Industry News

Uber and AmEx Partnership Weakens a Bit, Continuing a Trend

Uber/Amex

Last fall, we wrote about how Uber's partnership with Starwood Preferred Guest was slated for termination on December 17, 2017. That partnership had already degraded, as the number of Starpoints riders earned for using Uber had previously been decreased before complete elimination. Now, there's an announcement stating Uber users holding American Express cards will also lose the ability to earn bonus Membership Rewards points for Uber fares charged to the card. And while the number of points earned is minimal, it does show that Uber's cutting back on many promotional tie-ins while inexplicably maintaining others.

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Upside Down in a Sinkhole -- A Rental Car Incident and Also a Great Cover Band Name

Sinkhole

The stories of ill-advised actions of a tiny proportion of rental car users are a nice diversion for the AutoSlash team. We really do work hard to have a system that helps legitimate renters find the lowest possible prices on their rental cars, so Felony Friday is a good source of clean fun (albeit at someone else's expense). And a recent arrest out of Cave City, Kentucky is amusing while raising a few questions. It is also an example of how neither Nissan nor the Super 8 Cave City wish to make the media!

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New Jersey Community Decides to Restrict Visitors (and Renters) from their Roadways

Traffic Citation

In our blog, we frequently bring up areas of concern for rental car consumers, such as Zona Traffico Limitado (ZTL) areas in Italy, where drivers with permits (residents and local employees) can drive but others cannot. We also talk about tools we like when in rental cars, such as Waze helping us redirect around major traffic jams. Well, a community in New Jersey has become tired of commuters driving through their town (redirected by apps), so the concept of ZTL is coming to the United States! And they've made it a fineable offense, which is exceptionally punitive for visitors and rental car users!

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Woman Arrested for "Diesel" in a Rental Car

Vin Diesel

We've recently had a lot of mocking fun at the expense of rural Oregonians who have the new-found freedom to pump their own fuel. Apparently, these folks have never traveled outside the State of Oregon. And while the folks in the State of Michigan (and the rest of the nation) have been settled in for a good laugh, Michiganians can also mock one of their own for a recent arrest involving "diesel" in Ohio. We thought our team was "hip" with slang among the mid-50s set until we realized there was a third form of diesel that should never go into the average rental car (the distilled product and the actor are the first two).

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SilverCar adds a Second Model to the Fleet

Silvercar

Early last year, we tried out SilverCar in Las Vegas, a rental that involved a great car (Audi A4) but a frustrating pick-up and drop-off experience. Quite a bit has changed at SilverCar in the interim -- the company has been purchased by Audi and now offers more than just the Audi A4. The company has been on an expansion path and now also offers the Audi Q5 for rental. This may be Audi listening to the experience of previous rental car operators -- excessive reliance by a rental car company on a single vehicle make/model crushes prices on both new and used vehicles when those former rentals come up for resale! Or this may be Audi ignoring basic concepts of supply and demand, as they have been adding new sites (up to 18 today), each of which requires more cars in the rental fleet! In any case, renters in selected locations can guarantee an Audi A4 or choose to book a Q5

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