New Dragoman Brochure Out Now! New Trips, New Routes, New Destinations, New Fleet…

October 22, 2014 on 7:44 am | In Adventure Travel, Asia, China, India, London, Myanmar, Road Trips, United Kingdom | Comments Off



wickers.com COUPON 10% OFF all ordersDragoman, the award-winning 33 year old overland specialist, has just launched its 2015 – 2016 brochure, out now. The new brochure, which can be viewed here, offers travellers aged between 18 – 70+ years nearly 320 trips to 55 countries in Asia, the Americas and Africa, varying in trip length from 6 days to 235 days.

World firsts in 2014: Burma, Bhutan and an exclusive Inca Trail

New destinations for 2014 include several world firsts; Dragoman is the first major overland operator to offer trips to Burma and Bhutan. Dragoman has also launched a brand new Community Inca Trail, an exclusive route to Machu Picchu that not only avoids the crowded Inca Trail but is also helping to make the local Anchascocha Community visited en route self-sufficient.

New for 2015 – 2016

Ladakh and Kashmir, Northern India

7th June 2015 is the first departure of Dragoman’s new 21 Ladakh trip, Delhi to Delhi, priced from £972 per person plus kitty of US$610 / £376). Set deep in the Indian Himalayas on the Western edge of the Tibetan plateau, Ladakh, or ‘Little Tibet’ as it is known, is one of the highest places on earth. Relax in Manali, visit serene Buddhist monasteries and palaces in Leh and drive to the remote and rugged Nubra valley. There’s also time spent relaxing on the houseboats on Dal Lake, Srinigar, Kashmir, before heading back to Delhi.

Rainbow Mountains, Western China

One of the most unusual tourist draws on the planet, the Rainbow Mountains in Western China are China’s own version of the Grand Canyon. Located in the Danxia scenic area in Gansu province, north-west China, the candy-striped mountains are a unique, hilly landform of sandstone that has been eroded to create unusual rock formations causing the mountains to appear blue, yellow, orange and red . Although Chinese tourists flood to see them every year, they remain a ‘best kept secret’ for western travellers, despite UNESCO listing them as a new World Heritage Site.

Now, all of the 71 Dragoman trips which pass through Kashgar, Western China, now include a visit to the Rainbow Mountains, the shortest being the 22 day Kashgar – Xi’an trip, from £1,340 per person, kitty from US$600 (£378)

Andaman Coast, Burma

New, too, is a visit to Burma’s pristine beaches on the Andaman coast, a result of the operators splitting its original 28 day Kunming to Bangkok via Burma trip into two sections.

Visitors to Burma now have the option of taking an action packed 9 day trip between Yangon to Bangkok (from £666 per person, kitty of US$270 / £166), or the longer, 22 day Kunming to Yangon trip (from £1629 per person, kitty of US$600 / £370).

Linking Europe to South East Asia and beyond

And, as the only operator to offer the entire Silk Route from Istanbul to Beijing the operator now includes Burma as an option en route, the 127 day Istanbul to Bangkok via Burma ,(£7,236 per person, kitty of US$4,220 / £2,600) in essence, linking Europe to South East Asia and beyond.

New and refurbished fleet

Dragoman’s new and newly refurbished fleet of 30 Mercedes Benz 4WD trucks has also hit the road.

For bookings, visit Dragoman at www.dragoman.com  or call T. 01728 861133


Bunk Campers Offers Early Booking Incentive For 2015 Campervan Hire

October 22, 2014 on 7:32 am | In Adventure Travel, London, Road Trips, Scotland, United Kingdom, Wales | Comments Off



Outdoorplay.com - Free Kayak ShippingCampervan holidays in the UK are making a comeback and UK & Ireland campervan rental company Bunk Campers are incentivizing travellers who are keen to book early for 2015.

Visitors booking their campervan hire for 2015 with Bunk Campers before 30 November 2014 will benefit from a 5% early booking discount in additional to any long stay discounts they qualify for.

Early booking affords visitors the luxury of their requested dates, pick up location and vehicle. Bunk Campers offer a choice of 6 fully equipped camper types to suit all tastes and budgets and 5 pick-up locations nationwide, meaning visitors can create a 2015 itinerary that suits their holiday requirements.

Bunk Campers has picked the top 5 must-see attractions visitors can experience during their time touring the UK or Ireland by campervan in 2015:

1. Tour the Wild Atlantic Way – A 2500KM long tourism trail along Ireland’s unspoilt coastline, the Wild Atlantic Way stretches from Cork to Donegal and offers visitors unpatrolled access to cliffs, beaches and tourist attractions.

2. Catch a music festival – No need to worry about nasty festival toilets or tents collapsing in the rain, take a Bunk Camper to a music festival. With a dry, warm space to rest your head and cooking facilities on board, there is more time to sit back, relax and enjoy the music.

3. Drop in on the Highland games – Experience Scotland’s famous games in all their glory! Taking place throughout the summer and spread across the country, a campervan provides the transport and accommodation to attend as many events as you wish.

4. Relax at the Lake District – With a campervan, you have the freedom and flexibility to get away from the humdrum of city life and delve into nature. The Lake District is the ideal place to switch off and get back to nature with walking, cycling and boat hire all available in the National Park.

5. Get outdoors and active at the beaches in Cornwall – Surf, sunset and miles of endless beaches! Spend your days in the water before returning to your camper for a hot shower and warm cup of tea.

On board facilities when you hire a Bunk Camper include: beds, gas hob for cooking, sink, fridge/freezer, dining table, shower, toilet, heating and electricity.

2015 bookings can now be made through Bunk Campers website. For more information, please visit www.bunkcampers.com

About Bunk Campers

Bunk Campers are one of the UK & Ireland’s largest campervan rental companies with depots in London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast and Dublin.


Avis Starts to Roll Out the 2015s

October 15, 2014 on 2:37 pm | In Road Trips | Comments Off




The 2015s are here!

Well, at Avis Car Rental, anyway.

The Parsippany, N.J. car rental agency has begun adding tens of thousands of new vehicles to its rental fleet and announced some of the highlights of its model-year 2015 purchases. Featuring General Motors vehicles and offering a wide range of cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) from other manufacturers, Avis will provide a full lineup of new vehicles designed to meet virtually any rental need.

“We have made good progress in our model-year 2015 fleet purchasing negotiations,” Tom Gartland, president, North America, Avis Budget Group, said in a statement. “We are excited about our new vehicle lineup, including some of the outstanding cars our customers can expect to see when they rent from Avis in the coming months.”

The model-year 2015 Avis Car Rental fleet includes the fully re-designed Cadillac Escalade, featuring the industry-first Total Internal Reflectance LED high-beam technology, as well as an invisible rear wiper, third-row seats that power-fold to offer more storage space, a hands-free power liftgate, tri-zone climate control and a 6.2-liter V8 engine with best-in-class 420 horsepower. GM’s other large SUVs, the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Suburban, are also all completely re-designed for 2015 and available from Avis.

Renters can also drive off in a 2015 BMW 3 Series or BMW 5 Series sedan, or a 2015 Cadillac CTS Sedan. Avis will also continue to offer the BMW 328i, 528i and 740i sedans, the BMW X3 and X5 sports activity vehicles and BMW’s first roadster with a retractable hardtop, the Z4.

Sports car lovers will be able to try out the legendary Corvette Stingray, and Avis is also offering the new convertible 2015 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS as well as the 2015 Ford Mustang.

“As always, Avis will offer customers smaller, more affordable and more fuel-efficient vehicles as well as mid-sized sedans, minivans and passenger vans, and more, from as many as 17 different manufacturers,” said Gartland. “If you love the experience of being able to drive some of the most iconic and best-performing vehicles in the world, Avis will help you enjoy the ride.”

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com



Destination Europe Offering MiFi Rentals With European Travel Packages

October 15, 2014 on 2:19 pm | In Europe, Road Trips | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowAuto Europe’s tour division, Destination Europe, is offering MiFi units with any European travel package including air, hotel and car rental in the UK, France, Italy and Germany; you only pay $5 USD per day to access data.

The product is the Huawei Mobile WiFi E5331 model (pictured above) that permits connectivity with up to eight WiFi enabled devices up to 30 feet from the portable router, via a secure password protected connection. Each unit comes with a user manual, SIM equipped for 3G cellular access in the country of preference, wall and car USB charger and a convenient carrying case.

The SIM cards are only available for the UK, France, Italy and Germany (one country per SIM). There is a data limit, but it’s different per country and three of the countries are “fair use”.

This offer is valid for citizens residing in the United States only and for qualifying reservations in the UK, France, Italy and Germany. Promotion is valid for bookings made now through Oct. 31, 2014 for travel any time. Seven day advanced booking notice required. The hotspots are shipped in advance of departure to Europe and sent back to Auto Europe via FedEx with a prepaid shipping label. The shipping charge is $40 USD. Offer can change at any time and is subject to availability while supplies last. Additional restrictions may apply.

Auto Europe services over 20,000 car rental locations in over 135 countries worldwide. In addition, through their tour division, Destination Europe, they offer scheduled airfare to Europe with over thirty carriers and service over 70,000 3, 4 & 5 star worldwide hotels. For additional information contact your local sales representative or Auto Europe at (800) 223-5555. Visit their web site at http://www.autoeurope.com

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com


Liberty Coach Launches “Coach of the Week”

September 8, 2014 on 6:07 pm | In Road Trips | Comments Off



Golfsmith: Best Brands, Best PricesLooking to get a head start on the all-important fall and winter selling season, luxury motorcoach convertor Liberty Coach today launched a new “Coach of the Week” campaign.

First up for Liberty Coach of the Week is LC Stock No. 779, the “Ravello Edition.” Built on a top-of-the-line Prevost H3-45 bus platform, this 2015 Elegant Lady model boasts a unique triple-slide floorplan that combines the best features of two of Liberty’s most popular earlier designs: the rear bedroom and shower of last year’s Torello plan, and the hallway and extraordinary storage capacity of the Keswick layout.

Like all of the company’s coaches, the Ravello is loaded with the highest of high-end systems and components. Kitchen galley appliances include a Gaggenau cooktop, Miele convection oven and microwave, full-size GE refrigerator with French doors and freezer drawers, a Bosch stacked washer and dryer set, and Keurig coffee maker. The fully integrated HDMI audio/video system includes state-of-the-art Marantz Pro-Logic stereo amplifier and tuner, custom-designed KEF speakers, two independent Winegard in-motion HD satellite TV dishes, two HD DVR receivers, and 32”, 46” and 60” HD flat-screen TVs. And a truly incredible Crestron remote control system allows all of the coach’s systems and functions – from heating and air conditioning to stereo, TVs, lighting window shades and many more – to be controlled via iPad or iPhone from virtually anywhere on the planet.

The coach’s finishes and furnishings are every bit as extraordinary. The exterior design is the work of legendary automotive painter Dean Loucks, whose “Art of Design” workshop is a perennial favorite of private aircraft, yacht and fine automobile customizers around the world. And that’s more than matched by the stunning interior design by Liberty’s own Kim Konigseder, which features oak floors, walnut cabinetry, fine leathers and much more.

The Ravello is currently on display at the Liberty Coach dealership in Stuart, Florida, which is located just south of Port St. Lucie on the Atlantic Coast. Company officials are looking to the “Coach of the Week” campaign to draw attention to the dealership, which they feel offers a shopping experience “as elite as the coaches we sell.” Prospective buyers are welcome to schedule a private showing in advance of their visit, and may do so via phone or email. For contact information, visit http://www.libertycoach.com/contact-us

For more information about the Liberty Coach of the Week, including photos and full specs, see the listing at http://libertycoach.com/available-coaches/2015-Liberty-Coach-Elegant-Lady-779.

With locations in Stuart, FL and North Chicago, IL, Liberty Coach has been providing legendary leadership in the luxury motor coach industry for over 40 years. For more information about Liberty’s custom Prevost motor coaches, please visit http://www.libertycoach.com  or call 800-554-9877.

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

Regent Berlin, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Berlin and Kpm

September 7, 2014 on 3:08 pm | In Germany, Road Trips | Comments Off



It’s the ultimate luxury, a perfect combination of style, tradition and culture: The 5 star superior hotel Regent Berlin, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Berlin and the Berlin based fine china manufacturer KPM have teamed up to offer a package which leaves no wish unfulfilled.

Visionary engineering meets innovative technology: the British luxury brand Rolls-Royce stands for technological freedom, extravagance and design. For 110 years, the leading car manufacturer celebrates the idea of automobile perfection. In their factories legends are born like the Phantom, the heart and pride of Rolls-Royce, and the Ghost or the Wraith.

For two days, guests of the Regent Berlin can get up close and personal with a Rolls-Royce’s outstanding driving dynamics. With a deliciously filled picnic basket in the boot to enjoy on one of the green areas surrounding Berlin, along with Kurland china mugs from the famous royal porcelain manufacturer Berlin KPM to toast in style, a sightseeing tour of the capital by day or a night drive through the buzzing metropolis are available, either chauffeured by a personal driver or on your own. The best place to start any excursion is from the Gendarmenmarkt, so hop in and indulge in a world of nobility and tradition.

And the pampering continues: Guests will stay in one of the premier suites of the 5-star superior Regent Berlin hotel and enjoy a romantic six-course candlelit dinner at the two Michelin-starred restaurant Fischers Fritz. If requested, the à la carte breakfast the next morning can also be enjoyed in the privacy of the suite before embarking on another unforgettable tour with the Rolls-Royce.

The package includes: Two overnight stays in one of the elegant premier suites, the sumptuous à la carte breakfast (in the privacy of the suite, if requested), a six-course candlelit

dinner including corresponding drinks at the awarded gourmet restaurant Fischers Fritz, the use of the Rolls-Royce Ghost with personal driver or the Rolls-Royce Wraith to drive yourself for two days, including 300 km and fuel, a generously filled picnic basket as well as two Kurland china mugs from KPM, a bottle of champagne upon arrival, complimentary access to the Regent Health Club and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.

Prices start from € 4.900 based on double occupancy, bookable until 29th December 2014, if possible four weeks before arrival. Complimentary early check-in and late check-out on request and availability at point of booking. To book please call reservations on +49 30 20 33 6666.

About Regent Berlin

The Regent Berlin is situated at the Gendarmenmarkt with a beautiful view of the Französischen Dom (French Cathedral) and the concert house. The boulevard Unter den Linden, the Brandenburg Gate and the popular Friedrichstraße with its exclusive boutiques are all just a stone’s throw away. The very personalised service and the luxurious design of the 195 rooms and suites make the 5 star superior hotel one of the most sought-after hotels with stars, leisure and business guests. With its modern meeting and conference facilities as well as its awarded gourmet restaurant Fischers Fritz, the Regent Berlin offers the right ambience for every occasion.

For further information, please visit www.regenthotels.com/berlin

Jetstreams for Travel Discounts

20 Drives for Fall Foliage‏ in Colorado

September 3, 2014 on 2:32 pm | In Plains States, Road Trips, Rockies | Comments Off



The beautiful aspen is the quintessential Colorado tree. We’ve named towns, streets, dogs and our beer after this glorious tree. In the summer, the aspens provide shade for our state flower, the columbine; and when fall foliage comes on the scene, Coloradans rejoice as the aspens’ gently tinkling leaves turn a vibrant shade of gold.

The month of September is the ideal time to witness a gilded aspen spectacle on a scenic drive, but you have to time it right: The color lasts only about a week in most places. It’s difficult to predict when exactly the leaves will turn in any given location. The best strategy is select travel dates in advance, but not destinations. Then go wherever the color is. Here are a few road-tripping routes, sorted by region, that have become fall-color pilgrimages for aspen lovers:
Southwest Colorado Fall-Color Drives

Dallas Divide and Lizard Head Pass: Begin your journey in the town of Ridgway. Head west on Colorado 62 over Dallas Divide. Lining the route are unimpeded views of the Sneffels Range, an apron of aspens at its feet. At Placerville, head southeast toward Telluride on Colorado 145. All the way to Lizard Head Pass you’ll drive through dense groves of white-barked aspens with panoramas of Wilson Peak.

Kebler Pass: Head west out of Crested Butte over this improved dirt road (County Road 12) and you’ll be inundated with autumn glory. The ruddy colors of the Ruby Range make for a radiant contrast with the golden aspens below. At Colorado 133, you can head north toward McClure Pass for more, or return via the way you came for a repeat performance.

Other favorite routes:
US 160 between Pagosa Springs and Cortez
Colorado 135 between Crested Butte and Gunnison
US 50 west from Gunnison to Colorado 149 south to Lake City and Slumgullion Pass
Colorado 550 from Ridgway south through Ouray and Silverton to Durango
Northwest Colorado Fall-Color Drives

Maroon Bells: Quite possibly the most photographed mountains in North America, the Maroon Bells are situated southwest of the aptly named town of Aspen. These peaks are an ideal spot to capture the glory of fall color on film. On weekends in September, access to the bells is limited to shuttle buses that leave Aspen on a regular basis. But if you reserve a campsite along Maroon Creek Road, you can drive your vehicle all the way to the scenic Maroon Lake, where the golden trees frame a reflection of the purple-and-white-striped peaks.

Grand Junction to Grand Mesa: This route boasts spectacular stands of aspen along with other varieties of turning trees. From Grand Junction, head east on I-70 through Palisade and along the Colorado River, where riverside cottonwoods slowly phase into yellow. At Colorado 65, head east and then south through more canyon country and up to the top of Grand Mesa, where glowing aspens stretch for as far as the eye can see.

Other favorite routes:
Colorado 125 over Willow Creek Pass between Granby and Walden
US 40 south from Steamboat Springs to Colorado 131 to Yampa; from Yampa, take County Road 7 southwest to Stillwater Reservoir
Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway (Meeker to Yampa via County Road 17 and Forest Road 16 over Ripple Creek Pass)
South Central Colorado Fall-Foliage Drives

Cottonwood Pass: As you head down Cottonwood Pass Road west of Buena Vista, the massive Collegiate Peaks rise on all sides. As you pass beneath the mounts Princeton and Yale, you’ll enter one of Colorado’s most aspen-laden valleys. And you’ll see firsthand the fickleness of fall color — one slope all gold, another patch still a shade of summer green.

Colorado 17 from Antonito to the New Mexico border: As you head up the serene Conejos River Valley, stands of pinyon give way to the white trunks of aspen. Some of the oldest and tallest aspens in the state can be seen, photographed and enjoyed near La Manga Pass. For an even more unique experience, ride the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad for views not seen on any highway.

Other favorite routes:
Gold Camp Road from Colorado Springs to Victor and then Colorado 67 through Cripple Creek north to Divide
US 285 from Conifer to Fairplay over Kenosha Pass
Top of the Rockies Scenic and Historic Byway (US 24 from Minturn through Leadville to Twin Lakes via Colorado 82, and back to Colorado 91 over Fremont Pass to Copper Mountain)
Front Range Fall-Color Drives

Peak-to-Peak Scenic and Historic Byway: From Black Hawk to Estes Park, this highway meanders through valleys and skims the top of ridges. Take Colorado 119 from Black Hawk north to Nederland then follow Colorado 72 to Raymond. From here, proceed on Colorado 7 past the 14,255-foot Longs Peak to Estes Park. Quaking aspens pop up in surprising places along the entire route.

Guanella Pass Scenic and Historic Byway: Take this rambling route south out of the historic town of Georgetown and you’ll find pockets of blazing aspen. Once you reach the town of Grant, you turn right on US 285 and take the highway for 15 minutes to the top of Kenosha Pass, where the aspen thrive on the rim of the gentle slopes that encircle South Park.

Other favorite routes:
Colorado 14 through Poudre Canyon west of Fort Collins to the top of Cameron Pass
Fall River Road from I-70 (Exit 238) to St. Mary’s Glacier
Boulder County Road 130 from Nederland to the Fourth of July Trailhead (dirt road)
Southeast Colorado Fall-Foliage Drives

Frontier Pathways Scenic and Historic Byway: Head west out of Pueblo on Colorado 96 to begin this aspen-laden drive. The route climbs into the Wet Mountains and descends into the Wet Mountain Valley, passing aspens blazing in autumn color along the way. Return the way you came until you reach McKenzie Junction. From here, head south on Colorado 165 to see two other Colorado fall favorites, cottonwood and scrub oak, as they turn brilliant colors beneath rugged rock formations.

Highway of Legends Scenic and Historic Byway: This route wraps around two of Colorado’s burliest mountains, West and East Spanish Peak. Along the way, the highway passes beneath ancient volcanic walls that rise over tracts of pine, scrub oak and aspen. Nearly the entire route from La Veta to Trinidad on Colorado 12 begs to be photographed.
Other Resources

To locate areas with the best fall color at any given time, consult:

US Forest Service: 800-354-4595 (nationwide hotline) or http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/colors


Auto Europe Offers A-ROSA 2015 Cruises, Larger Selection of Options, Early Booking Savings

August 25, 2014 on 12:00 pm | In Austria, Belgium, Cruise Boats, Europe, France, Germany, London, Netherlands, Paris, Road Trips, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowAuto Europe in conjunction with David Morris International, is offering A-ROSA Cruises for 2015 with now over 200 departures including Rhone/Saone, Rhine, Danube, Moselle and Main rivers in Europe.

Yes, 2015 promises to be the year of choices on A-ROSA Cruises in many areas designed to allow guests the freedom to make their vacation one that fits their lifestyle and preferences that day.

A sample of these increased options for 2015 include: Guests choose what to drink with A-ROSA’s open bar policy, not just wine and beer, and choose when they enjoy a drink starting in the morning until the wee hours of the night, not just during lunch and/or dinner.

Guests also choose their own excursions to fit their activity level and interests, no excursions are “assigned” to them. In addition, guests can choose to enjoy their dinner two ways; from a four-course, plated service or a more casual, yet sumptuous buffet with cooking stations Also included for 2015 is pre-paid gratuities, port taxes and fees, and complimentary wi-fi. All offers subject to change without notice.

Fares have been reduced on many of the 2015 sailings and with their early booking incentives, save $1,000 per couple when you make a 2015 reservation by Dec. 31, 2014. In addition, singles save more as every sailing has waived Single Supplements in at least one category and up to three children sail free with just one adult (ages 2-15).

Auto Europe services over 10,000 car rental locations in over 135 countries worldwide. In addition, through their tour division, Destination Europe, they offer scheduled airfare to Europe with over thirty carriers and service three-, four and five-star worldwide hotels.

Read more travel news at www.travelpulse.com


SuperShuttle now serving Amsterdam

August 23, 2014 on 1:09 pm | In Netherlands, Road Trips | Comments Off



SuperShuttle is now providing service in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is SuperShuttle and ExecuCar’s fifth European airport service area.

To book your ride, visit SuperShuttle.com and select Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as your destination, or download our mobile app to make your advance reservations on the go. In Amsterdam, SuperShuttle vehicles operate under the name: Connections Schiphol Hotel Shuttle. SuperShuttle also allows customers to earn airline points and miles on participating carriers including; Delta Air Lines SkyMiles®, Frontier Airlines EarlyReturns®, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United Airlines MileagePlus® and US Airways Dividend Miles® programs when booking reservations online or via mobile apps.

SuperShuttle International, based in Phoenix, is a division of Veolia Transportation On Demand. SuperShuttle serves over 40 airports, carrying more than eight million passengers a year. SuperShuttle also provides ExecuCar sedan service at all airports served by SuperShuttle, including some of the largest in the country: Los Angeles, New York, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. SuperShuttle is also available in Paris, France, Cancun and Los Cabos, Mexico. ExecuCar is available in over 70 airports.

Veolia Transportation, Inc. is the leading provider of passenger ground transportation services on the North American continent, operating bus, rail, taxi, shuttle and para-transit systems in over 120 locations in the US and Canada. Veolia Transportation entered the North American market in 2001 and has quickly expanded to a national presence with over 16,000 employees and annual revenues approaching $1 billion.

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

South Africa Rates First Car Rental First in Service

August 22, 2014 on 8:36 am | In Africa, Road Trips, South Africa | Comments Off



At the recent South African Service Awards, the purple-brand First Car Rental scooped the illustrious ‘Most Consistent Performer over the Past Three Years’ Award defeating all of South Africa’s big industry and retail contenders.

The 2013/2014 awards were held on 11 April at the Fire and Ice! Melrose Arch.

This highest accolade means that First Car Rental customers have consistently scored First Car Rental’s service to them at an average of over 88% every year for the past three years, bettering Woolworths, Edgars, Vodacom, MTN, VW, Checkers and every other big brand nominated for the award.

First Car Rental also claimed the Gold Award in the Travel & Related Services – Car Hire category for the second consecutive year, competing against all of the major car hire companies.

The South African Service Awards is unique in that all companies are rated only by their actual customers, therefore providing a completely unbiased view as to the level of service that the company is providing. This is done through an online rating system, which also allows full anonymity should customers want it.

In this year’s awards, behind First Car Rental in the Car Hire category was Avis Rent a Car in second place followed by Europcar in third.

Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head: Strategy, Development & Marketing at First Car Rental, “First Car Rental highly commends the South African Service Awards for its absolute dedication in raising the standards of service in our industry, and all industries for this matter, whilst allowing a platform for all customers to voice their opinions without fear or favour. There are few rating systems in the world that are as fair and impartial as this, only allowing ratings from customers, thus getting a true reflection of your efforts as a company and as a brand.

The Service Awards in the car rental industry is particularly difficult for contenders because a perceived ‘customer rental experience’ is from initial booking right up until closing of the rental contract, and occasionally beyond this if there is a an issue or query, – but in-between the opening and closing of customer contracts is a long road where many complications can occur, and we are judged on every step, and sometimes fiercely.

First Car Rental prides itself on having highly-motivated key staff overseeing and managing every step of the service we provide allowing autonomy where necessary, which greatly reduces customer anxiety resulting in ‘good grades’ so to speak. This is our intent 365 days a year, and this shows in the awards results this year.”


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