Tag Archives: car hire

South Africa boosted by exposure to UK travellers

South African Airways Extreme Fares campaign has seen exceptional 2013 figures for the airline in the UK, with income up 70 per cent year-on-year across some channels. The unprecedented improvement in January bookings comes after the recent launch of South African Airways’ focused winter adventure travel marketing campaign.

This witnessed the airline partner with adventurer Charley Boorman for his 4 part TV series Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure, which was broadcast on Channel 5 and exhibited South Africa’s ultimate experiences throughout January. The country was also in the limelight last month on the BBC as a consequence of David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ show. Both shows generated interest which SAA were able to expolit.

Jon Danks head of UK&I marketing & communications, SAA said: “The integrated campaign ran across key digital, print, and social media channels, anchored to the range of adventures showcased in both shows.

“Our tie up with Charley and Channel 5 presented a cost effective broadcast solution alongside great support from partners such as Lonely Planet and tourist boards from across Southern Africa.”

UK January progress is even more remarkable given that in January last year the airline flew direct to both Johannesburg and Cape Town, since which it has dropped the direct service to Cape Town to focus on its network. The new campaign focused on the wide range of destinations across Southern Africa accessible via SAA’s Johannesburg hub.

The TV show has been hailed a success by broadcaster Channel 5 with nearly 4 million people in the UK watching, in turn engaging with SAA’s brand.


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Eitad Airways extends codeshare agreement with Air France

Etihad Airways has further developed its relationship with Air France-KLM, with the announcement that the UAE flag carrier will lease an Air France Airbus A340-300 for use on the Paris-Abu Dhabi route from May 15 to November 30. Under the arrangement, Air France will run the 272 seat aircraft as one of Etihad Airways’ 2 daily Paris-Abu Dhabi return services.

Last October, Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM forged a tactical collaboration which allowed the 2 airline groups to work together to create value for each airline.

The agreement extended the UAE flag carrier’s European network with code-share services beyond Paris to Bordeaux, Copenhagen, Madrid, Nice and Toulouse, and saw Air France place its AF flight code on Etihad Airways operated flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Abu Dhabi, and to cities further afield. The agreement also played a crucial role in Etihad Airways revealing direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services effective May 15, in addition to KLM boosting its direct Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi services to daily from summer 2013.

Kevin Knight, Chief Strategy and Planning Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “This agreement to wet-lease an Air France A340-300 aircraft demonstrates the mutual benefits generated by our close relationship with Air France-KLM. On the back of recent announcements, this latest cooperation deal is good for both carriers in terms of better optimising our fleets for the rest of 2013.

“The temporary wet-leased EY37 and EY38 return service will also see Etihad Airways cabin crew on board, working alongside Air France attendants to provide our guests with an inspired travelling experience that the world’s leading airline is best known for.”


Car Hire Assistant provide a price comparison service for car rentals in 175 countries, utilising 800 suppliers, supported by 30,000 rental locations. The service is free to use and nothing is added to the rental price.


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Enterprise Rent A Car expands home working pilot

Car hire company Enterprise rent-a-car is expanding its home-working pilot programme after experiencing significant positive results after only a few months.  Enterprise launched the pilot to establish whether home-working was a viable approach to growing its call centre, based in Aldershot. During the pilot, call centre employees from the Enterprise Business Support (EBS) facility were given the opportunity to work from home and were set up with all the technical support to make this a success. EBS is primarily responsible for handling telephone reservations and due to the growth of the business and the premises were almost at capacity.

Enterprise then compared the cost of setting up an employee to work from home against the cost of having an office-based employee. The comparison showed the cost of an office-based employee is around £5000 per year whilst the cost of a home-based employee is only £1500 in the first year for set-up costs and is then almost minimal in subsequent years.

This immediate 70 per cent cost-saving, combined with several other very compelling benefits which the company has seen from the programme, has demonstrated that home-working is a very successful business approach.

Some of the other benefits of the home-working pilot have included improved retention, reduction in absenteeism and disciplinary issues, higher employee satisfaction and a more diverse work force – helping the company to fulfill its wider commitment to creating a fully inclusive and diverse work place.  The retention level for EBS home-based employees is 80 per cent, almost 20 per cent higher than the national average for call centres. In addition, the home working programme has made it easier for Enterprise to provide out of hours call centre assistance, improving the customer experience.

As a result, Enterprise will be expanding the programme as demand for call centre employees increases moving forwards, with a view to achieving a target of 50 per cent of EBS employees becoming home-workers over time.

Leigh Lafever-Ayer, HR Director UK and Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said, “Most of our UK employees are branch based and need to be on the branch floor to look after customers. So we’ve focused our home working opportunities on back office functions. We’ve proved employees can be as effective working from home and this approach can help control cost. It’s evidence that flexible working can be a very successful business strategy.

“We’ve also found that we’ve been able to recruit a more diverse work force to our call centre because we can offer greater flexibility. The home-working pilot has attracted a completely wide group of candidates from working mothers to retired company directors, people who want to work and be part of an ambitious business, but need the flexibility of working from home.”

Katy Harding is one of the home-based Customer Service Specialists at Enterprise Rent-A-Car and lives in Farnham, Surrey.

She says: “Since becoming a home worker, I have definitely seen my work-life balance improve for the better. I find I have much more time for my family and friends, which is ironic as I actually now work more hours per week than when I was office-based.Compare Car Hire with Car Hire Assistant

“Although occasionally I miss the friendly faces, I find I am much more productive at home, plus it’s nice to not have to fight for the parking space, or, wait for the over-crowded bus to get home.”

Car Hire Assistant provides a car rental comparison service which includes local car hire companies as well as well know brand names such as Sixt, Europcar, Avis, Budget, Hertz, National car rental, Thrifty, Alamo and Dollar. Car Hire Assistant can compare up to 550 suppliers in under a minute via a website search engine, or a mobile app for the iPhone called “CarHirePro“ which can be downloaded by following the link or searching for “Car Hire Assistant” from any iPhone.


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Emirates to introduce CBeebies on flights

BBC Worldwide has secured a deal with Emirates to launch CBeebies as the airline’s first-ever branded channel targeting children aged six and under.

Loved by children and their carers the world over, CBeebies offers a range of high quality programmes which encourage the BBC’s youngest audiences to learn through play in a consistently safe environment.

From November 1st 2012, Emirates will feature a bespoke CBeebies branded channel showing a selection of long-time kids’ favourites like the award-winning Charlie and Lola and Nina and the Neurons.

The CBeebies channel on Emirates will also be home to several titles developed by the BBC and BBC Worldwide for the international CBeebies television network, including Andy’s Wild Adventures, Baby Jake and Mr Bloom’s Nursery.

The dedicated CBeebies branded channel on Emirates compliments additional programming from the BBC, such as Sherlock (BAFTA, Royal Television Society), starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, the landmark documentary series Frozen Planet, narrated by world-renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough, and classic comedy series Absolutely Fabulous and Fawlty Towers.

Also available on Emirates is the BBC’s Live Text News and Sport service, which has kept passengers up to date for almost a decade.

Ian McDonough, senior vice president, BBC Worldwide Channels said: “As a company, we are committed to serving our international audiences – both young and old – with the best British content across a range of media platforms.

“This CBeebies branded channel on Emirates will keep young fans entertained and bring yet more children on a journey of learning and discovery.”

“Emirates believes that providing the best in in-flight entertainment is one of the key factors in a successful flight and we continuously invest in expanding our offering to our passengers,” said Patrick Brannelly, Emirates’ vice president corporate communications product, publishing, digital & events.

“Building upon the large selection of children’s TV channels already onboard, adding the dedicated CBeebies channel is just another example of how Emirates meets the needs of our passengers – be they young in age or young at heart.”

Compare car hire in any one of 175 countries with Car Hire Assistant, the car rental price comparison site. Car Hire Assistant can compare up to 550 suppliers in less than 1 minute. The summary will typically include major brands such as Avis, Hertz, Budget, Alamo, National, Enterprise and Sixt, as well as major local or regional rental operators. Car Hire Assistant adds nothing to the rental price and cars can be booked instantly in a very simple and fast, three stage process.

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Posted by on 24/09/2012 in Airlines


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Sixt continues UK expansion

Sixt has announced the opening of a new branch in Edinburgh, which is their second outlet to open in the city.

The new rental-location is situated at Abbeyhill in the Royal Mile area and near the historic Palace of Holyrood and offers a full range of vehicles to suit both personal and business needs.

The branch’s fleet will feature a range of vehicles for hire, including economy and family cars, convertibles and premium brands such as Mercedes and BMW, to people carriers and vans.

Paul McLoughlin, managing director of Sixt UK, said: “The opening of a second branch in Edinburgh underlines our commitment to provide greater mobility in a bustling and lively city.

Compare Car Hire in the UK“We are very pleased to be able to offer a more extensive service in Edinburgh and provide even more convenience and flexibility to our customers.”

Car Hire Assistant compares prices with up to 550 rental companies, including Sixt, Avis, Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise, National and Budget, as well as a range of local or regional car hire operators to find the best deal on a rental car. Car Hire Assistant covers 175 countries, with more than 30,000 locations. The service is free to use and nothing is added to the rental price.


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easyJet woos the business and corporate market

easyJet has inked a new travel deal with parliamentarians which promises to provide affordable travel for MPs and peers.

The year-long preferred partnership deal between easyJet and Travel Management Company Hillgate Travel will deliver low cost, flexible fares to MPs as well as providing support for MPs’ constituency and Commons Select Committee’s travel arrangements and will be open for all MPs, Peers and Houses of Parliament staff.

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet, commented: “We believe this new deal will not only help give MPs and Peers easy and affordable travel but will also safeguard the taxpayers’ purse.

“We know that many MPs, Peers and Government ministers already fly with easyJet. This deal will make it easier and more cost effective than ever before. We are sure they will vote with their feet and travel with easyJet across Europe.

“This deal is a good example of easyJet’s strategy of increasing the number of business travellers flying with the airline. Over 9.5 million business travellers fly with easyJet each year. They are attracted by our combination of low fares and friendly service, carrying our passengers to primary airports at convenient times.”

Compare Car Hire BerlinTravellers can also save money on car hire by using car rental price comparison site, Car Hire Assistant. Operating in 175 countries, Car Hire Assistant can interrogate prices from up to 550 suppliers including major brands such as Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Budget, Alamo, Enterprise and National, providing a summary of the best deal available. Car Hire Assistant add nothing to the price and the comparison search takes under 1 minute with a simple and fast 3 stage process to book the hire car.


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Sixt acquires powerful franchise partner in Ireland

Sixt customers can now benefit from an improved range of services in Ireland. Sixt, Germany’s largest vehicle rental company and one of the world’s leading providers of high-quality mobility services, has joined forces with a strong vehicle rental partner on the Emerald Isle. The franchisee has around 20 years’ experience in the field and is renowned for its outstanding service.

Sixt offers an extensive range of vehicles for customers in Ireland. Models range from Opel and Toyota to Audi and Mercedes. The fleet caters to all requirements: from small and mid-sized cars to SUVs, premium vehicles and minibuses. Many of the vehicles are equipped with automatic transmission.Compare Car Hire in Ireland

Both private and business customers have a range of options to choose from when it comes to the rental period – from classic 24-hour rentals to rental periods lasting a couple of weeks or even several months. Initially, Sixt customers can pick up their vehicles at a variety of different locations in and around Dublin, such as in Dublin city centre or directly at Dublin International Airport: the point of arrival for almost all leisure and business travellers.

Sixt has been present in the Irish vehicle rental market since 1998. Since July 2011, Sixt has also offered a range of high-quality leasing services all over the country. Just as in the vehicle rental sector, Sixt also works together with a high-quality, experienced franchisee in the full service leasing sector. This ensures that Sixt is able to keep up with rising demand from business customers for fleet solutions Europe-wide.

Detlef Krehahn, Senior Vice President International Franchise at Sixt: “We are delighted to have on board such an experienced company with the highest standards in quality and service as our partner in Ireland. Private and business customers alike will soon benefit from this new partnership. What’s more, the new partnership will make a key contribution to creating synergies between Sixt partners and companies in Ireland and the United Kingdom in the vehicle rental and leasing sectors.”


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10 tips on how to save money on your next rental car

 1.      Shop aroundCar Hire Comparison with Car Hire Assistant

The internet can be your best friend when looking for a rental car. All of the major car rental brands have their own websites that provide instant prices. In addition, many smaller, independent operators will also have an internet presence, although the quality of the websites and ability to provide an instant quote will widely vary. In addition, there are a number of excellent car hire comparison sites, most of which will provide instant prices from a broad cross-section of rental companies including well known brands, national and local car rental companies.

2.      Book early

Yes, contrary to popular opinion, booking your car early will save your money. Rental fleets are a finite resource and when there is a shortage, prices rise quickly. The same principal applies for peak periods, if you want to save money and maximise choice, then book early. Remember, smaller vehicles tend to go first, therefore, unless you want a larger car, together with the premium that accompanies it, get in early.

3.      Vary hire dates and periods

Rental operators have a day rate, weekend rate and weekly rates. If you want to hire a car for 4 or 5 days, check also for their weekly rates, it may actually work out cheaper overall. In addition, renting your car on a weekday rather than a weekend can also alter the price in your favour. Experiment with dates, you may be pleasantly surprised at the results.

4.      Vehicle Choice

Although it may be tempting, avoid being seduced into opting for a vehicle larger than you need. The difference between smaller, compact cars and their larger counterparts can be considerable. Because smaller cars are in demand, there is always the chance that the rental company will offer to upgrade you on arrival. Although they will try and sell you the upgrade, if you refuse to budge, you can often get a premium car for no extra money.

5.      Avoid the headlines

Unless you are adept at discovering the ‘catches’ or have a lot of time on your hands, avoid being drawn in by the promise of a rental car for a few Pounds (or Dollars) per day. Few of the companies running these offers ever substantiate these bold claims. These headlines are designed to entice prospective customers to enter their lair. Once there you will quickly discover that the price quoted will not deliver you a fully insured car on the dates you want at the location you need. Any rental company or broker that makes these misleading claims are not worthy of your time or your money.

6.      Avoid airports

Airports are an expensive place to run a business and this is always reflected in the prices of rental cars. It is not unusual to see an “airport surcharge” on your rental quote. Although some companies claim that there are no surcharges, the reality is, these charges have already been factored into the rental price. Check the price of the rental car at your destination airport and then compare it with nearby locations. In return for a little inconvenience, you could save a huge amount on the rental charges.

7.      Understand insurance and waiversCar Hire Excess Insurance Waiver Policy

If you are going to get caught out on anything, it will inevitably be insurance. Whilst the vast majority of rental operators will include some form of insurance, the types offered vary widely. Be sure that, at the very least, your insurance includes Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Waiver Insurance. In some countries it may also be sensible to have some form of Loss Damage Waiver, which covers the hirer for any loss of earnings the rental company may suffer when a vehicle can’t be hired due to damage or loss. However, this is a two-part process; insurance is only half of the story.

Although rental companies love to use the term “waivers” when referring to insurance, this does not include any excess, which will be your responsibility. The excess passed on by rental companies can be huge, maybe as much as $3000 (£2000). There also appears to be some correlation between the low headline price and the amount charged for an insurance waiver to cover the entire excess. No surprise there then!

If you are going to be paying by credit card, check with your issuer because, if you are going to pay for the car by credit card, some will offer some form of cover for these eventualities. Alternatively, if you want to be certain, purchase a standalone ‘car hire excess insurance’ policy. These pay and claim policies are offered by specialist insurers and can be purchased for a fraction of the price charged by rental companies. For example, you can expect to pay anything up to $25 (£13) per day for ‘excess waiver insurance’ from your rental company, whilst a specialist insurer could offer you an annual policy for under $65 (£40). It is not unusual for hirers to claim that their rental price increased threefold after they were sold “essential” insurance policies at the rental counter. You have been warned. This is probably the most common complaint amongst disgruntled hirers.

8.      Price Premiums

With very few exceptions, most car hire comparison sites receive their income from the rental companies in the form of a commission. Although some comparison sites may charge a ‘booking fee’, those that don’t will make this very clear at the outset. Price comparison sites can only succeed if they consistently provide the best prices for the consumer and this mean the final price, not the headline price.

9.      Avoid extras or go prepared

Want a SatNav or child seat? You can expect to be charged up to $12 (£8) per day for either of these items. It is the “Gillette Effect”, you pay a few Dollars for a razor and then get charged an exorbitant amount for the blades. However, unlike razor blades, you have a choice.

If you have your own portable SatNav, upgrade the mapping software and take it with you. Alternatively, SatNav’s with local maps can often be purchased for around $75 (£50), this is a viable alternative to a weekly rate of $80 charged by rental companies. In addition, you maybe be able to sell it on an auction site when you get home, thereby recovering at least half of your investment.

Most airlines will allow you to take a child seat free of charge. If this option is available to you, then consider this rather than paying $75 (£50) a week to the rental company. You can also consider ‘booster seats’, these can often be purchased locally for less than $20 (£13) and are a viable alternative. Another possibility is to consider hiring an MPV or people carrier, most of these have integrated child seats and, it may prove to be a cheaper option.

10.   Fuel: Know the rules

Every car hire company will have their own variation on fuel policy and knowing the rules is absolutely essential if you don’t want to get hit with a surcharge or penalty. If the rental company provides you with a full tank, then you must return it with a full tank and that means full tank. Don’t be tempted to short-change the rental company, this is a false economy and you could be hit with a fixed charge as well as having to pay a premium for the fuel added. If you are provided with a car which has a full tank of petrol, you can expect to be charged for this in the form or a deposit or a pre-authorisation on your credit card.

If you are given the option of having the car provided with a full tank, you can expect to be charged a premium for the service and, if you don’t expect to use all of the fuel, it can be a very expensive option.

Car Hire Assistant - Compare Car HireSummary:

The most important advice that can be given to any prospective hirer is to be fully cognisant of the terms and conditions of the hire. Terms vary between operators and you can’t assume that because you are hiring through a well known brand that there terms and conditions will be less onerous or more upfront. The main areas to look at are; insurance, mileage, fuel policies and penalty fees, for example if a vehicle is returned a few minutes later than agreed. You also need to understand if you are expected to pay some form of deposit and/or if your credit card is pre-authorised for any amount because this could have a bearing on your available money whilst away from home.

Many rental companies, car hire comparison sites and brokers offer a cancellation policy. In most cases, as long as it is not within a few days of the hire, there is no penalty. If you have read the terms and you are not happy, don’t be afraid to vote with your feet!

© This article is copyrighted by Car Hire Assistant. Reproduction in part or in full is prohibited without written authorisation. 


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Average Briton spends 24 hours researching their holiday prior to booking

A study by one of the UK’s leading online independent travel agencies has revealed that the average Briton spends more than 24 hours looking for and researching holidays on the internet before they actually book anything; regardless of whether they book online or in a travel agency in the end.

It would appear that Britons put a lot of thought and research into their annual summer holiday, as research by a leading online independent travel agency has revealed that the average UK holidaymaker spends 24 entire hours trawling the internet to research and look for holidays in the run up to booking.

A poll from online travel agency formed part of ongoing research into the holiday habits and preferences of people around the UK; with this study having a specific focus on the research process before a holiday is booked. 1,049 UK adults took part in the poll and all of them had been abroad in the past year.

When asked to estimate how much time they spent per week researching holiday destinations and hotels online before they finally got around to booking their last holiday, the average answer was ‘4.5 hours’ per week.

They were then asked how many weeks it had taken them to decide on and book a holiday destination and accommodation for their stay, to which the average answer was ‘6 weeks’. When taking into account that the average respondent researched holiday destinations and hotels for 4.5 hours per week for 6 weeks before making a final decision; that equates to 27 entire hours sat in front of a computer screen searching for somewhere to go on holiday.

When asked what their most important requirements were for accommodation when carrying out their research, the top 5 answers were as follows:

·      Air conditioning – 77%
·      Sea View – 64%
·      Pool – 61%
·      Good food – 58%
·      Child-friendly – 53%

Chris Clarkson, co-founder of, said the following:

“Of course it’s important to make sure you’ve booked a holiday that’s right for you and that you know you’d enjoy, but you shouldn’t over-think things when searching for your next destination or hotel to visit. You can end up overcomplicating things by being too picky and then you just end up going round in circles.Compare Car Hire

“If you aren’t just returning to a destination that you know and love and are searching for somewhere new, ask family and friends for their recommendations and use that as inspiration. The most important thing is that you are getting the best deal, so it’s important to shop around or look for agents with a low price guarantee.”

Fortunately, when it comes to booking a rental car, there is no need to spend 24 hours trying to find the best deals. The Car Rental Search and Booking Engine employed by Car Hire Assistant includes 550 suppliers, in 175 countries with 30,000 locations. And, these can be searched in less than a minute. The best deals are summarised and booking is a simple 3 step process.

Car Hire Assistant adds nothing to the price of the rental car and using their service if free to the user.


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Car Hire Excess Waiver Insurance Protection

Have you been shocked by the amount of insurance excess your selected car rental company wants to impose on you? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone.

For those that are not familiar with this practice, the “insurance excess” or a rental contract is the amount that the hirer is expected to pay in the event of a claim. Even if the hirer has Collision Damage Waiver or Theft Waiver, this insurance invariably comes with a very substantial sting in the tail, in the form of an excess.

As competition between car hire companies has intensified and insurance premiums have risen, most operators have elected to keep the headline prices low by accepting a large excess from the insurers and then passing this burden onto the, often unsuspecting, hirer.

Of course, these rental companies are not naive; they also know that offering “waiver insurance” provides a new revenue stream. However, not content with just covering the true cost of the waiver, many rental companies charge a substantial premium for the insurance waiver. It is not unusual to see reports of the insurance waiver premium exceeding the entire cost of the hire car for the duration of the hire.

If hirers are not aware of the large excess prior to collecting the car, then they can expect to listen to a high powered sales pitch on the virtues of taking out the insurance. Remember, this is now a new revenue stream and, it may be a substantial part of their profit on the contract term. Nervous hirers may be too tired to argue or feel pressured into taking this expensive insurance, or having to face the prospect of shouldering the entire burden for the duration of the hire. Neither prospect is particularly appealing.

However, there is an alternative. Hirers can take out an independent insurance policy to cover the insurance excess. These policies can be purchased at any time and it doesn’t matter who the car is hired from. The policies normally operate on a “Pay and Claim” basis, where the hirer pays the claim and then claims it from the insurance company post hire.

Although benefits may vary between insurance companies, they will typically offer insurance of up to £2,000 per claim and also cover additional areas such as damage to tyres, windows, the roof or the underside of the vehicle. These polices are also more flexible, given they can be purchased for a day, the duration of the hire, or even a full year.Buy Car Hire Excess Insurance

Car rental price comparison site, Car Hire Assistant offers once such policy in association with specialist insurer, Odyssey Group. It is not necessary to rent a car with Car Hire Assistant to take advantage of the benefits offered by this insurance excess policy. It is completely independent of the hire.

As always, forewarned is forearmed. Prospective renters need to be fully aware of what is included in the price of the car and the lever of any excess they may be responsible for. It is then for the hirer to decide whether to accept the risk, purchase insurance direct from the car hire company, or to opt for purchasing a ‘standalone’ insurance excess policy.


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