engined rear wheel drive configuration performs like no other and the 2+2 seated Lotus Evora is the perfect choice for those who desire exclusive and high performance motoring. Driving an Evora during a weekend will be an unforgetable experience for any sports car enthusiast,” said Lotus CEO Dany Bahar.
In the past several U.S. rental car agencies offered the Elise to rent (and we took full advantage). We’d like to see the Evora at our local Hertz too!
Are company cars destined to be a relic of the past? Probably not, but companies are begging to adopt a new kind of corporate vehicle, one that can be paid for by the hour and operated by Hertz or Zipcar, two of the biggest names in auto-sharing programs.
An article in the New York Times focuses on Hertz’s Connect by Hertz program, as well as Zipcar, which are seeing an increasing number of corporate clients. Employees can use the cars for anything from sales calls to grocery shopping, and the cost savings are substantial. One Boston area firm cut costs from $43,000 per employee to $6,500, just by switching from a livery car service to Zipcar.
At a cost of only $5 per hour to the employees, which includes parking, gas and insurance, car-sharing looks like a no brainer, even if the fleet is heavily skewed to the Toyota Prius and other less than exciting vehicles.
[Source: New York Times]
In the past, if you haven’t been picky about the rental car you’re driving, perhaps you should be. You may be surprised to learn that your rental has been recalled – so why is it still on the road?
This information comes to use via ABC News, which reports these findings after a recent lawsuit against Enterprise. The case in question involved the death of two California women who were killed after their rental Chrysler PT Cruiser caught fire and struck an oncoming semi. Unexpectedly, Enterprise came out and admitted that the company routinely rents out vehicles that are under recall and haven’t been repaired. The PT Cruiser was recalled in September of 2004, because there was a chance that the power steering unit could leak, causing an engine fire.
Even though they received the recall notice a month before, Enterprise rented the vehicle to Raechel Houck, 24, and her sister, Jacquie, 20, who were on their way to visit their parents. In this case, a jury awarded the Houcks a $15 million settlement.
In further testimony, it was revealed that Enterprise often rents out vehicles under recall, and that the company has no standing policy against doing so. ABC News also indicates that other major companies like Hertz and Avis also carry out the same practice.
“When demand called, we rented out recalled vehicles, it happened, I won’t lie,” said Mark Matias, a former Enterprise area manager in San Francisco. “If all you have are recalled vehicles on the lot, you rent them out. It was a given. The whole company did it. Enterprise’s corporate offices look the other way regarding this fact.”
Other Enterprise executives testified that there was no company-wide policy requiring cars under recall to be held back from rental.
Watch the ABC News video report after the jump.