Car Rental: January 2007

Golfing in Italy

Avis Reportedly to Introduce WiFi
Autonet Mobile is reportedly going to supply Avis Rent-A-Car with WiFi hotspot technology for rental vehicles that will cost customers $10.95 a day to use. Avis has not yet officially announced the agreement but says it will issue a statement soon.

The technology is a portable router device that will retail for $399 plus $49 a month for those who buy it outright, Autonet Mobile said.

The company unveiled its system at the CES International 2007 conference in Las Vegas this week, calling it “the first always-on broadband Internet service for cars.

It plugs into a vehicle’s power supply and hooks up notebook computers and PDAs to high-speed Internet. Autonet’s WiFi is expected to work in all major cities and 95 percent of the rest of the United States, the company said.

It added that the service is meant for passengers to use, not drivers, unless they’re parked.

Hertz Expands PlatePass
Hertz has expanded PlatePass, an electronic toll payment system that allows renters to bypass back-ups at cash toll lanes, first introduced in the New York metropolitan area, Boston, Atlantic City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The PlatePass program enables customers to utilize “E-Z Pass” lanes through rentals of E-Z Pass toll tags.

E-Z Pass is accepted on major toll roads throughout the Northeast corridor, from Virginia to Maine, including the Chesapeake Expressway in Virginia, the Pennsylvania Turnpike, New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway and New Jersey Turnpike; the New York State Thruway, all toll bridges and tunnels into Manhattan, the Massachusetts Turnpike, the Maine Turnpike and the Illinois Tollway.