BA Car Hire - any pitfalls?

Old Jan 30, 18, 4:50 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: AMS
Programs: BAEC Silver, Flying Blue Peon, TK M&S Nobody
Posts: 1,093
BA Car Hire - any pitfalls?

Hi all, thought Iíd tap the collective wisdom on this one...

Looking for a pair of car hires for a trip to California in April, and doing it through BA is coming up cheaper than elsewhere - not only individually but even better as a bundle booking of both. Just wanted to see if there was anything to be wary of when doing this - probably most importantly both will be one-way rentals, so itís not forgetting to include any one way charges or the like...? And a second driver should be included no issues, I believe?

etiene is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 4:57 pm
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: London
Programs: plenty - ggl, ccr, etc, etc.
Posts: 1,667
Originally Posted by etiene View Post
Hi all, thought Iíd tap the collective wisdom on this one...

Looking for a pair of car hires for a trip to California in April, and doing it through BA is coming up cheaper than elsewhere - not only individually but even better as a bundle booking of both. Just wanted to see if there was anything to be wary of when doing this - probably most importantly both will be one-way rentals, so itís not forgetting to include any one way charges or the like...? And a second driver should be included no issues, I believe?

hard to advise but check how much insurance or LDW is not included- ie what the excess is. Also is there Road side assistance or do you need to buy it? (Alamo love that one). Are extra drivers included or not? The list goes on. Sometimes a good deal genuinely is - sometimes not.

if you have nt already, Alamo uk have some good is deals - once you take the zero excess option and factor in recovery fees. For some countries Avis can have some good rates - and the free to sign up Avis preferred is worth it - just for the queue jump alone.

as with so much check the small print...
DFB_london is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 5:02 pm
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Stratford upon Avon
Programs: Amex Platinum UK and related Hotel loyalty programs
Posts: 200
Although I have not used them yet so for for my booming big next week seems good. AVIS are a well known company and I am sure they wonít not want to piss off too many customers from a company the size of BA.

We found their satnav hire expensive so have made other arrangements

not sure if you will need any Tolls but Avis rate average one their policy read this Guide

in my opinion I could have found cheaper but I went for peace of mind if you have found best price go for it.

PS I think virtually all car hire companies now try to sell add on insurance our Amex Platinum covers is for this you might want to do some research into it also. Be it via a credit card or stand alone policy or just going with the generally expensive upgrade
robiles is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 5:06 pm
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: BA silver
Posts: 146
Give a call in Manchester( number on their website where you can initially price up). They will advise you there and then on one way charges, which are often hidden in the US and now free only, if IIRC, with Thrifty or maybe Alamo. You'll usually get a better price than and often the second driver is free. Tell them up front it's for two bookings; it might help the price!
Dorsetboy is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 5:27 pm
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold 1MM, BA Gold, UA Peon
Posts: 5,774
I've had some awesomely crappy experiences with both rental car aggregators and third party rental insurances. The combination is particularly toxic: the rental aggregator provides an insurance which requires you to shuffle papers between the aggregator and the actual hire company, leaving you to pay out if the papers are not shuffled to the aggregator's satisfaction. Why put yourself in that situation when you can avoid it by paying the hire company's insurance?

Meanwhile, prepaid rental vouchers leave you unable to give the hire company the finger when you mess them around. Summary of actual exchange at Dollar at Kona airport in Hawaii:

"Hi, I pre-paid for an SUV."
"We have this nice convertible for you."
"I ordered an SUV. Can I have that SUV there?"
"Only if you pay a lot extra. We only have the luxury SUV left. Or you can take this convertible."
... since I had need for an SUV, I had to pay extra. If I hadn't prepaid, I would have gone to another rental company, any other.

BA might have some reputation to keep and might have a decent arrangement with Avis, but all the online "cheap car rental..." places care not one whit for customer service.

So, my advice: Go direct to the hire company and don't prepay so you can walk away if they mess you about. If you do choose an intermediate agent, choose one with less bad customer service. Take all the insurances with the hire company, not separately. Eat the costs as being the cost of a quiet, unstressed life.
flatlander is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 5:41 pm
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: BAEC GGL/CCR
Posts: 148
I've used BA car hire on many occasions. The combination of easy booking, reasonably competitive price, free extra driver and a few avios for the booking make it hassle free.

I've never had any issue with Avis other than lengthy queues on a couple if occasions, one of which they reimbursed a days rental for after a complaint. On one occasion on a trip to DC when I forgot to bring my drivers license, they couldn't have been more helpful in cancelling and rebooking in my wife's name whilst I waited in the Avis office.
Wayland is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 5:42 pm
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Northumberland, UK and outback Australia.
Programs: BA silver
Posts: 3,869
I used Avis booked through BA a handful of times for roadtrips in the US and have found it to be pretty good - inclusive insurance good enough for my own circumstances, free second driver and good prices. Last time, I took it on a 10,500-mile journey.

There is always the usual upsell attempt at an Avis desk, but on the whole a generally ok experience, or maybe I've just been very lucky. I know a famous FT uncle uses BA/Avis too and is very happy with this approach.
Stez is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 5:49 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 12,015
Their preferred partner is AVIS, so there is one massive pitfall straight away.

AVIS = Awful.
BingBongBoy is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 6:11 pm
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 711
The worst thing about Avis is they'll tell you insurance is included up to the point where you are at the desk handing over your credit card at which point they tell you it isn't and it'll cost the same price again.

Get yourself decent third party insurance.
ppp909 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 6:51 pm
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: scotland
Programs: Ba gold,honours diamond,spg Platinum,Marriott Platium
Posts: 111
Virgin do not charge one way rentals in California
alexb1212 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 7:18 pm
Join Date: Nov 2012
Programs: BA Bronze, United 1K, HH Gold, SPG Platinum, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,468
I did book one time a plane ticket (LHR-ORD-LHR) + car on BA. Getting the car significantly lowered the price of the plane ticket as it was a 4 nights trip that did not include a Saturday night. Car was provided by Avis. Since I paid everything with Amex I did not feel I needed to take extra insurance. The only issue is that they gave me a SUV when I had booked a car. It was an upgrade and would be seen as such by most people but I'm not used to them so would have preferred the car I had reserved. If I remember correctly they tried to convince me to pay more to upgrade to a SUV but the reality is that they did not have a car on their lot so they ended up having to give me the SUV. Discussion about this issue took an extra 10 minutes which was not pleasant as I would not budge and pay more. The one thing you have to make sure is to check the outside of the car before you leave the Avis lot for dents and scratches and report them to the Avis employees. Even take pictures with your cell phone.
StuckinITH is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 7:46 pm
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: At home...
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 1,272
Car hire - uhm, full of pitfalls no matter who you go with.

I usually use Avis from T5 when I'm in the UK and are generally fine. A couple of time I've had some rather 'worn' cars, other times with a few miles on the clock. I rarely do it through BA since the prices are no different. One thing to notice if it's done through it includes all the insurance, through only the liability (which is compulsory in the UK anyway!). Check your credit card company for any insurance coverage - and avis preferred is the way to go (as is the Hertz Gold Rewards).

Having said that, Avis in the US is somewhat variable. As a previous poster has noted you book a car, turn up and they don't have it and try to sell you something much more expensive. But, stick with it and insist they the have to give you what you ordered - or better. A couple years ago I was gob-smacked by my daughter (then 22) who had booked a mustang - which they "didn't have", and she managed to argue her way up to a 6 liter dodge charger (which given her age should have been a no-no!).
dougzz likes this.
CKBA is offline  
Old Jan 30, 18, 9:45 pm
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: PHX, SEA
Programs: DL Silver, Avis President's Club, Hertz President's Circle, Global Entry (Former AA Plt/Gold)
Posts: 4,015
Just make sure that the dates and times of your rental are accurate. There have been threads where a car was returned a few hours early, and it prompted a re-pricing, and all of a sudden the BA package isn't covering the whole amount.
Gig103 is offline  
Old Jan 31, 18, 2:17 am
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 1,074
Avis through BA are fine. Itís typically fully inclusive with no excess. One way rentals are almost always free within CA, NV and AZ as a tri-state region, with any of the larger companies. Through BA all thatís typically missing is roadside assistance and personal accident stuff, both of which are optional, and personally I never bother with. If youíve done the booking as far as pricing then the insurance details are there to read.
Iíd say Avis and Hertz much of a much, and Iíd prefer either of these to Thrifty or Alamo. Iím sure if you rent cars enough youíll have your own problem stories eventually. Iíve yet to have a problem that wasnít resolved by being patient and calmly demanding.
chris1922Mk2 likes this.
dougzz is offline  
Old Jan 31, 18, 2:29 am
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 499
Pretty much what Dougzz says.
But check out, I have found the rates tend to be better.
zanderblue is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: