When is carsharing not carsharing? When its Thrifty's "hourly rental"

I suppose the best thing that Thrifty Car Rental's new "Hourly Rentals" deal has going for it is that it sort of bridges the divide between flat-out renting a car for the day and belonging to a carsharing service. Thrifty's new service, which started yesterday at two Manhattan Locations, isn't as cheap per hour as most carshares, but you don't need to pay a membership fee. And, um, the cars aren't parked in neighborhoods but at two Thrifty Car Rental locations. Also, hours are limited (cars are available by the hour between 2 p.m. on Sunday until 10 p.m. on Thursday) and even the name hourly is misleading: the price is $19 for every two hours.
Oh, and don't forget this part: "Base rates do not include taxes, surcharges, underage or additional driver fees or optional purchases like LDW or SLI. Other limitations may apply." Indeed.

Add all that together, and you'll see why the first paragraph of the press release the explains this new service (read it after the break) is the most craptacular bit of hyperbole I've read in a long time. Seriously terrible.

[Source: Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc.]
Thrifty Car Rental Launches Hourly Rentals at Manhattan Locations

NEW YORK, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Thrifty Car Rental, a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTG) , raises a torch in the name of freedom with the launch of hourly rentals at its two Manhattan stores. Lady Liberty is dancing in the streets with the announcement that New Yorkers have been freed from the oppression of congested public transit and rigid schedules.

Effective immediately, Thrifty Car Rental customers may experience the freedom of hourly rentals at its 148 W. 83rd Street and 234 E. 85th Street locations. Hourly rentals are available Sunday (2 p.m.) through Thursday (10 p.m.) at a special rate of $19 for every two hours, or $60 maximum per day. Customers have their choice of an economy, compact, mid-size or full-size vehicle, all at the same low rate.

Time Base Rate
2 hours $19
4 hours $38
6 hours $57
Over 6 hours *$60 max. base rate per day

* Base rates do not include taxes, surcharges, underage or additional driver fees or optional purchases like LDW or SLI. Other limitations may apply.

"We want to enable New Yorkers to experience travel at their own speed and on their own schedule," said Keith Adams, Sales and Marketing Manager for Thrifty Car Rental in New York City. "Although New York has the greatest mass transit system in the world, there comes a time when a personal vehicle is the only way to go, whether it's for a quick day trip or running multiple errands. We think hourly rentals at Thrifty are going to help our customers with their need for more flexibility."

A limited number of vehicles are available at this promotional rate at participating locations in Manhattan. Vehicles on hourly rates can be returned to any Thrifty Car Rental location in Manhattan only, at no extra charge. Taxes, surcharges, underage or additional driver fees or optional purchases like LDW or SLI are not included in the base rate. This offer is available now through December 31, 2007. Some additional charges, restrictions and blackout dates may apply.

Visit http://www.thrifty.com/specials/hour1.aspx to book an hourly rental with Thrifty in Manhattan or call 1-800-THRIFTY.

Thrifty Car Rental is a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., a Fortune 1000 Company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together with its corporately-owned locations and those of its franchise owners, the Thrifty Car Rental brand serves value-conscious travelers from more than 1,028 locations in 68 countries. For additional information, visit http://www.dtag.com/ or http://www.thrifty.com/.

Share This Photo X