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kylieh
10-20-2009, 12:24 AM
Hi - quick question about car hire. We're umming and ahhing about hiring a car. Who have you used. All the rates look good until you say "international."

I'm thinking of sticking with either Hertz (we're Gold Club) or Avis. But I'm wondering if there is a better option.

Who have you used for car hire? Have any of you had an insurance incident with the car and what was the end result?:eek:

queenie82
10-20-2009, 01:22 AM
We have used National, Hertz and Alamo.
We were going to use Avis once but they stuffed us around so we went with National.
I prefer National and their "row" system. You just go to the "mini van" (or whatever car type you are getting) row and pick out the one you want. It means you can get a cleaner one with less miles etc.

Alamo is also good. Hertz was ok but the car return was a bit of a hassle.

We have never had an insurance incident...so I can't report on that...but we always get the quote online and add all the relevant insurances so we know what we are paying and don't get the "do you want to add this" hassle at the desk.

I don't know if it is the case with all of them but with National in LA you can have as many drivers as you want for free. Orlando they charge extra.

Andona
10-20-2009, 02:47 AM
We've used Alamo, Avis, Hertz and Dollar.

The only dud car we've had was with Dollar in Orlando - won't go with them again. They also were the only ones who really tried to pressure us into taking extra insurance at the counter.

One thing we did this time was book a "standard" car and then upgrade at the counter to an SUV - the rate was much better than booking the SUV in advance. Of course, you have no guarantee that an upgrade will be available but at a big airport they usually have a stack of cars available.

We only got to pick our own car from the row once this trip ( in Denver) and that was with Alamo.

We've returned Hertz and Avis cars at LAX and found the return was quick and seamless each time.

I compare the online prices of Expedia, the rental companies own sites and holidayautos.com and just take the cheapest options.

Andona

SnowWhite09
10-20-2009, 05:15 AM
We have used National, Hertz and Alamo.
We were going to use Avis once but they stuffed us around so we went with National.
I prefer National and their "row" system. You just go to the "mini van" (or whatever car type you are getting) row and pick out the one you want. It means you can get a cleaner one with less miles etc.

Alamo is also good. Hertz was ok but the car return was a bit of a hassle.

We have never had an insurance incident...so I can't report on that...but we always get the quote online and add all the relevant insurances so we know what we are paying and don't get the "do you want to add this" hassle at the desk.

I don't know if it is the case with all of them but with National in LA you can have as many drivers as you want for free. Orlando they charge extra.

We also used National for our recent trip and found them to be really good. Price was excellent and the insurance was included in their quote upfront. When you get to LA a bus picks you up and takes you to pick up your car and you choose whatever car you like from the area in which you have booked - Economy, Compact, SUV etc. Drop off was really easy as well and then you take the bus to the airport.

rossip
10-20-2009, 05:15 AM
We had bad experiences with National and would never use them again under any circs

awesomebrownfamily
10-20-2009, 05:32 AM
We had bad experiences with National and would never use them again under any circs

That's no good.....an isolated incident I hope as that's who we've booked with for our upcomming trip

shushh
10-20-2009, 05:36 AM
rossip, please expand! Would be interested to hear what went wrong.

Also considering car rental (well, probably more accurate to say "buses") for our trip to Orlando in Dec 2010/Jan 2011.

Has anyone hired a vehicle for serious people moving? eg a 12 seater or 16 seater?

queenie82
10-20-2009, 05:09 PM
We had bad experiences with National and would never use them again under any circs
I'd love an expansion on that as well. We have hired from National 3 times now from LAX and never had any problems.

disneymum2201
10-20-2009, 06:28 PM
We have used Hertz once from LAX and a day car hire once from one of the Hotels on Harbour Bld. At Hertz they tried to upsell the car when we got there they were really pushy to buy extra insurance. I was annoyed as I had researched and was comfortable with our car choice. As far as insurance goes I have always relied on the coverave from the travel insurance. You can buy extra coverage to cover the rental car excess. We drove down to Legoland for the day. One thing I recommend is a GPS. Its so much easier to drive on the wrong side of the road if your not worried about taking a wrong turn. Lots of times we have missed turns and the GPS always navigates you back.

rossip
10-20-2009, 09:56 PM
I'd love an expansion on that as well. We have hired from National 3 times now from LAX and never had any problems.

Ok in brief

Booked prior to departue from Aust , booked GPS

Went to Anaheim office - waited 1 hour 45 mins because they was only 1 staff member on -No car ready , No GPS in stock , had to return the next day to pick a GPS up and as we wanted to get away early the next day to go to Palm Springs/Cabazon etc this was an inconvenience .

Got in the car the next morning at 7.00 and the kids said there's blood all over the seat and roof , sure enough was blood splatter all over the rear passenger seat and the roof - didn't notice it the night before because as I said they didnt have a car ready and had to wait for one to be detailed (??) and also it was dark when I left the lot and I quickly got out of there as my wife and kids had been waiting so long for me as they had no idea where I was . General state of the car was filthy too with coffee stains etc .

Fair dinkum the car looked like a CSI crime scene ! It wasn't just a couple of spots it was a large amount and it was all over the inside roof and rear of the passenger seat .

So took it back to National , saw the manager , who denied it was blood , said it was oil !!! It was so obviously blood . Either way it should not have been released that dirty , she quickly swapped the car over .

When I took the car back a few days later I saw the original clerk who said they took the original car away straight away on the back of a truck !!!!

So that was Anaheim

Foolishly and without thinking in Hawaii we used National again to drive to Pearl harbour and the North Shore , in Hawaii they pick you up and take you to the lot to pick your car up . We arranged to be picked up at 7.00 - well at 7.30 I rang them and was finally picked up at 7.55 , when I got to the office i was a bit annoyed and said so , when I walked out of the office the 2 clerks at the desk were laughing at me , I returned and said I dont appreciate being laughed at and you should have seen the sheepish look on their faces .

So that was our experiences with National car rental !

queenie82
10-20-2009, 10:53 PM
I'm soo so sorry that happened rossip. That just ISN'T on....
I really do understand your feelings now and I probably wouldn't use a company I experienced that with either. Just like I won't stay at BWPPI again no matter what anyone says.
I have never had that kind of experience ANYWHERE. Even our experience with Venice car hire Hertz where we were waiting in the SNOW for an hour at least the car was really nice.

This is the advantage of hiring from the Airport when you arrive I guess. If you are having problems you can just walk over to the next counter. And they have a much bigger stock of everything in the first place. Other than NYC we have always hired at an airport...and NY was actually quite funny. We walked from our hotel, went in, checked in and sorted everything and when we walked out there was our car waiting for us. It had just emerged from a garage in the middle of NYC.

On that note I will say sometimes who we book with depends on their location. More and more car rentals are moving off site from the airport. If they are still on site we might pick them over another....but I will only ever go with National, Alamo or Hertz. (in that order of preference). I'm yet to hear a positive story about Dollar.

shushh
10-21-2009, 04:42 AM
Rossip, that is horrendous. I am sorry to hear that it happened to you. It really isn't what you want your family, in particular, your children to be exposed to. Especially during your holidays!

I asked about your experience because National was one of the few companies that I could get quotes for a 16 seater.

rossip
10-21-2009, 06:52 PM
Rossip, that is horrendous. I am sorry to hear that it happened to you. It really isn't what you want your family, in particular, your children to be exposed to. Especially during your holidays!

I asked about your experience because National was one of the few companies that I could get quotes for a 16 seater.

All in all we lost about 3-4 hours of time so in the overall scheme it wasn't that bad.

It was exceptionally poor on National's behalf and I have written to them asking for a refund , not sure how that will go .

We joked about the car the remainder of the trip calling it the "Murder car' !! , not that it was really a laughing matter

gogo65
10-22-2009, 12:31 AM
I try to use Avis where ever possible and have no problems with them.
My husband gets a corporate discount through his work
We have used them twice in the USA and both times received a free upgrade.

A few years ago my parents were involved in a tragic accident in a minibus they hired through Avis. Sadly 2 of there friends were killed instantly and the other 6 of them were all injured, AVIS were outstanding through the whole incident. Of course on top of all the grief they did not any further problems with the hire company and Avis were amazing, they refunded all money in full, they contacted my father a few times to see if they could help in any way. They had a representative go and collect all their belongings and returned them back to them when they were discharged from hospital. This was in Australia not overseas, but I will now always try to use and recommend Avis due to the extraordinary lengths they went to.

kylieh
10-23-2009, 01:03 AM
Wow - Rossip, that's really bad. Turned me off National altogether. So right now I'm thinking of sticking with either Hertz or Avis. Not that we're going for a while :lmao: But sometimes I think of things out of the blue.

Gogo65 - That sounds like a horrible accident. I'm glad that Avis were good to your parents at such a hard time.

However, just been to Melbourne for a few days and we hired a car. Please someone tell me that driving in the US is easier than Melbourne! We had the GPS of course, but I still struggled with the trams :rotfl2:

keptwoman
10-23-2009, 01:12 AM
Wow Rossip, that sucked!!! I definitely think you should get a refund, blood in the car is DISGUSTING!!

We used National 3 times this last trip, pick ups in New York City, LAX and Anaheim. All 3 hires went great, quick and efficient pick up, clean cars and easy drop offs. I love the way you pick a car from the row at LAX, brilliant!!

Last hire I think we used Hertz and Avis and they were fine, but National was sooooo much cheaper when I quoted for this trip. Probably didn't check National for the last one.

hjd0411
10-26-2009, 12:38 AM
I have hired cars from Hertz and Alamo. Hertz I booked through Qantas Holidays, and Alamo through Global Cars here in Australia.
I never had any trouble with either - both cars were great and I would use either again.
That said when I go next year I will probably use Global Cars again - but with both companies I like the fact that I paid in AUD and it included all taxes etc so I didn't have to pay anything at the counter in Orlando.
By the way - driving in Orlando is quite OK - I didn't encounter any problems - and I won't rent a car in Melbourne!!!!! Those trams and odd turns confuse the life out of me..!!

platypus67
10-26-2009, 06:31 PM
We like National. I've tried to do a quote for next year but at the moment can only do until October 2010. We will most likely do WDW next year so will want to pick up in Florida and drop off in New York. National has a drop off fee of only 250.00 compared to other companies at 500.00. When we did the same journey in 2007 it cost us around 1500.00 AUD. (5 1/2 weeks) A quote for the same time frame this year is around 1900.00AUD. A little more but that icludes purchasing additional optional insurance. (last time it was all inclusive)
Last rental we got a new car with only around 150 miles on it. I'm sure this was just luck, but we certainly had a good experience with them.

kylieh
10-28-2009, 12:10 AM
Thanks everyone for the info. I started looking today properly for a car to hire. We're not fully sure yet.

We're spending the first three nights at Universal Studios so we won't need the car, and taking a personal tour. We'll fly from Burbank to LV with Southwest, spend 4 nights at LV then.... well we haven't decided.

Because it's a one way rental we have a drop off fee. Not as bad as I expected but with this and that it soon adds up.

Maybe because I get a 15% discount with work, but with drop off fees, LDW, taxes etc Hertz comes in slightly cheaper than National. But even so a 4WD we're at US$700 for a week.

So now we're in a quandry of flying back to Orange County Airport, town car to DLH, tour to Sea World, cabs to a shopping centre, and my costing is about the same. And then not the stress of driving on the other side :scared1:

But part of me would like to do a little Route 66 on the drive between LD and DL. Aaah, decisions decisions.


PS - Southwest was roughly US$240 for the 4 of us Burbank to LV, and it's the same price LV to Orange County Airport, including 2 bags each. www.southwest.com

Goopy
11-01-2009, 05:00 PM
Please someone tell me that driving in the US is easier than Melbourne! We had the GPS of course, but I still struggled with the trams :rotfl2:

I've driven in Melbourne and Its certainly no worse driving around here (Orlando) Lots of traffic on I-4 but other than that its very easy to get around and almost all roads take you to Disney, even if you miss a turn the chances are 2 minutes down the road there will be another Disney exit that will take you towards any of the parks.

Well just disregard that info, I see your going to DL :)

Dommiekazommie
11-27-2009, 05:48 AM
Lol! You think driving in Melbourne is hard? I lived in Sydney for 6 months last year and man was that complicated! Lanes that suddenly turned into left turn only lanes. Strips in the middle of roads so you can't turn. Lights with white stop signs, one way streets. Confused the heck out of me! Give me roads with trams and hook turns anyday! That being said I'm way to scared to hire a car stateside! I'm scared in a cab going on the "wrong" side of the road!

kylieh
11-27-2009, 01:58 PM
Well I've booked flying both ways now - Burbank to LV, then LV to Orange County Airport. We decided against driving as we just weren't too sure and we thought about whoelse would be in the car and how it may stress them :rotfl::rotfl:
DH and I thought that if we wanted a car then in Anaheim we'll pop down to Avis/Hertz/whoever and book a car for a day or two then.

PrincessInOz
02-10-2010, 05:49 AM
We tend to use Hertz in US, as my husband has a corporate deal with them. However, I just priced out a 1 week car hire in Florida and Alamo turned out to be the cheapest. We're picking up a standard size car with 2 registered drivers, complete with all CDW for US$400. We're driving from Miami down to Orlando (and will try to get to Melbourne Florida). The sweetener was that we can drop off the Alamo (or National) on-site at the Swan and Dolphin hotel in the WDW resort. We don't have to worry about having to catch a taxi back to our resort.

Mellby
02-18-2010, 04:52 AM
I've used Alamo and couple of times, no problem at all. Also used National while in LA last year. I'm pretty sure they are owned by the same company, however I was much happier with Alamo's service and cars than National. Beware of hidden costs of returning the car to LAX if that is your drop off point.

queenie82
02-18-2010, 05:45 AM
We tend to use Hertz in US, as my husband has a corporate deal with them. However, I just priced out a 1 week car hire in Florida and Alamo turned out to be the cheapest. We're picking up a standard size car with 2 registered drivers, complete with all CDW for US$400. We're driving from Miami down to Orlando (and will try to get to Melbourne Florida). The sweetener was that we can drop off the Alamo (or National) on-site at the Swan and Dolphin hotel in the WDW resort. We don't have to worry about having to catch a taxi back to our resort.
We hired National for a few weeks in December from MCO and got a great car.
It is always BEST to pick up at the airport depot as they have the BIGGEST range of cars to pick from in the row. We got a like new car with only a few thousand miles on it.

The link with Alamo is great though as we could stop in to the Alamo at the Disney car care centre (just past the gate for MK) and drop the car off there before getting a shuttle back to where we were getting Magical Express from.

I did the drive from Orlando DOWN to Miami and back and it isn't too bad. It is rather boring...it is SOOOO flat...but there are outlets to pull into along the way. And the roads are actually pretty smooth surfaces! Something not found in Sydney.

PrincessInOz
02-18-2010, 06:18 AM
It is rather boring...it is SOOOO flat...but there are outlets to pull into along the way. And the roads are actually pretty smooth surfaces! Something not found in Sydney.

The last time, we actually drove from Mile Marker 0 down in Key West all the way up to Orlando. You're right - it's flat and I finally understand why the Everglades are called a "swamp". We love driving in the US but not looking forward to the tolls in Florida.

queenie82
02-18-2010, 11:49 PM
The last time, we actually drove from Mile Marker 0 down in Key West all the way up to Orlando. You're right - it's flat and I finally understand why the Everglades are called a "swamp". We love driving in the US but not looking forward to the tolls in Florida.
We also drove down to Key West on the same trip...never again...so disappointing. :headache::headache: And yes it is literally swamp the whole way.......non stop swamp....
I was nearly falling asleep as you went through these tiny towns...and Key West takes tacky to a whole new level. Got a nice shot glass from Hard Rock though...

I actually don't mind driving in the US either. Once you get the hang of it (and stop driving in the gutter) the roads are sOOOOO much better than ours it was just fine to drive in. I even did the drive from Disneyland to LAX at night in the freeway traffic in good time :thumbsup2
The roads in Florida are really good and I don't begrudge the tolls one bit because you are paying for GOOD roads.

Oz-kateer
02-24-2010, 05:09 AM
We tend to use Hertz in US, as my husband has a corporate deal with them. However, I just priced out a 1 week car hire in Florida and Alamo turned out to be the cheapest. We're picking up a standard size car with 2 registered drivers, complete with all CDW for US$400. We're driving from Miami down to Orlando (and will try to get to Melbourne Florida). The sweetener was that we can drop off the Alamo (or National) on-site at the Swan and Dolphin hotel in the WDW resort. We don't have to worry about having to catch a taxi back to our resort.

Princess - I know you're at the Dolphin but just as an aside if you ever pickup/return National or Alamo cars at WDW, don't get suckered into paying for cabs, they will shuttle you between any Disney resort hotel and the two car rental hotspots - Disney Car Care and the Dolphin Resort. If you're picking up a car your hotel concierge can arrange, if you're dropping off the rental clerk can assist.

PrincessInOz
02-24-2010, 06:01 AM
Thanks Ozkateer. Didn't mean to imply that we would catch a cab to our hotel. :sad2: We would either walk to Epcot for more park time or use the ME to get back to resorts.

Mellby
03-02-2010, 06:01 PM
Please delete. Sorry

Mellby
03-05-2010, 04:59 AM
Whereabouts it the car depot for National in Anaheim?

I'm picking a car up in Burbank and dropping it off as I'll be meeting up with my brothers and they will already have a car....

PrincessInOz
03-05-2010, 05:08 AM
I think this is on Katella, near the Desert Palms Suites...anyone know for sure?

SnowWhite09
03-05-2010, 05:33 AM
PrincessinOz, I'm pretty sure you're right and that National Car is on West Katella. :goodvibes

Mellby
03-05-2010, 05:34 AM
I think this is on Katella, near the Desert Palms Suites...anyone know for sure?

Thankyou. If I was smart, I'd just go to their site and look it up. ;)

PrincessInOz
03-05-2010, 05:50 AM
Thankyou. If I was smart, I'd just go to their site and look it up. ;)

Well, I think you were pretty smart to post the question instead of having to go on site and look it up :):surfweb:

Mellby
03-06-2010, 05:18 AM
Thanks everyone. :thumbsup2

johnnashdown
04-06-2011, 05:57 PM
If you want to save some money, do not rent a car at the airport site. The airport will increase your costs. This is due to taxes and fees, airport charges, car rental companies. These costs be passed on to you. Car rental prices will likely than other places.Rent a car. But, you must be careful where you actually rent the car from. The location that you do rent from could make a substantial difference in the cost.

platypus67
04-07-2011, 06:27 PM
We have used National since 2007 and as yet haven't had a problem. First rental was in Florida in 2007 free upgrade to a slightly larger car. Still had the new car smell with only 100 miles on the odometre. Total cost with all insurance around $1900.00 for six weeks including one way and we dropped it off in Syracuse NY.
Second rental was one week in Florida last year. Not a great car, but hey we only wanted to get from Point A to point B. It was an older model but was clean and comfortable.
Third rental was last year as well. They were fantastic. We made several last minute changes due to getting stuck at airports due to bad weather and they were very helpful each time. We got a nice car with reasonably low mileage and in the end we paid about $150.00 less than the original quote on booking. When we eventually arrived at the airport didn't have a car waiting as we had played it safe and booked for the next day and they once again changed our booking without hassel.
I like national because they have the best rate for a one way rental which we use quite often.
I always know the full charges up front as insurances are included in the quote.
They have always been much cheaper than any of the other companies including Alamo which as far as I know is owned by the same company.
Maybe we've just been lucky, but I will continue to use them as long as I get the service I've had in the past.

jacckpeter
04-18-2011, 07:56 PM
Car rental companies had to adjust to the challenging times, and come up with new marketing strategies, stay in the game, all in the need to protect their brands .. Avis, Budget, Eurocar firms.

Lulu83
04-21-2011, 08:55 AM
We rented a car from Dollar LAX in December (actually we rented two - one at the start of our trip, then we flew to the east coast, and then a second one at the end of our trip specifically to drive to and from Anaheim) and didn't have any problems at all. Was easy to catch the shuttle from the airport to the depot, weren't pressured too much to upgrade anything, cars were all in good condition and had no wait dropping off or picking up either time.

We booked through our travel agent and she got us a good deal. We also dropped the first car off at San Francisco and didn't have to pay too much extra for that.