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Old 10-20-2009, 12:24 AM   #1
kylieh
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Car Hire

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?
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Old 10-20-2009, 01:22 AM   #2
queenie82
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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.
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Old 10-20-2009, 02:47 AM   #3
Andona
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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.

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Old 10-20-2009, 05:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
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.
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:15 AM   #5
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We had bad experiences with National and would never use them again under any circs
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:32 AM   #6
awesomebrownfamily
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossip View Post
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
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:36 AM   #7
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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?
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Old 10-20-2009, 05:09 PM   #8
queenie82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossip View Post
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.
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Old 10-20-2009, 06:28 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 10-20-2009, 09:56 PM   #10
rossip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queenie82 View Post
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 !

Last edited by rossip; 10-20-2009 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:53 PM   #11
queenie82
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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.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:42 AM   #12
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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.
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Old 10-21-2009, 06:52 PM   #13
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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
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Old 10-22-2009, 12:31 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 10-23-2009, 01:03 AM   #15
kylieh
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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 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
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