Alison Hopkirk Alison Hopkirk

Avoid hiccups during rebound

Rental car specialist DriveAway says the strong and resurgence of bookings has highlighted both opportunities and challenges for trade and their clients after two years of closed borders.

Alison Hopkirk, NZ business development manager with DriveAway says that commissions on bookings tend to be higher than they were before the pandemic.

‘While demand is high and supply is low, the rates will obviously reflect that. People are also making up for lost time and travelling for longer.’

Hopkirk says that less availability means agents should be making a booking at the time of quoting.

‘This way if a vehicle is available you are locking in the price you are quoting to your customer.  Remember you are not obliged to pay for the booking and if there is a payment deadline it will either auto-cancel, or we will call and chase payment.’

She says there are also some basic, but sometimes easy to forget, steps and processes to follow to make sure a client does not encounter problems which in turn could rebound on the travel advisor.

‘Firstly, New Zealand driver’s licences do expire so double check the client’s licence is still valid when you book their rental car.

‘Secondly, when you book a rental car, you must make the booking in the name of the credit card holder.  If the person named on the rental car booking cannot produce a credit card for the bond in the same name, the supplier will not release the car.  It’s just like an airline ticket, the name must match the PNR – it’s vital that the person on the booking holds a credit card in their name.’

National sales manager Nathan Barber says that whilst DriveAway has always seen strong support from New Zealand agents booking domestic car and motorhome rentals, the big increase in enquiry has obviously been over the past three months – since New Zealand lifted border restrictions.

‘We’ve seen a solid increase in enquiry for collections in Australia, Britain, USA and France. These are followed closely by Italy, Spain, Ireland & Canada,’ he says.

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