lastminute.com Offers Car Rentals

[London, ENGLAND] A day after ebookers.com moved into financial
services, lastminute.com
announced Thursday a new car rental service for its users.

Provided for lastminute.com by leisure car rental broker
Holiday Autos, the
service is now available in the U.K. and will be
rolled-out shortly to France, Germany and Sweden.

Although neither lastminute.com nor Holiday Autos has any
cars of its own, they will put the user in touch with top
rental companies around the world and negotiate what they
claim are the best deals.

“Holiday Autos is exceptionally customer-focused and well
established in the online travel sector. We are extremely
confident that our customers will be delighted with this
new service,” said lastminute.com’s Chief Executive
Brent Hoberman.

Clive Jacobs, chairman and chief executive of Holiday Autos,
said that his company already had a late deals offering —
and that was one reason why a partnership with Europe’s
foremost late deals retailer made sense.

“Our aim is to provide a premiere service to customers by
finding them the absolute best deal available and our
consumer-champion approach was an extremely appealing
proposition for lastminute.com,” said Jacobs.

Online since January 1999, Holiday Autos can broker
car rentals at 4,000 locations worldwide and has access
to 0.7 million cars. It offers all-in deals that include
insurance without excess and a price match guarantee.

Like most of the big e-commerce sites, lastminute.com
continues to add more products and services, not all of
them travel-related. In fact, the firm reveals that in
the last quarter (to June) 47 percent of the goods it
sold were non-travel related.

With sites like Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk and ebookers.com
branching out in all directions, it is possible that Internet
retailing will eventually become dominated by a few
online department stores offering everything from
travel and luxury goods to mortgages and insurance.

The move by lastminute.com into car rental is one more
step in that direction.

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