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Forums Other Car rental The car hire tips thread

  • SteveJ 1,004 posts

    Off to Miami in a week or so. Car hire via BA etc its about £700 for 18 days. There are a few aggregator sites that come up at ~£200-£250, presumably as no CDW etc inlcuded. Does anyone have experience of using these cheaper options then getting top up cover via Reducemyexcess or similar? We dont have Amex platinum.

    TIA

    Yes this is fine. I’d be more worried about which provider the aggregators are using, are they one of the big names, are they on airport or not etc. Buying the excess insurance is the easiest part.

    SteveJ 1,004 posts

    Would appreciate others thoughts on this. I had to call Hertz to fix something on my online profile. Once sorted agent asked if I wanted to book by phone as he could get me a discount vs online, so I proceeded.

    He initially priced up the same as the online booking, so I asked about the discount, he went away and came back with a price 7% cheaper than online, so I proceeded to book.

    Have now checked the booking online, the CDP he has used is “Amex Centurion EMEA”, whereas I’m a lowly Platinum card holder. It’s a prepay booking paid on the Platinum, will Hertz pull me up at pickup for not producing a Centurion card?

    davefl 1,412 posts

    @SteveJ Not on a prepay (or any other tbh). They’re all too overworked to do anything apart frm cbeck your ID against the rental agreeement.

    As long as you have any card to swipe to cover the excess on pickup you’ll be fine.

    SteveJ 1,004 posts

    Thanks @davefl, my gut was to ride my luck. The card I prepaid with (Platinum) will be with me so I’ll pass that check should they ask for it.

    LondonFly 84 posts

    LAX, Los Angeles Car Rental
    ACE come up really cheap. Are they a good company?
    But I have status with Hertz and Sixt.
    Any advice please?

    davefl 1,412 posts
    Mel TS 73 posts

    Just a query as searches not coming up with much. Does anyone know a way of finding out what cars are actually in a the Alamo rental fleet, so that you know what options to expect when when it says ‘or similar’? We’ve got a ‘Fullsize Open Air All-Terrain Vehicle Jeep Wrangler Unlimited or similar’ booked for Austin in July (it was almost the same price as tiny compact car!). Mr TS is very enamoured by the idea of a Jeep, so I’m wanting to manage expectations!

    I think just contacting that particular rental location is most sensible, just curious if there is an online source.

    dougzz99 628 posts

    Just a query as searches not coming up with much. Does anyone know a way of finding out what cars are actually in a the Alamo rental fleet, so that you know what options to expect when when it says ‘or similar’? We’ve got a ‘Fullsize Open Air All-Terrain Vehicle Jeep Wrangler Unlimited or similar’ booked for Austin in July (it was almost the same price as tiny compact car!). Mr TS is very enamoured by the idea of a Jeep, so I’m wanting to manage expectations!

    I think just contacting that particular rental location is most sensible, just curious if there is an online source.

    https://www.alamo.com/en/rental-cars/us.html

    In my experience no one can tell you until you arrive there on the day. I think inventory management doesn’t go much beyond 50 renters expected and 60 vehicles available. Often they’ll try and find you the model you rented or something they see as an upgrade. As mentioned a lot in this thread an upgrade is often whatever SUV they can find. I don’t think there really are many ‘or similars’ with that Jeep, but I don’t think that guarantees you’ll get one, but you should get something SUV ish.

    Jill Kinkell 159 posts

    We have tended to book our hires with Alamo and the “or similar’ is a bit of a lottery! On heading to the collection point there is a line of ‘or similars’ and we are invited to take our pick. Of course , there is never the mentioned brand. Maybe check out what is similar to a Jeep or contact the centre and ask

    JenT 159 posts

    Have needed a few rentals from Heathrow and Southampton Airport in January and February – have discovered that the one-way fee with Avis from Heathrow to Southampton is currently £1.20. Seems that Southampton is short of cars! Hopefully this might prove useful for some others heading to the south coast from Heathrow.

    Mel TS 73 posts

    Just a query as searches not coming up with much. Does anyone know a way of finding out what cars are actually in a the Alamo rental fleet, so that you know what options to expect when when it says ‘or similar’? We’ve got a ‘Fullsize Open Air All-Terrain Vehicle Jeep Wrangler Unlimited or similar’ booked for Austin in July (it was almost the same price as tiny compact car!). Mr TS is very enamoured by the idea of a Jeep, so I’m wanting to manage expectations!

    I think just contacting that particular rental location is most sensible, just curious if there is an online source.

    https://www.alamo.com/en/rental-cars/us.html

    In my experience no one can tell you until you arrive there on the day. I think inventory management doesn’t go much beyond 50 renters expected and 60 vehicles available. Often they’ll try and find you the model you rented or something they see as an upgrade. As mentioned a lot in this thread an upgrade is often whatever SUV they can find. I don’t think there really are many ‘or similars’ with that Jeep, but I don’t think that guarantees you’ll get one, but you should get something SUV ish.

    We have tended to book our hires with Alamo and the “or similar’ is a bit of a lottery! On heading to the collection point there is a line of ‘or similars’ and we are invited to take our pick. Of course , there is never the mentioned brand. Maybe check out what is similar to a Jeep or contact the centre and ask


    @Dougzz99
    + @JIll KInkell
    Thanks both, I did ask Alamo today and she said there is nothing else in the category so at least we can hope will get something that not tiny. And yes there is often nothing in the same category.At one point we were offered an Audi A3 or we could wait 5 minutes for our Mustang. We waited. We’ve had everything from a ‘Soccer Mom SUV’ and huge Dodge RAM truck which i had to literally use a handle to climb up in to, through to a Chevy Camaro SS and a Dodge Challenger and a Charger. That was one was fun as you could see on on the info all the previous renters who had timed their ‘0-60’:-)

    LondonFly 84 posts

    Renting an EV in LA.
    It is slightly cheaper and I would like the experience of an EV.
    But is it worth the hassle of charging etc?
    I will be in LA for a week and not planning to use the hotel parking!

    travelersolo 71 posts

    Car rental in California

    Just wondering what the process is for settling tolls with a car rental (Thinking of Avis due to status)
    Will the car rental company bill me later plus a hefty admin fee on top or do I have to keep a record of each time I pass a toll and settle up myself through toll operator.

    NorthernLass 8,267 posts

    With Avis (and probably others), they bill it to your credit card at the end of the rental. I think there was a small admin fee but that was easier than trying to keep track of it ourselves.

    davefl 1,412 posts

    @travelersolo You have the option to decline and pay by plate on the toll company website. Much cheaper and relatively simple. Otherwise every rental company has their own admin fee per day (often capped) plus you pay the highest rate per toll rather than the lowest etoll rate which you’d get by paying yourself.

    It’s different depending where you are in the state, for example https://thetollroads.com/help/rental-vehicles/

    However in CA toll roads are easy to avoid. I’ve driven over 4000 miles in CA and never used one.

    Blindman67 141 posts

    Any advice on rentals in Mexico?

    Doing two stints

    Chetumal
    Mexico city.

    I have an annual third party excess insurance.

    Not liking the feedback I’ve seen so far!

    JenT 159 posts

    We use America Car Rental when in Mexico. No issues/scams, and using a local place seems to be a lot easier than the franchises (Hertz, Avis, etc). They have Mexico City branches but not one in Chetumal – the closest is Tulum unfortunately.

    My only query about you hiring a car in Mexico City is related to the amount of traffic and limited parking in some places – are you just using it to travel out of the city?

    JDB 4,649 posts

    @Blindman67 as @JenT suggests I would question whether you really want to be driving in Mexico City. It’s vast, traffic can be terrible and most of the historic centre is pedestrianised or roads closed most of the time or randomly. Parking is not easy and regulations are enforced in central areas. Taxis or a car with a driver which costs about $15-20/hr works better there. Many of the big hotels are on Reforma which isn’t ideal as it’s not so near the historic centre and much of the Polanco area is a bit far. We have taken to staying in the historic centre and have never looked back!

    Blindman67 141 posts

    We use America Car Rental when in Mexico. No issues/scams, and using a local place seems to be a lot easier than the franchises (Hertz, Avis, etc). They have Mexico City branches but not one in Chetumal – the closest is Tulum unfortunately.

    My only query about you hiring a car in Mexico City is related to the amount of traffic and limited parking in some places – are you just using it to travel out of the city?

    Thanks both :-

    MEX:-
    Pick up car and drive out of the city!

    JenT 159 posts

    Depends where you are going, but public transport to other cities from CDMX is really good – worth considering depending on destination, cost and hassle factor!

    dannyhk 20 posts

    Have needed a few rentals from Heathrow and Southampton Airport in January and February – have discovered that the one-way fee with Avis from Heathrow to Southampton is currently £1.20. Seems that Southampton is short of cars! Hopefully this might prove useful for some others heading to the south coast from Heathrow.

    I think I can beat that. Just dropped off a car at Heathrow which I rented at Southampton Airport and, to my surprise, there was no one way rental fee at all!

    SteveJ 1,004 posts

    Renting an EV in LA.
    It is slightly cheaper and I would like the experience of an EV.
    But is it worth the hassle of charging etc?
    I will be in LA for a week and not planning to use the hotel parking!

    “Not planning to use the hotel parking”, without overnight/destination charging this is likely to be more hassle than it is worth.

    If it’s a Tesla then the car will map out your charging needs per journey, depends how many miles you plan to drive, could be a minor coffee break length inconvenience or a lot longer.

    JenT 159 posts

    Have needed a few rentals from Heathrow and Southampton Airport in January and February – have discovered that the one-way fee with Avis from Heathrow to Southampton is currently £1.20. Seems that Southampton is short of cars! Hopefully this might prove useful for some others heading to the south coast from Heathrow.

    I think I can beat that. Just dropped off a car at Heathrow which I rented at Southampton Airport and, to my surprise, there was no one way rental fee at all!

    Who was that with? I’m trying to book that (not my usual one way) and prices are ££££!

    Blindman67 141 posts

    We use America Car Rental when in Mexico. No issues/scams, and using a local place seems to be a lot easier than the franchises (Hertz, Avis, etc). They have Mexico City branches but not one in Chetumal – the closest is Tulum unfortunately.

    My only query about you hiring a car in Mexico City is related to the amount of traffic and limited parking in some places – are you just using it to travel out of the city?

    Change of plan!

    Hirng a car in PVr for 5 days

    Screen scrapers come up with Europe car.

    Comments?

    Will then be looking at 14 days from\to Merida.

    I will have a 3rd party excess insurance cover.

    Man of Kent 82 posts

    Not quite car hire but…I rented a van last week for a couple of days from my local Enterprise branch. Just wanted to call out their excellent service and they even provided a pick and drop of between home and the branch – I recall they used to advertise this service a few years ago but didn’t realise they still did it though it’s subject to availability and probably varies by branch.

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