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Rental Car Experiences?

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America I70 & I75 Posts: 21,499
    edited July 2017
    I'd like to hear some reviews of the rental experience from the personnel at the rental companies. I posted about my son's odd experience with a desk person pushing the insurance (son has all covered by his employer) and a fib about finding open gas stations in the area to fill up before return. Desk agent didn't seem to like his ID that the company issued and wanted a business card. Reservation was made using the company CC if I recall.

    Then he was given the Yaris with no cruise control. Someone with a rental company implied that that company's workers might retaliate by not giving the usual upgrade as punishment if they didn't like the traveler's attitudes. Retaliation? Wait till the worker has met me with little sleep on a red eye flight and a wife with severe back pain problems along with claustrophobia in airplanes if they don't like attitudes when things don't go Chick-Fil-A smooth. LOL

    What are experiences others have with various agencies? We're considering a rare trip by air at the end of the fall with a rental car at the other end.

    2015 Cruze 2LT, 2014 Malibu 2LT, 2008 Cobalt 2LT

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,373
    I've only rented from National for the last few decades, if I can help it. A couple of times from Alamo, which is the same company.

    I've never had an issue, anywhere.

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    I've never had a real issue with any of them, I've rented from a number over the past several years - Sixt, Hertz, National, Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar. I have been irked by a few low spec or miled up cars, but I 1lived with it for the cheap rate. I never reserve the cheapest rental class, which might reduce the odds of getting something without cruise etc.
  • js06gvjs06gv Frisco, TXPosts: 444
    I wrote about my positive experience with a Buick Envision at National last week. Have to say, I continue to be impressed with the selections. My wife and I just landed in Vancouver BC today and they had a fresh Chrysler 300S, nicely loaded with leather and pano, and 358 km on it. I got excited when I saw the "S" tagged onto the deck lid, thinking maybe it was a Hemi (didn't there used to be an "S" version of the previous body style that was always a Hemi, just like the 300C?) but it is a 6. Still a very nice way to tool around Canada for the next 8 days.

    2016 Kia Optima SX, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch, 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6, 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

  • berriberri Posts: 7,965
    I don't think you'll see many Highlanders at rental counters. Aren't that many on dealer lots really. For an SUV you are probably more likely to see a 4 Runner from Toyota when you rent.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    I've seen numerous rental Highlanders around suburban Seattle, 4 Runners too. At one time, rental Sienna were also common, but have been replaced by Chrysler and Kia.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 4,279
    I had to drive a new 2017 Yaris today at work. No cruise control, manual outside mirrors on both sides. So, makes no sense about some retaliation nonsense because as I said earlier, the Yaris vehicles Hertz rents HAVE NO CRUISE CONTROL!! Pretty base model but it drove pretty nicely for it's size and was pretty good on gas. These are the lowest price vehicle we rent at Hertz and more folks than you think reserve those because they know that they go fast and if none left, they get the free upgrade. An old game and since working at Hertz for almost 4 years now, see this a lot. None of our work force wears a badge, they give the customer their business card. Don't know why they do it this way, but no one wears a badge...no one! I know that there is turnover with the folks who rent the vehicles, some quit after awhile while others are moved to different locations as they move up the ladder. Having business cards is just the way things are done.
    I have gotten to know some of our staff pretty well and the majority of them are nice, friendly folks who work long hours and have to deal with many folks who are in a hurry and want to be done NOW, others who demand upgrades because they don't like the color or the brand of vehicle. Our ads usually say "or like vehicle" so folks know that they can't rent a particular model. If we can get a particular model for a customer, of course we do and I know this because I am one of the folks who move the vehicles around from office to office. We try but can't always get that Impala that's in the ad. We had one lady recently throw a real fit because she wanted the Impala she saw in the ad. It got a bit heated as she refused to understand the concept of "like vehicle" and she was a bit verbally abusive to the lady helping her. Have also seen folks threaten an employee where the station manager was forced to suggest the customer go rent from a company that's a better fit for what he wants. I was very impressed with the way my manager stepped in and brought calm back to a ridiculous situation.
    I could go on but think one gets the point. It's not always the renter's fault or the rentee's, but folks need to act reasonably...on both sides of the counter!!

    The Sandman :) B)

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

  • berriberri Posts: 7,965
    Fin - Interesting. Hasn't been my experience so I was surprised.

    Sandman - Hertz probably needs to move it all to the National approach where consumer picks from a group in the lot like they currently test marketing. That would probably head off some of those issues you are talking about.
  • suydamsuydam Posts: 3,240
    That's the model I prefer. Then you can check yourself if a vehicle smells smoky or is kinda ratty inside. People are usually so tired by the time they get to the rental car counter, they just want to get something decent and get to their destination.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • berriberri Posts: 7,965
    It amazes me what some people do to cars!
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    edited July 2017
    I think rental fleets vary by area - Highlanders might not be everywhere. Just like rental Subaru are not uncommon in this part of the world.

    The National pick a car idea is a winner, and is being used by more firms in time.

    I don't think I could be a rental car agent, I have seen some whining too - I would be tossing people out by their collars. The hard sell-upsell stuff would also irk me.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,847
    edited July 2017
    Got a brand-new (<200 miles) GMC Acadia today as a service loaner/comped rental.

    My initial impression was that I didn't like it much, based on the interior trim. GMC uses a lot of silver plastic trim bits on the dash and membrane controls on the steering wheel, neither of which I like much. There is also some plastic woodgrain which is a unique style I haven't seen before with very prominent fake grain marks on it. But after driving it a while, I started to warm up to it. Figuratively at least, as it has meat-locker cold A/C. It actually drives remarkably well, with nice direct steering and plenty of power - I managed to spin the front wheels (it is a FWD model) twice in the first few minutes accelerating from a stop. Lots of room, nice ride, handles well for such a barge, It does all the usual things you expect from a vehicle this size well and then some. Properly optioned, this would be a very pleasant ride.

    The only negatives are the size itself - it is just much bigger than I am used to, or need - and a couple of times already the accursed engine stop/start really was jerky. That is not a feature I will ever be on-side with I think. They really do need to rid themselves of those membrane steering wheel switches too. But otherwise, I like it.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • berriberri Posts: 7,965
    I agree that stop start needs to go. I doubt it saves near enough gas to offset its constant annoyances. At least you didn't get one those Explorer's that the news claims are giving cops carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    Someone on a German language rental car forum I read just got a loaded G31 530d Touring from Sixt. Quite a sharp rental car, far more loaded than anything in a NA fleet, and forbidden fruit thanks to our marketers and product planners:

    image

    Interesting interior color:

    image

    I will be in Germany in less than 2 months, and have reserved a car from Sixt - I won't technically "need" it for the entire time of the reservation, but it will be a treat. I have reserved the "LSAR" category, which usually includes the 430/440 coupe or GC, and could contain result in a fun upgrade.
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaPosts: 6,847
    I don't understand that peachy-orange color it appears BMW are using in the interior. It looks like the same orange sherbet shade found in Chevy's "Kalahari" trims.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    On a German forum I read, someone got a VW Arteon from Sixt, this is apparently the CC replacement:

    image

    image
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 65,300
    fintail said:

    On a German forum I read, someone got a VW Arteon from Sixt, this is apparently the CC replacement:

    image

    image

    And, I believe it will be available in the States, as well.

    Similar to A5 SportBack or 4-series GC.

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  • js06gvjs06gv Frisco, TXPosts: 444
    Having an interesting rental experience currently. A local Ford dealer damaged the front bumper cover of my wife's Mustang while it was in for warranty work. They are fixing it, and provided a rental through the Enterprise branch they are contracted with. There is a shortage of rental cars in Texas right now due to Harvey, so the driver asked if I would mind driving the vehicle she picked me up in, a '17 Expedition EL Limited! My wife hasn't been thrilled driving such a barge but at least it's something.

    I'm impressed with the ecoboost V6 in this truck. I intentionally stayed away from it when I bought my F-150 as I just like a good 'ole V8, but it works very well in the Expedition and even my wife noticed the power. The rest of this vehicle really needs a refresh, which it is getting in 2018. The interior is very similar to my truck, which seemed OK in 2013 but is very dated in 2017. I'm surprised by the little details, such as auto up/down only on the driver's window and keyless start without passive entry, meaning the remote still has to come out of your pocket to lock or unlock, given that this is a $58K vehicle.

    2016 Kia Optima SX, 2015 Ford Mustang GT, 2013 Ford F-150 King Ranch, 2000 Pontiac Trans Am WS6, 2001 Kawasaki Vulcan 800 Classic

  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,373
    I picked up from the downtown Seattle location of National, last week. So, no Emerald Aisle :'( .

    They asked if I wanted a Tahoe or Armada at no extra charge.. Uh, no thanks.

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  • berriberri Posts: 7,965
    Fin would have told you take one and mow down those timid Seattle drivers B)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    An Armada with extra horns would be good at menacing the timid inept Prius and Leafs that clog Puget Sound area roads.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 70,373
    fintail said:

    An Armada with extra horns would be good at menacing the timid inept Prius and Leafs that clog Puget Sound area roads.

    Not so good for a tight hotel parking garage in Portland, though

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    Now that I am under 2 months away from my next rental, I made the booking (prepaid for a 20% discount). Here's the reservation as displayed on my phone (some data redacted for privacy :) ) - wonder what I will get.


  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 58,468
    You mean they'll switch cars or you'll switch cars?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    When you rent, you usually rent a class, not a car. The 4er is an example of the class, but if it isn't in stock, there will likely be an upgrade. As Germany seems to be a little more advanced than much of this continent, an upgrade from the reserved class could mean 6er or M/AMG/S-RS car.
  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,499
    fintail said:

    Now that I am under 2 months away from my next rental, I made the booking (prepaid for a 20% discount). Here's the reservation as displayed on my phone (some data redacted for privacy :) ) - wonder what I will get.


    There's an Autobahn Club of LA that is mostly exclusively for Euro cars (with a favoring to Audi), but all cars are welcome. Did an Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) run yesterday. Was a lot of fun, started early by 8 AM..

    one guy had a nice BMW 440 Convertible rental, and got a flat tire. People in the club were able to help him repair/patch it on the spot (no spare in that car). We were out in the middle of nowhere, so probably would have taken awhile for the rental agency to reach him to swap out cars!

    People in these Audi or Autobahn clubs are always seemingly very helpful and friendly, but they had an interest in the convertible as it was a perfect for the pace camera car for our photographer. Stretch of road where the professional photographer took what he called rollers (moving at about 30 MPH side by side) pictures of people's cars. Can't wait to see them.
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    I wonder who carries a 440 in the US. I know numerous fleets have BMW content, but that seems like a high model. Either a special car, or rented by Turo or an independent luxury firm. Most US BMW rentals I see are 320/528 or basic X3 and an X5 here and there. Others exist, but are quite rare.

    All cars welcome, so if I show up in my mom's white Camry LE or a 2002 Cavalier, it'd be cool? :)
    andres3 said:


    There's an Autobahn Club of LA that is mostly exclusively for Euro cars (with a favoring to Audi), but all cars are welcome. Did an Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) run yesterday. Was a lot of fun, started early by 8 AM..

    one guy had a nice BMW 440 Convertible rental, and got a flat tire. People in the club were able to help him repair/patch it on the spot (no spare in that car). We were out in the middle of nowhere, so probably would have taken awhile for the rental agency to reach him to swap out cars!

    People in these Audi or Autobahn clubs are always seemingly very helpful and friendly, but they had an interest in the convertible as it was a perfect for the pace camera car for our photographer. Stretch of road where the professional photographer took what he called rollers (moving at about 30 MPH side by side) pictures of people's cars. Can't wait to see them.

  • andres3andres3 Southern CAPosts: 9,499
    edited September 2017
    fintail said:

    I wonder who carries a 440 in the US. I know numerous fleets have BMW content, but that seems like a high model. Either a special car, or rented by Turo or an independent luxury firm. Most US BMW rentals I see are 320/528 or basic X3 and an X5 here and there. Others exist, but are quite rare.

    All cars welcome, so if I show up in my mom's white Camry LE or a 2002 Cavalier, it'd be cool? :)


    andres3 said:


    There's an Autobahn Club of LA that is mostly exclusively for Euro cars (with a favoring to Audi), but all cars are welcome. Did an Angeles Crest Highway (Highway 2) run yesterday. Was a lot of fun, started early by 8 AM..

    one guy had a nice BMW 440 Convertible rental, and got a flat tire. People in the club were able to help him repair/patch it on the spot (no spare in that car). We were out in the middle of nowhere, so probably would have taken awhile for the rental agency to reach him to swap out cars!

    People in these Audi or Autobahn clubs are always seemingly very helpful and friendly, but they had an interest in the convertible as it was a perfect for the pace camera car for our photographer. Stretch of road where the professional photographer took what he called rollers (moving at about 30 MPH side by side) pictures of people's cars. Can't wait to see them.

    Haha! Yeah, just keep to the back or use the turnouts and right lanes in passing zones prodigiously.

    When the leader said "open to all cars" someone inevitably brought up "except Priuses." To which the leader emphasized "ALL cars welcome." So there you go, even a Prius. Didn't see any though.

    Obviously the driver matters the most, but the fastest driven cars by the front of the pack were:
    • R8's
    • M3 and M2
    • Another TT and my TTS
    • Porsche (Cayman S & GT3)
    • S4's
    There was a young guy in a lowered EVO annoying people as he wanted to be near the front, but he was a tenth or 2 slower than a bunch of us and got us too far behind the M's and R's (to the point we didn't even see them make a turn off the road to the restaurant stop).

    One of the best helps was a guy on a large sporty Honda motorbike in the group that helped with traffic control for people that might not realize there were 20 cars behind them in the rear view mirror.

    ADDED SPECIAL NOTE:

    People were actually for the most part very courteous and realized faster traffic existed for a reason. Not the usual LA experience.

    Jay LENO sighting at Newcombs!
    Toy '16 Audi TTS quattro AWD, Commuter '16 Kia Optima LX 1.6 Turbo FWD, Wife's '17 VW Golf All-Track SE 4-Motion AWD
  • fintailfintail Posts: 42,923
    Someone needs to show up in a Prius C. You can rent those, too :)

    From my experience driving around LA, they understand lane discipline more than up here. Although I guess that's something for another discussion.

    I hope Leno was driving a Stanley Steamer or Tomahawk or something.
  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 65,300
    Nothing terribly special, but I've got a full size (Impala or equivalent) reserved for Cincinnati in a couple of weeks. Meeting a couple of co-workers there, so figured I should get something large enough for all three of us.

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