ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference – Operations and Policy “Boot Camp”
SOLD OUT! – As on Broadway, that is great news to report with respect to the ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference. While some folks may drop out due to last minute schedule changes and Sharon is keeping a waiting list, as of now the ACRA “Boot Camp” is full of volunteers and won’t need to resort to conscription.
If you haven’t signed up for your hotel, the discount rate is still available and there are still a couple of rooms available for ACRA Conference participants. Check at the ACRA Registration and Hotel Link if you still need a room.
Attached is the latest schedule for the 2022 ACRA D.C. Car Rental Conference (Conference Schedule). The Conference starts on Sunday evening, September 18th and concludes on Wednesday afternoon, September 21st.
Conference Schedule “At A Glance”
- Sunday, September 18, 2022
- Attendee Arrival at HQ Hotel – Westin Arlington
- Opening Networking Dinner (Walking Distance from Hotel)
- Monday, September 19, 2022
- Operational “Boot Camp” at Westin
- General Counsel Roundtable – Avis Budget, Enterprise and Hertz
- Networking Cocktail Reception at Westin (Heavy Hors d’oeuvres)
- Time for Supplier Hospitality
- Tuesday, September 20, 2022
- Policy “Boot Camp” at Capitol Visitors Center
- ACRAPAC Congressional Reception at Sonoma Restaurant (Open to 2022 ACRAPAC contributors only!)
- Networking Seated Dinner at Mussel Bar (Across the Street from Hotel)
- Wednesday, September 21, 2022
- Meetings on Capitol Hill with Legislators and Staff
2022 ACRAPAC Congressional Reception
A highlight of every ACRA conference for the past several years has been the ACRAPAC Congressional Reception that takes place the night before ACRA members “hit the Hill” for meetings with legislators and staff. This year, the ACRAPAC Committee will again invite a bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives to join ACRAPAC supporters at Sonoma Restaurant on the Tuesday evening of the Conference. But, please remember, only 2022 ACRAPAC supporters are entitled to attend the ACRAPAC Congressional Reception. For more information on ACRAPAC, please contact Sharon at ACRA at email@example.com or Greg Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tax Foundation Study on “Full Expensing”
Postponing the sunset of full expensing of personal property is a key federal policy priority for ACRA. The Tax Foundation recently published a study on the economic benefits of full expensing. (TF Study)
“Boot Camp” Sponsors
The following companies generously have sponsored the ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference and all ACRA members thank them for their financial support! The Conference could not happen without your generous help!
- Platinum Sponsor Level:
- Gold Sponsor Level:
- Alternative Claims Management
- Fleet Salvage Systems,
- NP Auto Group
- 1st Source Bank
- Geotab, Inc.
- Silver Sponsor Level:
- Global Toll Services
- Bronze Sponsor Level:
- Auto Rental Solutions
- Hawkeye Claims
- Leslie Saunders Insurance
- Sonoran National Insurance
There are a small number of sponsorships still available for the 2022 Conference. Please contact Sharon at ACRA for more information – email@example.com.
President Signs Inflation Reduction Act of 2022
President Biden on August 16, 2022 signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 in what will likely be the signature legislative achievement of 2022 for the White House and Congress. Of particular importance to ACRA members in IRA22 are provisions for tax credits when electric vehicles are purchased by commercial entities. And while ACRA doesn’t provide legal advice (please consult your own attorney), it is ACRA’s read that the “Buy America” provisions incorporated into the federal EV tax credits in IRA22 for individuals purchasing EVs do not apply to the commercial vehicle tax credit provisions.
New Newsletter Feature – A Guest Column!
The Future of Car Rentals Is Electric! – by Katie Robinson, Electrification Coalition
Consumers across the United States and around the world are increasingly shifting to electric vehicles (EVs) because they offer reduced fuel and maintenance costs, a smoother driving experience, and cleaner air in our communities. Automakers are rolling out dozens of new EV models, and the federal government is investing billions of dollars in EV charging infrastructure and other measures to increase EV adoption. Likewise, the rental car market can significantly benefit from EVs by attracting customers looking to try out an electric vehicle as a low-cost way to experience this new technology before purchase.
The Electrification Coalition (EC), a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that is working to accelerate EV adoption, first tested this theory with our Drive Electric Orlando (DEO) rental program. This first-of-its-kind program added EVs, including both plug-in hybrid vehicles and all-electric vehicles, to the Enterprise Rent-A-Car fleet at the Orlando International Airport. As the largest rental car market in the world, Orlando served as a prime destination for testing this technology and building consumer demand for EVs.
Project partners included the U.S. Department of Energy, Clean Cities Coalitions, the City of Orlando, and local resorts and theme parks. Together, we incentivized EV rentals by offering various “perks” to Enterprise customers. The program was “a VIP vacation experience with an extended EV test drive.”
DEO confirmed the EC’s theory that renting an EV can have a substantial positive impact on a consumer’s attitude toward and interest in the technology. Two-thirds of EV renters surveyed indicated that their experience with DEO made them more likely to purchase an EV as their next car. Seventy-five percent of participants rated their overall EV rental and driving experiences with DEO positively. 100% of renters positively rated ease of charging for finding and using charging stations and understanding how to charge their EVs. Nearly all had good experiences with returning the EV to the rental car agency (92% positive ratings) and performance (speed, acceleration, handling, etc.) of the EV (83% positive ratings).
Lessons learned from DEO can serve as a roadmap for rental car companies as they move toward a fully electric transportation future. As rental car companies incorporate EVs into their fleets, they must be proactive in overcoming specific barriers associated with the transition to new technology. Companies must plan for staff training, onsite charging at rental centers, and customer education on EV operation and charging to ensure successful deployment.
New and bolder iterations of the DEO program could greatly benefit the rental car market. The future of transportation is electric. The time is now to prepare for this transition. In September, the EC will attend the ACRA conference in Washington, DC. Join us there to learn more about electrifying the rental car fleet!
ACRA 2022 Annual Meeting – Return Your Proxies If You Can’t Attend
ACRA’s 2022 Annual Meeting will be held on Monday, September 19, 2022 at the Westin Arlington during the ACRA 2022 D.C. Car Rental Conference. All ACRA regular/operator members should have received a proxy ballot from Sharon at ACRA. ACRA members who will not be in D.C. should be sure to return their proxy forms to Sharon so that the Association can move forward with business during its 2022 Annual Meeting.
A Guide to Auto Rental Chargebacks – By Suresh Dakshina, Chargeback Gurus
Part 1: Chargebacks in the Auto Rental Industry — The auto rental industry understands the pain of chargebacks all too well. Rental companies depend on fees and service charges to cover the many expenses they can incur, but customers often don’t want to pay them.
Instead, customers dispute the charges with their bank, sometimes making up false or exaggerated claims to obtain illegitimate chargebacks, a practice known as “friendly fraud.”
Chargebacks that reverse valid, agreed-upon charges deprive rental companies of earned revenue and carry other direct and indirect costs. Understanding the true cost of your chargebacks will help you determine how much you should be investing in a chargeback management strategy, but before you can implement a strategy you need to know what’s really causing your chargebacks. For car rental companies, there are several common scenarios.
Frequent Causes of Auto Rental Chargebacks
- Cancellation, Late Return, and No-Show Fees
It’s not unusual for customers to reserve a vehicle and never show up to collect it. Rental companies can charge fees when customers don’t hold up their end of a rental agreement, but customers will sometimes try to dispute them anyway—even when they paid a deposit or provided their card information for exactly this purpose.
- Damage Repair Charges
When a customer returns a vehicle with damage that wasn’t covered by a collision or loss damage waiver, the rental company can charge them for the repairs. Some customers will try to dispute these charges, often claiming that they weren’t responsible for the damage.
- Fuel or Toll Charges
Per the typical rental agreement, the customer is responsible for paying any tolls incurred while driving the vehicle, and for returning it with the same amount of fuel it had when they received it. Customers who misunderstand these obligations may dispute these charges.
The Costs of Auto Rental Chargebacks
The true cost of a chargeback greatly exceeds the dollar amount of the transaction under dispute. You have to factor in the cost of the goods or services exchanged, including its share of marketing and other overhead expenses. You also have to add in the chargeback fees, which can run from $20 to $100 per chargeback.
Another danger is that too many chargebacks can land you in the credit card networks’ dispute monitoring programs. If your ratio of chargebacks to transactions exceeds 0.9%, they can force you to go through an expensive and cumbersome chargeback remediation program. Acquiring banks and payment processors, who are responsible for carrying out this monitoring and ensuring that their merchants complete these remediation programs, may even eventually terminate your merchant account if you can’t get your chargeback rate back down.
The high cost of chargebacks is why it’s so important to fight and prevent them instead of just treating them as an unavoidable cost of doing business. In the next part of this article, we’ll discuss the best ways to fight back against friendly fraud chargebacks.
ACRA Seeks Seat on U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board
The U.S. Department of Commerce invited ACRA to submit an application to become a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board, which advises Commerce Secretary Raimondo on international and U.S. policies and programs to promote travel and tourism. ACRA’s Board has nominated ACRA’s D.C. Representative, Greg Scott, to be ACRA’s designee on the TTAB. More on this when the Commerce Department announces the new members of the TTAB later this year. (TTAB Letter).
ACRA Membership Activity
Regular New Operator Members:
- 21 Car Rental, Los Angeles, CA
- Carney’s Point Auto Rentals LLC, Penns Grove NJ
- Carzy, Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
- Express Car Rental, Visalia, CA
- Maple Investments Group, LLC, Laurel MD
New Associate Members:
- Automobile Recovery Bureau, Inc., Houston, TX
- Hitachi, Fairfield, CT
- Myle Logistics, Franklin, IN
Renewed Regular Member:
- Kulp Car Rentals, Gilbertsville, PA
Renewed Associate Members:
- HQ Rental Software, Willemstad, Curacao
- Zubie, Bloomington, MN
Another new feature for the ACRA newsletter – classifieds! Please submit classified advertisements to Sharon at ACRA by the 25th of each month to be published in the following ACRA newsletter.
Senior Management Positions
Betterway Rent-A-Car, the largest Budget Car and
Truck Rental licensee in the US operating in 7
major markets, is currently recruiting for senior
management positions in all locations. Interested
candidates should email a note and resume to Jennifer Gelder at firstname.lastname@example.org.