The Hertz Corp. launched a low-cost car rental company called Simply Wheelz designed specifically for price-sensitive leisure renters.

The first rental location will open on Sept. 1 at Orlando International Airport, Hertz said. The company began accepting reservations on Aug. 1 at its Web site, www.simplywheelz.com, and by phone, at (888) 999-9078.

Simply Wheelz features car rental rates starting from $15 a day on weekends to $94 a week.

"More than 60% of the leisure car rental market is booked online today, and many online shoppers focus heavily on price," said Mark Frissora, chairman and CEO of Hertz in a statement. "Simply Wheelz allows the Hertz Corp. to effectively tap into that market."

Hertz spokeswoman Paula Rivera told TravelWeekly.com that Simply Wheelz is able to offer lower rates relative to Hertz "because we dont offer all of the products and services" available to Hertz customers such as reserving specific cars by make and model.

Also, Hertz #1 Club and #1 Club Gold services and benefits are not available to Simply Wheelz renters.

In contrast, Simply Wheelz locations will be highly automated, with renters using self-service kiosks to book and return vehicles.

Additionally, Simply Wheelz only offers customers a choice of eight types of vehicles including cars from Chevrolet, Chrysler, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota.

Rivera said Hertz is considering opening other Simply Wheelz locations, but declined to comment on possible locations or the number of locations being considered.

However, Rivera said, it is likely that future Simply Wheelz locations will be in airports.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Michael Milligan at [email protected].

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