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Rental Car Experiences?

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,168
    Picked lowest level car, but got free upgrade to the Emerald Aisle. Chose a new KIA Optima. Not a bad car. About 31 mpg on way down here to Louisville, today. (75-80 mph).

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    Nice price for a standard/fullsize car. How many miles were on it?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,168
    9XXX miles..

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    The MB dealer where I just bought a car uses an Enterprise fleet for loaners. All C-class and GLK. I saw about 10 of them hanging around the shop area today.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    Nice, and great price.

    I am thinking next time I rent, I might just do it standard to sample a Fusion or Optima etc.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 Wilmington, NCPosts: 377
    We're doing a New England trip around Memorial Day, I wish Sixt had a location in Boston as we got cheap flights and hotels are free thanks to points so I'd gladly pay a little more for a nice car. Right now the car is free too but may see what they can upgrade to if National has anything interesting when we get there.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    Free is worth it. I participated in an online survey program and now have like 2500 Hertz points, which I think is about enough for a free week. Eventually I will use it, even though it has been many years since I have used the company.

    National and Alamo both allow you to choose cars - I think a couple others do now, too. I think Sixt is at MIA and area, FLL, MCO, ATL, PHX, SEA, for the US. They are trying to expand, but it takes time and money.
  • jpp5862jpp5862 Wilmington, NCPosts: 377
    Free is definitely worth it, but since the overall trip is cheap I wouldn't mind splurging if it meant something like your deal in FLL last year. I consistently rent from National and am part of the Executive Elite, which is nice and I definitely like being able to choose the car but it is rare you get a "premium" car even at their top loyalty tier. It's still a nice upgrade but you don't get any of the real fun stuff.

    I rented from hertz from years but never really liked them. Even when I had status with them I was still relegated to a base corolla way too often and they considered a Taurus wagon a nice upgrade. So while National may not put premium cars in the emerald lane at least I can choose if I want a Prius, a Legacy, an Avalon or an Escape. I even got a Chevy Silverado a couple of weeks ago. It was absolutely horrible, but at least it was fun getting to pick.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    My sister just got a fly/drive reserved for April back to England. The rental will be through Hertz, which she's not happy about after a lousy experience with them a few years ago. But the price was okay.

    She was excited about the car though - said even though she went cheap, they said she'd get a MINI. I popped her balloon when I told her they probably meant a subcompact. :shades:

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    I have no status other than Sixt "gold", which is nothing. I don't travel enough. I remember I rented from Alamo in ATL, reserved premium, was offered an iffy looking Town Car or a Grand Marquis with the wipers parked up. I rejected, agent laughed and understood, said I could walk over to National and choose. They had no premiums, and the only luxury was an STS with no keys. I tried to get a loaded Grand Cherokee, but the agent said it would cost more, so I passed. I waited for cars to come in to the Emerald Aisle (this was around 0700 - had no competition) - almost chose a loaded Taurus Limited, but it smelled funny. Ended up with an immaculate Buick Regal, which was a nice drive, and was technically PCAR. No complaints.

    I might take a week in California this year, where I will use my Hertz points - I think I can get up to "premium" with them, which is my usual category. Most of the time I have rented, Hertz prices are steep and the fleet is nothing special. The Avalon you mention should be "premium" too - I'd be happy to have one as a rental. Dull, but comfy for long drives.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    What category did she rent? Could end up with a Mini - it is not considered to be anything special there.

    Reserve a "full size" category with Sixt in Germany, and chances are you will get a C or 3er - as they are ordinary cars there.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,275
    Does she drive stick? Otherwise, make sure she has "automatic" on her car reservation. Even then, they like to drop the line on tourists they finger as saps that they are out of automatics and it will be a several hour wait. However, if you're persistent and just hang politely in their face, an auto usually turns up in about 20 minutes. Some Brits like to think we're still their colony :D
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    Category Fin? Who knows (you'd have to know my sister to understand. :shades: )

    However, ditziness aside, she can drive stick and has owned a few (MGB, some Honda). The last trip over she got an automatic though and did prefer it. Most of the times before that she's wound up with sticks.

    (I use the term "drive" loosely).

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    You know, like "compact" or "intermediate". I don't think there is a "mini" category.

    First time I rented a car in Germany, I reserved automatic, they tried to give me a stick. I was about to take it, but Stuttgart can be hilly, and I didn't want to deal with an unfamiliar car (it was a Citroen) on unfamiliar roads. So they gave me an E-class, which I gladly took.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    edited February 2013
    Hertz UK lists a Mini category. A Kia Picanto or similar. No MINIs, naturally.

    When she complains, I'll tell her it was designed by the same guy who did the Audi TT. :)

    Good idea on the upgrade. Maybe I'll suggest that she wear a sling to the rental counter. Knowing my sister, she'd put it on her right arm though.

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    She's renting through Hertz? Booking the cheapest car in some countries might be an eye-opener - they get cheaper models than anything seen here.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    edited February 2013
    It's a fly/drive deal through a travel agent. The airline is United, which has a long association with Hertz.

    Neither ourfit has ever especially impressed me, but she's a UAL retiree and really a brand snob, so I don't say much. (I did tell her about the sandwich I got on one UAL flight that already had a bite taken out of it. :shades: ).

    Last time she did use some "cheapo" outfit and had a great experience with them. She's too impatient to take a chance on her pass privileges, and she's been stuck at Heathrow for a couple of days before trying to get home. So there's another $1,000 she's blowing; guess I should tell her for what'd she'd save flying standby, she could rent a high end Mercedes and just sleep in it if she gets bumped coming home.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 34,333
    Flying standby...that would be an adventure, if you have no time pressures.

    Sometimes reserving a low car and ordering nav will get you upgraded to a higher car with integrated nav.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    edited February 2013
    I've done standby domestically on her passes before and it's never been much of an issue. As long as I can get wifi somewhere I'm happy. I do know that the marble floors in the Minneapolis airport are cold and uncomfortable. The benches in Seattle are better. One airport escapes me, but quite a few of us found an empty terminal with rows of padded seats that had no armrests one night. I was in dreamland until they rousted everyone at 2 am to clean it. :sick:

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,168
    Our company has interline priveleges for stand-by flights at a discount, but it just isn't worth it to me, any more... Planes are so much fulller than they used to be, and getting on is harder....

    I will take a bump for a $400 voucher, if the opportunity arises, however...

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    Me too, but I always lose those races to the counter.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,168
    Got the wife and son bumped in Phoenix for $400 each. I stuck with the scheduled itinerary, and they beat me home by 6 hours. That's my best success story.

    The funny part? All three tickets were only $605 total, r/t. That's right. They paid me to fly to Phoenix. :P

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    edited February 2013
    lol, you dog. :D I never score anything like that.

    With the sequestration hitting in April now, I'm already worrying that the TSA or ATC workers will get furloughed, airports will get crazy and we won't make our flights. But we'll be "stuck" in Chicago with our car so it could be worse. Won't have to fight others trying to grab a rental to drive home.

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  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 31,168
    I'll have to start watching CSPAN.. :blush:

    I thought that started in March?

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,960
    I guess the law requires 30 days notice before they can furlough anyone.

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,670
    I always wanted the offer, but the only time seemed to be when I was going on business and couldn't take it.

    Once though, was taking the family (4 of us) to Orlando, and they overbooked. Well, we ended up being the ones that did not get seat assignments in advance, so at the gate, we got shut out.

    So, they booked us on a later flight (we were going to Disney, but flying down at dinner time, so just planning to hotel that night anyway). and to make up for their screw up, we got vouchers for tickets anywhere in the country. Plus dinner chit so we ate at the Friday's.

    Ended up getting in at around 1:00 AM instead of 9:00PM, so really lost nothing important (just a little sleep!) but got free dinner, and later on free round trip tickets to San Francisco from Philly. SO heck yeah, it was a good deal for us!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,670
    they already gave it,. I have a friend that is civilian with the DOD and she has been complaining about it for a while. Really ticked off too, since it will impact her pending retirement calculation!

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,815
    I liked the Optima's that I have driven lot to lot. Just can't wait to get one for a longer trip to really check it out. Personally, I'm liking Hyundai/Kia products more and more with each new arrival...they are checking all my boxes and remind me of the old Honda corp when they kept producing winners and cared about their customers unlike the Honda of today who've lost their way and don't seem to give a rat's [non-permissible content removed] anymore about customer satisfaction. I know that there will be no Honda products in our house again and plan to give Hyundai/Kia a shot at my next vehicle unless I do go the premium entry level lux cpo route which is a distinct possiblity.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,815
    Sixt is also at West Palm airport but off site. We moved 10 cars for them last Friday at 6 p m...there were 5 of us and we did two trips each and finished at 11:30 which was pretty good considering the traffic into and out of Miami on I-95 during rush hour. The 2nd trip was so much easier and timely and the Sixt location was in a strip mall just off Belvedere Rd. Pretty quick to get to and they have a shuttle to get one door to door. Love that Sixt has C and E classes plus GLK's and since we are doing more work for them, the chances of me driving some of these are increased hopefully. Their system is a bit weird with them needing our licenses and actually renting the cars to us...strange really. All the other companies just let us choose without all the paperwork...the boss has it on his paperwork only. There are 3 differnt teams and I'm glad I got the team I did...we all seem to work together well and watch out for each other. Now that we know who likes what, we all make sure, if we can, that we get to drive our preferences and the boss seems to look the other way. All he wants us to do is find a vehicle with a full tank and no other bodywork problems. We have found a rhythm and it works now. It's just that he has too many people and he needs to use everybody so I can no longer work daily if there is work. Seems like this weekend there was none...and that does happen from time to time. But I miss not working actually and was a bit bored today at home.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,815
    Good chance we'll be flying into Milwaukee to see my boy in October instead of Chicago. Is that a bad airport? I found Midway to work pretty well for us even though O'Hare was closer to our destination. I prefer Southwest and they only go into Midway. Milwaukee should work out o k also, I hope, and it isn't to far from Chicago I've heard as we're going there for a few days also to visit family. Plan to book travel by the end of May or middle of June so that should give us plenty of time to get a good deal as who really flies in October mid week...we plan to go from a Wednesday through a Tuesday at this point as the kid is off on weekends so we can spend time with him. Want to see where he works , lives etc. and see his life there. His lady is in Chicago and I hear he spends weekends down with her at her place. Have never met her yet so am excited to finally get the opportunity to meet his love as I think they plan to marry quietly and then spring it on the families...he's so private that I wouldn't be surprised if they do do this. Whatever, as long as they are happy and love each other...let 'em do it their way. I'm very flexible on most stuff really! The course of least resistance is the road I always prefer in life...hate drama and avoid it whenever I can!

    The Flexible Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife)/2015 Golf SE (me)/2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1)/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

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