2023 International Car Rental Show – Save the Dates 

The 2023 ICRS will be held at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV from April 16 – 18, 2023.  Save the date and plan to join your international car rental colleagues in Vegas for yet another great conference!  Be Advised!  When ACRA members register for the 2023 ICRS, they must contact Sharon Faulkner before registering to obtain the registration discount code for ACRA members.  If you register for the 2023 ICRS and then try to secure the ACRA member discount, your request will not be permitted.  So, rejoin ACRA, get the ACRA discount code prior to registering for ICRS, and enjoy the full benefits of your ACRA membership!

2023 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference – Mark Your Calendars! 
Based on the success of this year’s 2022 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference, planning is underway already for the 2023 Conference.  Details to follow, but please mark your calendars for October 8 – 11, 2023 in Washington, D.C.

ACRA Board Elects Two New Board Members 
The ACRA Board of Directors unanimously elected two new directors to the ACRA Board at its October 12, 2022 meeting.  Carlos Bazan of SAVVA Rent A Car of California and Eric Rothman of Empire Mobility of New York City.  Please be sure to congratulate Carlos and Eric the next time you are in contact with them.

Other ACRA Board Actions 
ACRA’s Board on October 12, 2022 also voted unanimously to authorize ACRA President Sharky Laguana to organize a Work Group to plan the ACRA 2023 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference in October 2023 and to organize an ACRA Associates Committee comprised of regular (operator) and associate (vendor) members of ACRA to enhance communication between ACRA’s associate members and the Board of Directors.

Congressional Vehicle Data Access Caucus Crosses “Aisle” 
The new Congressional Vehicle Data Access Caucus secured its second member early in October when Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) joined the Caucus.  Besides making the Caucus bi-partisan, Mr. Cohen’s involvement means that members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over heavy vehicles including trucks weighing more than 10,000 pounds will engage with the Caucus.  Congressman Buddy Carter (R-GA) had created the Caucus in September and invited his colleagues in the House and Senate to join him on working on important federal policy issues with respect to vehicle data access.  The American Alliance for Vehicle Owners’ Rights (AAVOR), of which ACRA is a member, supports the work of the Caucus and is asking members of the House and Senate to join the Caucus.

ACRA Files Comments with DOT Over State Mobile Source GHG Plans 
ACRA on October 13, 2022 filed comments with the Federal Highway Administration urging FHWA to pursue a cooperative, rather than command and control, approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from mobile sources.  ACRA cited the recent U.S. Supreme Court case on GHG emissions from power plants that held that federal agencies do not have the authority to regulate GHG emissions absent specific statutory authority from Congress.  ACRA stated that it looked forward to continuing to working with FHWA and other federal agencies regarding the transition to sustainable mobility for the nation’s car rental industry.  Click here for a copy of ACRA’s comments (ACRA FHWA Comments).

Guest Column – Last of a Three Part Series! 

A Guide to Auto Rental Chargebacks – By Suresh Dakshina, Chargeback Gurus 

 Part 3: Preventing Auto Rental Chargebacks 
Auto rental companies are stuck dealing with exceptionally high rates of friendly fraud chargebacks. In the last part of this article, we looked at how rental companies can take advantage of the chargeback representment process to fight back against these fraudulent disputes. As satisfying as it is to recover a chargeback, the dispute has still cost you time and money by that point. It’s better to stop chargebacks before their inception, and there are a number of ways auto rental companies can do that.

  • Be transparent with your customers about the charges, fees, and other add-ons they should anticipate paying.
  • In the rental agreement, list all of the additional fees and charges that a customer might incur and have them initial beside each one.
  • As soon as a customer incurs a charge for incidentals, extras, or overstays, notify them through their preferred communication channel and submit a new authorization for the additional charge. Do not lump all of these charges into a single line item.
  • When vehicle damage occurs, take photographs and notify the customer as soon as possible. Once the repairs have been completed, send the invoice to the customer and offer them the opportunity to provide an alternate means of payment. If you have taken these steps and the customer does not respond, you can go ahead and charge their payment card on file.
  • Save date- and time-stamped copies of all your correspondence with customers.
  • Make use of anti-fraud tools and identity verification services.
  • Provide excellent customer service, reachable 24/7, and always make the best effort you can to come up with a satisfactory solution when a customer is unhappy. Remember that a refund is always less costly than a chargeback. 

Following these tips can help you avoid or neutralize some of the situations that commonly lead to disputes and can provide you with the compelling evidence you’ll need for representment if they end up as chargebacks anyway.
Chargebacks can be a particularly challenging problem for merchants in the auto rental industry. Sticking to tried and true practices can help keep your dispute levels down, but every merchant’s chargeback story is unique. With an analytical, data-driven chargeback strategy in place, rental companies can address some of the core issues that lead to customer dissatisfaction and put meaningful improvements into effect.

ACRA Membership Activity New Regular Operator Members: 

  • Strauss Car Rental, New York, NY
  • Green Light Motors, Dallas, TX 

Renewed Regular Operator Members 

  • Midway Auto Group, Los Angeles, CA 

New Associate Member: 

  • SAFO US Limited, Windsor, England