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Rental Cars / LAX / California Travel / Cars / Bill Diffenderffer / Silvercar / Skybus / → All Tags
At this point you probably have heard us mention Silvercar, and their plans to change the way we do the rental car thing. The company offers up one type of car, so you can pick whatever you want to rent as long as it’s a brand new silver Audi A4. The cars come with plenty of free stuff including WiFi, GPS, Satellite Radio, and they even have a fairer way in which to refuel your car.
There’s no need to check-in at the rental car desk either, as you’re able to do everything right from the comfort of your mobile device. They’ve been expanding across the country slowly but surely, and they are an option in spots like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Houston-Hobby, and Austin. Now they’re more eager than ever to have you check them out, and there’s a pretty good introductory offer.
FlightCar / Rental Cars / Cars / Road Trips / Car Shares / Car Sharing / Driving / Airports / LAX / → All Tags
Those looking to head out of town have a new option when it comes to the long-term parking lot, as FlightCar has recently started up shop over at Los Angeles International Airport. In case you don’t remember the deal with FlightCar—basically you rent out your car to others instead of just leaving the car in the parking lot. Someone gets the wheels they need, you don’t have to pay for parking, and you even make a little money on the deal.
The peer-to-peer car sharing system hasn’t really gone gangbusters as of yet, but the head honcho at FlightCar—he’s 19 years old—reports that the company has roughly 3,700 listings for the not really rental cars. We guess we would be a little concerned letting someone else take our wheels out for a spin, but at the same time the insurance, the liability, and other guarantees do provide some kind of warm and fuzzy feeling. Overall we think the idea is kind of awesome, and yet again we're jealous that we didn't think of this first.
TV Travel / Top Gear Travel / Cars / Airplanes / 747 / Boeing / Britain Travel / → All Tags
Hey, what's the deal with the unmarked Boeing 747 in the background of test track shots on BBC Top Gear?
A quick Google search revealed that we're not the only curious ones, as the plane is part of a Wikipedia article on the former airfield where Top Gear films:
Adventure Travel / Portugal Travel / Sagres Travel / Jeep Tours / Tours / Road Trip / Cars / → All Tags
So when he pushes it into fourth gear and rips down the off-road dirt trail to make sure you don’t “feel the bumps as much” or takes you up 45-degree climbs to reach coastal vistas, don’t say we didn’t warn you, all right?
Seriously, this was easily the most free-wheeling jeep tour we've ever experienced. It's all thanks to Sandro Pombal of Sagres Discovery, who is a former driver for Mitsubishi's regional rally team and who has since "settled down" to spend his days driving the trails along Portugal's rocky, elevated south and west coastlines, an area that is, without question, still undiscovered by American tourists (which we'll nag you about tomorrow).
Rental Cars / LAX / California Travel / Cars / Bill Diffenderffer / Silvercar / Skybus / → All Tags
It’s been a bit of time since we first found out about Silvercar and its plan to take the rental car industry by storm with one car option—the silver Audi A4s. We guess things have been going pretty, as the company has expanded since starting things out of Dallas-Ft. Worth. Following its arrival on the scene, Silvercar has starting doing its thing in Austin, Houston, and Dallas-Love Field, and towards the end of the summer it finally made its way out west—to San Francisco.
Up next is another California destination, as the plan is to start offering up vehicles in Los Angeles at LAX on November 4. Reservations are already available, so if you’re hitting the area for business or pleasure you might want to give them a try.
Again the way it works with Silvercar is that you’ll download the app beforehand, as that’s what you need to pretty much to do the rental car thing. From your mobile device you can book your car, change your reservation, and pick up your very own silver Audi A4. That’s right—you open the doors to the car and climb inside after unlocking it with your phone. Even better is that lots of stuff is included with your rental car like turn-by-turn directions, WiFi right from the vehicle, and satellite radio.
Rental Cars / Road Trips / Cars / Enterprise / Travel Tips / → All Tags
That's right. Before his travel writing days, this Jaunted contributor was kinda/sorta/not really in the travel industry as a management trainee with Enterprise Rent-a-Car at a California airport. He learned that he hated wearing a shirt and tie to work, but also picked up tips on how to save a buck on a rental:
Enterprise employees may walk and talk like they're your friend, but they're really just trying to butter you up so you'll dig deeper into your pockets. One of the best kept secrets in the rental industry revolves around taking advantage of this aggressive approach.
When I was at Enterprise, one of my regular sales goals was centered around getting the customer to spend more money than their reservation intended. This was accomplished by selling insurance, pre-paid fuel, or through upgrades at the counter. Even if it was just a little more money, like a dollar or two, it was to my benefit to upgrade customers in order to increase my numbers so long as we had the cars available.
Because of this, one of the best things a customer looking for a deal can do for themselves is book an economy car and upgrade at the counter. This is a tried and true approach, one you should definitely utilize if you have a reasonable amount of flexibility. Because this trick is dependent upon availability, you shouldn't do this if you have to have a certain type of vehicle -- it all depends on what they have on the lot.
Travel Snapshots / Australia Travel / Queensland Travel / Sunshine State / Travel Snapshot / Rental Cars / Road Trips / Cars / → All Tags
Here at home we’ve always just assumed that there’s one and only Sunshine State—Florida. A quick Wikipedia search reveals that the nickname has also been used for New Mexico, California, and South Dakota, but we just guess those locations aren’t as good as marketing the fun and the sun.
Well upon our arrival down under we quickly learned there’s another Sunshine State, and now it's definitely our favorite—Queensland. We’re hardly experts on the region, as we pretty much limited our exploration to Far North Queensland and spots in and around Cairns. However, with the Great Barrier Reef just off shore and more national parks than one knows what to do with we can only assume the rest of the area only adds to the state’s awesomeness.
Rental Cars / Road Trips / Cars / Hertz / Enterprise / Tesla / Green Travel / Electric Cars / → All Tags
While they’re not exactly an exotic or sports car, we certainly wouldn’t mind testing out the newest and trendiest rental car, the electrically-powered Tesla Model S, with a
couple donuts quick cruise down the coast to see just how good the gas mileage is.
Advertised as approaching 100 miles-per-gallon, the electric hybrid is now available via Hertz at two airports over in California, as both Los Angeles and San Francisco will be adding these rechargeable vehicles to the rental car lot. Road trip, anyone?
It’s our favorite time of the year when it comes to rental cars, as the rent one get one option comes back for the fall. National Car Rental is usually the leader when it comes to this type of promotion, and this year is no exception.
Car rental junkies and business travelers can score a free rental day after completing two qualifying rentals—two or more days in a mid-sized car counts as one rental. They’re calling the promotion OneTwoFree, and it’s a great way to add some freebies to your travel wallet. Things started up on September 9, and the promotion is scheduled to run through the end of January. That’s means that you have more than enough time to score some free rental days.
Rental Cars / Firefly / Hertz / Cars / Road Trips / Budget Travel / → All Tags
Next time you're looking at rental car rates, add another company to the list, as it looks like Hertz is bringing its budget brand stateside. Firefly Car Rental is now available in the nifty fifty, and is already busy on an expansion plan.
The very first outpost was down in Orlando, but it looks like Firefly is already keen to take on large cities around the US. Reservations are now open to one and all in Ft. Lauderdale, as well as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, and more. Weekend rates are as low as $9.99 per day in Orlando through much of October, as we can only assume they’re eager to introduce the brand and get butts into driver's seats.
National Rental Car / Cars / Rental Cars / Mobile Apps / iOS / Android / Travel Tech / → All Tags
One of our favorite things about National Rental Car is that you can pick your own car right off the aisle. Sure there are some limitations to what you can choose and when you can pick it, but for the most part it’s a pretty generous feature. Assuming you join their Emerald Club and book a midsize car, you are then allowed to select anything from the Emerald Aisle. If you’re lucky there are usually a few upgrades sitting right there and are yours for the taking—if you like the red one, take the red one.
Now things have gotten a little bit better, as National Rental Car has recently released a brand new mobile phone app. Available in both iOS and Android flavors, the new app brings a lot of what you’d expect. Make reservations, manage bookings, use discounts, find coupons, and that kind of thing is all available with the latest version of their mobile software.
Road Trips / Driving / Cars / Rental Cars / Travel Tips / Lists / → All Tags
Although we love public transportation as much as the next person, there are times when the rental car is a travel necessity. Things get a little bit more complicated when the rules of the road are flipped, and you find yourself navigating the other of the road. Here’s a few tips to help you take the high road:
· Get a co-pilot:
To be clear, our other side of the road is driving on the left rather than the right, so we found it pretty darn helpful to have someone along for the ride. This person reminds you where to turn, which lane to use, and to elbow you when you’re hugging the left side of the road way too much. Here, a backseat driver can be more of a lifesaver than an annoyance, because a reminder to stay on the correct side is certainly welcome. After all, two heads are better than one, right?