Car hire and transfers: 20 selling tips – 08 Aug 2007

1. Selling a couple a hire car will earn you a lot more commission than booking airport transfers for them – and your clients will benefit from the increased flexibility of having a vehicle at their disposal for the rest of the holiday.

2. Booking a hire car will save clients money in the long run. Holiday Autos’ prices start at £9 a day, which can be cheaper than using local taxis on a regular basis.

3. Booking early will guarantee them the right car. Waiting until you arrive to hire a car can be risky as local rental firms often run out of the smallest, cheapest vehicles, forcing those who haven’t pre-booked to hire a larger, more expensive and less fuel-efficient vehicle.

4. Clients will save money if they pre-book car hire in the UK as local car hire firms are usually more expensive. Holiday Autos charges £228 for a four-wheel drive for seven days from Tenerife South while its local rival Orlando Rent A Car charges £399.

5. Holidaymakers can offset their hire car’s carbon emissions through a new scheme available from Avis. The car hire company also offers tips for more fuel-efficient driving on its website

6. Tell customers that the only guaranteed transfer is a pre-booked one. The last thing anyone wants is to end up in a long queue for a taxi from the airport or, worse, to find that there isn’t one available.

7. Shuttle buses are better value than taxis for family groups or stag and hen parties. Resorthoppa charges £21.25 per person for a return transfer from Alicante Airport to Benidorm in a shuttle bus; the cost for a shuttle transfer from Prague Airport to the city centre is £22 per person, one way.

8. Pre-booking a taxi transfer will guarantee clients a fixed price for the journey. Clients won’t have to worry about the meter ticking while they are stuck in traffic jams, and there’s no danger the driver will take them on the scenic route.

9. Private transfers are often faster and more comforable than coach transfers, which might stop at several hotels before arriving at their property. Ask clients how they plan to get from the airport to their accommodation.

10. Some clients prefer to collect their car from the hotel to avoid the stress of picking it up at the airport. Ask which they would prefer.

11. Pre-booking a transfer or hire car will make it easier to budget and, because it’s pre-paid in the UK, it won’t eat into the holiday cash.

12. Book transfers with a company that gives you net rates and you can decide whether to add your own mark-up or give your client some added value. Taxis Abroad offers net rates which it claims are less than half the price of those of its rivals. It charges £98.14 for a return transfer from Naples to Sorrento for up to three people.

13. Women, families and the elderly will appreciate a personal meet-and-greet service pre-booked in the UK, especially if they are arriving late in an unfamiliar destination. Holiday Taxis points out all its suppliers have public liability insurance and have signed up to a Service Level Agreement guaranteeing good service.

14. If it’s a special occasion consider booking a helicopter or boat transfer. Holiday Taxis offers boat transfers from Venice Airport to city hotels from £32 per person one way, net. It can fix up helicopter transfers from many other destinations; prices are available on request.
15. Pre-booked airport transfers have the back-up of a local agency 24 hours a day, so if anything goes wrong your clients will not be left stranded in a foreign country. They will be able to call and get immediate assistance.

16. If clients buy from an international brand they can be confident of a quality vehicle. Europcar says the average age of its fleet is only eight months. There is no guarantee that local hire firms will use well-maintained vehicles.

17. The promise of a smooth transfer could help to clinch ski holiday sales. Not many travellers are clued up about how they can get from the airport to their resort. Taxis Abroad provides transfers to several of the most popular ski resorts, including Geneva to Les Arcs in Switzerland for £490.52 net, for up to eight passengers.

18. The train is often the fastest and cheapest way to get from an airport to a city centre but it can be stressful for holidaymakers to attempt to buy train tickets in a foreign language when they’ve only just arrived. International Rail allows you to pre-book airport-to-city and city-to-city tickets and rail passes. Vienna Airport to the city centre costs £4 one way; from Geneva to Les Arcs costs £51 one way.

19. Car hire is often not much more expensive than coach transfers for a family or small group but it will get clients to their resort faster and they’ll have transport on hand for the rest of the holiday. Europcar prices start from £96 for a small car for a week from Alicante or Malaga airports.

20. One-way car hire is a good option for those who only need a vehicle for the first few days of their holiday.

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