CAR HIRE can equal plenty of extra commission from a sale. But how do you go about persuading your clients to part with the cash?
Car rental companies have their favourite selling tips – a car means freedom from organised excursions, it can work out cheaper than hotel transfers for a family of four, and a day out makes a nice change from the beach.
But what if they still won’t bite? Holiday Autos has come up with a new idea on its website – trying to tempt clients onto the tarmac with a list of some of the best drives around.
Just how many people would be able to resist doing a Thelma and Louise along Route 66 – in a convertible of course – or exploring the wine route in South Africa?
We asked five industry figures to come up with the drive of their life – we can’t promise the car-hire companies would be able to supply their vehicles of choice, but the scenery is guaranteed.
Thomas Cook Signature product manager Julian Stockdale
From where to where: “Los Angeles to Los Angeles. This is the ultimate circular trip in the US – the America you see in the movies, driving through the deserts and canyons of the west.
“In 15 days you can visit Palm Springs, Phoenix, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park, the Pacific Coast and Las Vegas.”
Top car: you have to do this in a convertible for that Thelma and Louise feeling, but if you can get your hands on an American classic like a T-Bird it would be an unforgettable trip.
Sample price:Thomas Cook Signature has a 15-day tour from £578 this summer excluding flights. Car hire starts from £28 per day with Alamo.
Travel 2 product manager Matt Armstrong
From where to where: “Cape Town to Cape Town along South Africa’s Route 62. It’s one of South Africa’s lesser-known and least-travelled routes, but it’s stunning. The route meanders through the lush and mountainous winelands and into the contrast of the semi desert of the Klein Karoo.
“The settler town of Montagu, with its hot springs, orchards and vineyards, is worth a stop, before doubling back and heading down to Hermanus. This quaint coastal village is one of the best places in South Africa to watch the annual whale migration (June to October).
I’d recommend tagging on a couple of nights to explore the highlights of Cape Town before returning home.”
Top car: a 1950s convertible.
Sample price:Travel 2 has car rental in Cape Town from £21 a day based on a seven-day hire.
Kuoni Far East product manager Adrian Croft
From where to where: “Kuala Terranganu to Kuantan in Malaysia. This is a fascinating drive because Terranganu is one of the richest states for traditional Malay culture – it remained isolated from the Indian and Chinese migrants who took up residence in the west coast cities of Georgetown, Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.
“The road hugs the coastline, passes quaint fishing villages and Rantau Abang beach, where you can spot leatherback turtles. The drive covers 130 miles, so you can do it in a day, or stop over so there’s time to relax on the beaches.”
Top car: Adrian opted for a Toyota MPV people carrier – he’s obviously a family man or a frustrated taxi driver.
Sample price:Kuoni has a 12-night flydrive of Peninsula Malaysia from £1,199 including flights and car hire.
Holiday Autos commercial director Ian Coyle
From where to where: “Sorrento to Salerno in Italy. This is the drive I wanted to do after the 2005 Advantage conference in Sorrento, but never got the chance – 30 miles along the beautiful Amalfi coast, away from the crowded cities.
“The views are stunning. The road twists and squeezes between rocks, and you get glimpses of small villages and secluded bays. Pompeii – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – makes a great stop.”
Top car: a 2005 Ferrari F430 Spider convertible – a classic Italian marque, but with all the modern technology you need.
Sample price:Holiday Autos offers car rental in Italy from £127 a week this summer.
Hotels4U head of purchasing Maggie Rice
From where to where: Bordeaux to Nice in France. I did this on a contracting trip for flydrive holidays around the Dordogne and Province. The countryside is amazing and the standard of accommodation and the quality of the food and wine was excellent.
“I did the trip in-mid September, when the vineyards look ablaze and every tree in the forest is a different hue of orange and red. There was no traffic either as family holidays were over by then and the locals take their holidays in August.”
Top car: A BMW X5 or something sporty.
Sample price: Budget has car rental in Bordeaux from £118 a week this summer.
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