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  • Liz 15 posts

    @JenT – trying to book Pick up either Seattle downtown near the Needle or SeaTac on 28/5 9am return Seatac 14/6 5 pm – 18 days. Looking at vehicle size similar to Mazda CX5 – smaller cars are only a few £’s cheaper. Need a decent size for a long road trip but not a large SUV. Seemed to get a different price with BA which was cheaper than before but I didnt see the CDW cover explicitly included and cancellation is a voucher which I dont want. I want to be able to cancel within 2 days of pick up for full refund. Avis direct is £1580, Hertz 5 star rewards around £2000. Now dismissed Europcar. Not looked at Alamo, Sixt, National but assume they will all be similar. Read so many reviews about people not getting the car they booked and having to pay more at the counter or not getting a car at all which would be a nightmare for us.

    SteveJ 1,005 posts

    @Liz do you have Platinum Charge Card?

    If so looking at your dates via the Bermuda Hertz site it’s around $2k (that’s $, not £).

    Liz 15 posts

    @SteveJ – no platinum card anymore – too expensive now for me

    mycity 15 posts

    Hertz pricing is crazy, the US website quotes $1500 for those dates. @liz would it be worth taking out a separate insurance policy there was a few mentioned on here yesterday. In fact Rob in the past had one on the site but I can’t find it anyone know who it was?

    I’m a plat is it 100% ok to book through the US web site are we contravening any policies?

    To add to above what deposit would they block on your card

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 6 months ago by .
    Liz 15 posts

    I’ve seen lots of reports in the reviews about them refusing these other insurance policies and making you pay again at the counter. Seems to be a lot of underhand policies going on at several companies to upsell at pick up. I was planning on just buying the excess insurance and not the CDW insurance in the UK. Thinking I may stick to Avis for the first trip and we need to seriously reconsider our 2nd trip in Aug which is 28 days and costing £3000 for a car hire.
    With the CDW cover from the hire company the deposits are ranging from $150-$250 – not sure what they would hold against not having their own cover.

    JenT 159 posts

    The bad reviews etc about some companies is why we only rent from Avis or Hertz in the USA. No hold is put on my card with either company when I decline the insurance (either declined on booking or if I have to go to the counter to get the keys). Except for the 2020-21 travel period, we’ve done at least 20 rentals each year across the two companies to retain the status we have with them.

    No one has ever asked about any other insurance policies I hold – it’s pretty standard for US citizens to have coverage through their cards or employer, so don’t expect odd questions or trouble from Avis or Hertz. There’s nothing wrong with buying CDW cover in the UK too.


    @Liz
    could you justify getting the Amex Platinum card just for a few months for the benefits and then cancelling with a pro rata refund of the fees? I think some of the high pricing you are getting is because you want a fully flexible booking that can refund into cash at short notice. Maybe you are better just waiting until closer to the time.

    JenT 159 posts

    Hertz pricing is crazy, the US website quotes $1500 for those dates. @liz

    I’m a plat is it 100% ok to book through the US web site are we contravening any policies?

    To add to above what deposit would they block on your card

    No policies contravened and no deposit blocked on your card that’s visible to the card owner.

    mycity 15 posts

    Brilliant feedback thanks Jen T

    dougzz99 627 posts

    @JenT – trying to book Pick up either Seattle downtown near the Needle or SeaTac on 28/5 9am return Seatac 14/6 5 pm – 18 days. Looking at vehicle size similar to Mazda CX5 – smaller cars are only a few £’s cheaper. Need a decent size for a long road trip but not a large SUV. Seemed to get a different price with BA which was cheaper than before but I didnt see the CDW cover explicitly included and cancellation is a voucher which I dont want. I want to be able to cancel within 2 days of pick up for full refund. Avis direct is £1580, Hertz 5 star rewards around £2000. Now dismissed Europcar. Not looked at Alamo, Sixt, National but assume they will all be similar. Read so many reviews about people not getting the car they booked and having to pay more at the counter or not getting a car at all which would be a nightmare for us.

    One thing to bear in mind is people typically only write reviews when they have something bad to say. I’ve found that using Avis and Hertz I just don’t get these bad experiences, nothing is perfect, but no complete disasters. The general view as I understand it is that Avis have better inventory control than Hertz, so you’re more likely to get what you’ve rented. If you’re really concerned you can always make a second ‘backup’ reservation with a different company. I have on occasion used National and Thrifty, not my favs, but they were OK, National at DCA were really helpful when I had a fancy for a pick-up truck. My worst experience with Avis and Hertz is getting an ‘or similar’ which I just didn’t like, but it was certainly a car in the same group.

    Tarmohamed 22 posts

    I usually just use the platinum code wherever it’s valid as it’s generally cheaper most of the time.

    As comparison, I don’t use it in South Asia. The yellow rental company website without any code shows a 40 day hire for a base spec Toyota Corolla for approx £2k, however via a contact we got it down to £500.

    Liz 15 posts

    @JenT We have always used Avis before for our annual road trips and never had any issues. I used to take out the Platinum card for just a couple of months but that now screws with your sign up bonus strategy so won’t bother with it again. For peace of mind I think we will stick with Avis and just keep watching the prices. BA is the only quote that wants to tie your money up in a voucher which I don’t want – all others are offering good cancellation policy. We don’t pick the car up for 3-4 days after we arrive so if we don’t fly at the last minute then we are good to cancel for full refund.
    Thanks everyone for your help.

    Graham-Walsh 63 posts

    Great reading all these tips. I’m weighing up renting a car in March for our trip to Miami for 10 days. Uber would be around $200 for the airport run there and back, but then the days in between, we may want to pop out to the next town, that is $40-50 a round trip.

    Looking at Avis without being logged in, I can get a Kia Soul for $576, a Fiesta for $582 or even a Mustang Coupe for $620. I paid $250 for the 10 day rental via BA back in March 2020 at the same time of year, that was a Large car category, so at today’s prices $732.

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    Liz which direction are you heading from SEA for your road trip. WA and Seattle may have worse prices and policies than a different pickup point.

    Do you have any corporate code access. These can bust through many problems as can some affiliate codes.

    Are you logged in when you quote. Often something completely different opens up if you are logged in on H.

    Have you tried getting quote for 21, 24, 26 or 28 days and returning early. On a PAL this could be an extremely benign solution (as per H ts/cs if they haven’t been changed).

    JenT 159 posts

    Where are you getting an Uber to for a $100 fare each way?

    Great reading all these tips. I’m weighing up renting a car in March for our trip to Miami for 10 days. Uber would be around $200 for the airport run there and back, but then the days in between, we may want to pop out to the next town, that is $40-50 a round trip.

    Liz 15 posts

    @LadyLondon – heading south down the coast of Oregon then looping back up via Portland and all the way back up to the top near the border with Canada. The downtown pick up point is saving several hundred pounds and returning to the airport.
    Our 2nd trip in Aug/Sept for 27 days is in and out of Chicago – price the for same car is over £3000 with Avis. When I am signed in with Hertz 5 star Rewards which I have the price is more expensive than Avis – always has been with us and USA trips so I have never used them. Don’t have any other corporate codes as we are retired. Not tried the various number of days strategy – will have a look.

    Magic Mike 6 posts

    @JimBurgessHill very happy to hear you’ve saved $2k!


    @Liz
    you’re doing all the right things to look for something cheaper. We will be in Seattle around the same time as you, I found a deal via Holiday Autos, £30 a day or so, pickup downtown, return to the airport. The underlying provider is Budget. This was booking several months back and I haven’t seen anything similar since, but keep checking… best I can see now is more like £50 per day and that’s with a corporate code.

    I haven’t travelled to the US post-COVID but to possibly add to your list of Avis or Hertz, I never had an issue with National.

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 6 months ago by .
    davefl 1,409 posts

    @LadyLondon – heading south down the coast of Oregon then looping back up via Portland and all the way back up to the top near the border with Canada. The downtown pick up point is saving several hundred pounds and returning to the airport.

    Are you going down as far as Redwoods? Dont know if you’ve thought about it, but worth looping back up via crater lake, Bend, Silver Falls State Park, Eugene and then into Portland. It’ll be amazing. Hope you get there and have a blast. It’s a stunningly beautiful and underrated loop.

    As far as your Chicago trip goes, I think there will be some change between now and then in rates. But have you thought about renting from somewhere other than Chi itself? If you’re doing 27 days you can maybe get a train to somewhere cheaper in the state and as long as you drop back at O’hare or Midway you’d avoid a one way charge? Alternatively look at 28 days rather than 27 and return early, or maybe split the rental period in 2 lots of 14 and see if you get better pricing.

    I’m tryin to rent Austin TX-Ontario CA for next month and there’s just no way around these crazy prices. The reverse direction worked out 30% higher, every direct rental/code makes no difference and you saw the reviews for QeeQ, Fox etc.
    My cheapest on BA’s site as Silver works out 973 for a CX-5 for 2 weeks, but any class C/D which I really want is £400 more.

    One thing I’ll say though is factor in the potential of a very long wait at pickup. 1-2 hours is not unusual these days even if you have preferred status. I’ve stopped renting with Hertz if I can avoid it because every time I have done so my name hasnt been on the board for a skip the line/go to the zone collection.

    Lady London 2,142 posts

    Liz I’d start at PDX. Either town or airport. OR has better rules for car hire (limited deposit, for one thing) and may have better pricing

    Darren 2 posts
    Liz 15 posts

    @Davefl Are you going down as far as Redwoods? Dont know if you’ve thought about it, but worth looping back up via crater lake, Bend, Silver Falls State Park, Eugene and then into Portland. It’ll be amazing. Hope you get there and have a blast. It’s a stunningly beautiful and underrated loop.

    No we are only going down as far as Florence then coming back up and following the trail of Lewis and Clark along the Columbia River for a bit then going all the way up through Washington state to Bellingham and back to Seattle. We wont be doing Crater Lake this time – hopefully another road trip in future will cover that. So many things to see and do in the USA – you just can’t do them all!

    I’ve now booked the car hire for both trips. One Avis and one Budget – will just watch the prices every month and see where are when the time comes.

    Graham-Walsh 63 posts

    @JenT We are going from MIA to Highland Beach near Delray/Boca, so nearly an hour. Showing on Uber at around $80 now but allow for surge pricing.

    davefl 1,409 posts

    @Davefl Are you going down as far as Redwoods? Dont know if you’ve thought about it, but worth looping back up via crater lake, Bend, Silver Falls State Park, Eugene and then into Portland. It’ll be amazing. Hope you get there and have a blast. It’s a stunningly beautiful and underrated loop.

    No we are only going down as far as Florence then coming back up and following the trail of Lewis and Clark along the Columbia River for a bit then going all the way up through Washington state to Bellingham and back to Seattle. We wont be doing Crater Lake this time – hopefully another road trip in future will cover that. So many things to see and do in the USA – you just can’t do them all!

    I’ve now booked the car hire for both trips. One Avis and one Budget – will just watch the prices every month and see where are when the time comes.

    Tell me about it. I’ve done all 50 states and I’m going around again for a second run at them. If this trip comes off will have visited 34 national parks as well. Lewis and Clark sounds fun. I’m thinking of a Seattle to Chicago run at some point.
    Crater lake can be very hit and miss because of the weather and opening dates for certain entrances so you can end up with a 150 mile detour, best tackle it in summer.
    If you’re heading up to Bellingham I can recommend a trip on the ferry across to San Juan Island/Friday Harbor for a night or two.

    And to get this back on topic, if you’re booking via Avis, try the the Amazon link as well. You may get the rebate. https://www.avis.com/en/offers/partners/amazon-benefits

    Carlos 758 posts

    Any tips or pointers to watch out for Enterprise?

    JimBurgessHill 18 posts

    I posted up thread about how happy I was with a Hertz rental price for a fortnight in June in San Diego. Thanks to the tips here I secured $806 (via normal UK site) just by opting to collect off-airport (still returning to airport). The price for collecting from airport was way over $2,000. I noticed today that my usual CDP ‘AMEX PLATINUM EMEA’ was not showing on the confirmation which is odd given I’d booked it when fully logged on. So I’ve just run another quote and got it down to $687 !! The price is still well over $2,000 if collecting from airport which I find amazing given that I’m collecting the car a short distance from the airport!

    davefl 1,409 posts

    Renting off airport is very much location dependent. It’s actually more expensive for my trip out of Austin, but I do get the option of Avis off airport and an extra 3000 Avios over the Budget on airport both on carhire-ba which is still miles cheaper than anything else.

    Wierdly the group C/D/Premium saloons have suddenly dropped dramatically in price over the past week by around £400. So have the choice between a gas guzzling Pathfinder or a reasonable Saloon for only 100 more. I’ll save that in gas over the 2500 mile trip

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