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Consolidated "Renting at SAN (Diego); What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

Consolidated "Renting at SAN (Diego); What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

Old Nov 13, 2016, 11:03 pm
  #1  
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Consolidated "Renting at SAN (Diego); What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

So had my first encounter at San Diego.

1st was last sunday and it caught me off guard. But there was a rush for the PC lot, so it was like National Emerald Club - Executive. Had a variety of cars from the Maxima sport (someone already snagged it) to a larger Jeep Grand cherokee of sorts (I took that, only to find out it was supposed to be "out of service" - so even when asking why on earth was it in the PC lot the guy just stared at me, and made me take it back). Ended up in a Buick Lucerne. They also had a VW CC.

today was a much different story. It was as barren as the Salton Sea. just a hyundai sonata and something else just as ugly across from it. The Prestige collection had a few Audis in it - and almost took it for the discounted rate of $25/day.

Agent inside told me to pick from anything in the Gold lot or 5 Star if I wanted. Settled on an underpowered Rogue. Gold had nothing but midsize cars.
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Old Nov 22, 2016, 1:43 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Programs: Hertz Gold PC, AAdvantage Platinum, United Premier 1K, HHonors Gold
Posts: 76
Interesting first experience with Ultimate Choice at SAN. I booked a midsize, and showed up to see a pretty barren President Circle section (oddly, 5 star was packed with full sizes and a few small SUVs). Of course, the prestige section had a Q50, C300, and two 2016 Camaros, for a $25 upgrade fee and a $40 upgrade fee, respectively. A gold agent tried to process the upgrade from a midsize to the Q50, and the 'system' wouldn't accept less than a $300 upgrade fee! She showed me the new total on a tablet and her inability to change it.

She said she'd been having difficulty with USAA/government CDPs and the Ultimate Choice upgrade section. It was quite disappointing- I booked a midsize for $22 total, so $50 all in would've been a great deal. The upgrade sign says the $25 fee is fixed no matter what the base rate/class reserved is, but Hertz can't let people stack a $25 upgrade fee on an $12 compact reservation and drive out with a Prestige car.

She also said I could choose any car in the President's Circle section as long as it didn't have navigation. Is there an added fee for choosing a car with XM as well?

Question- the email says you can just get in to a prestige car and drive to the gate, where the upgrade fee is added. Any experience with this? FWIW, I ended up in a Chevy Malibu
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Old Jan 4, 2017, 9:15 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Programs: Hertz Gold PC, AAdvantage Platinum, United Premier 1K, HHonors Gold
Posts: 76
SAN

The PC lot was a ghost town last night around 8:00 PM. Five Star section had generic full sizes. A rep said that when a lot of the new cars come in off transporters, they're parked at the other end of the lot and the transport staff is too lazy to move them into the PC section.

Paid upgrade section was solid- QX80, SLK coupe, Cadillac XTS, Q50s, and a C300, all for $35 more.
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Old Jan 4, 2017, 9:18 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Programs: Hertz Gold PC, AAdvantage Platinum, United Premier 1K, HHonors Gold
Posts: 76
SAN

2017 GMC Canyon SLE, crew cab short box

Was quite surprised to see this on the lot. Tagged O6. It was quite well equipped for the base SLE trim- leather seats, 8" display, fake wood. It had 4WD and the V6, but no bedliner.
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Old Jan 11, 2017, 8:17 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Programs: Hertz Gold PC, AAdvantage Platinum, United Premier 1K, HHonors Gold
Posts: 76
SAN

2017 Nissan Titan SV, Crew Cab, V8, 4WD, shortbox. It's the new 1/2 ton truck, and the two on the lot both had a bedliner. Spartanly equipped, but in terms of actual pickup truck duties, like towing and hauling, it is far superior to the base motor Silverado and F150 already in the fleet.
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Old Mar 6, 2017, 9:20 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA
Programs: Delta DM / 1M, IHG Plat, HH Gold, Marriott Titanium, Hertz PC, Emerald Club Exec
Posts: 500
I had my first experience with Ultimate Choice yesterday in San Diego.

I arrived on an evening flight (10:16 PM arrival). I got off the plane and had an email to go right to the President's Circle and choose any car. Sweet. I walked up to the board at Hertz and saw my name, along with 'Pres Cir' on the board. Even sweeter! They're expecting me Woo hoo!

I looked over to the President's Circle aisles and as far as the eye could see there were no cars. But wait, the email said I could choose any car from the other aisles, too. So, let's check that out. Nope, no cars.

I went into the building where there was a couple saying 'But we're gold, aren't there any cars?' Two more customers came in behind me. A nice guy with a walkie talkie was trying to help the couple. They pointed to a mustang parked up front and said 'can't we take that?'. He said 'I wish I could let you do that'. He then left the office. They were able to get a car.

Another employee came in and stood behind the counter. We asked him what was up and he said that he just got there. I was considering going over to National. But I'd prepaid for the rental so I figured I'd wait it out. Then someone drove up and parked a Hyundai Sonata. He asked who was next so I was the lucky one who got that one. It had 25,000 miles on it but it worked. I saw it arrive, after all!

Oh well. So much for Ultimate Choice this time.
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Old Mar 6, 2017, 10:51 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: PHX
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Originally Posted by nichelle
I had my first experience with Ultimate Choice yesterday in San Diego.

I arrived on an evening flight (10:16 PM arrival). I got off the plane and had an email to go right to the President's Circle and choose any car. Sweet. I walked up to the board at Hertz and saw my name, along with 'Pres Cir' on the board. Even sweeter! They're expecting me Woo hoo!

I looked over to the President's Circle aisles and as far as the eye could see there were no cars. But wait, the email said I could choose any car from the other aisles, too. So, let's check that out. Nope, no cars.

I went into the building where there was a couple saying 'But we're gold, aren't there any cars?' Two more customers came in behind me. A nice guy with a walkie talkie was trying to help the couple. They pointed to a mustang parked up front and said 'can't we take that?'. He said 'I wish I could let you do that'. He then left the office. They were able to get a car.

Another employee came in and stood behind the counter. We asked him what was up and he said that he just got there. I was considering going over to National. But I'd prepaid for the rental so I figured I'd wait it out. Then someone drove up and parked a Hyundai Sonata. He asked who was next so I was the lucky one who got that one. It had 25,000 miles on it but it worked. I saw it arrive, after all!

Oh well. So much for Ultimate Choice this time.
Wow, I've never seen SAN with no cars.
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Old Mar 21, 2017, 1:24 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
Hi, long time lurker finally posting.

Does anybody know what's the LCAR situation at CBX in San Diego? I believe TIJ on the mexican side may have better options but I seriously don't want to wait at the border for hours when I can cross using the CBX and rent a car on the other side.

I really don't want to get a Chrysler 300 though which is why I'm asking if anybody knows.
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Old May 1, 2017, 1:29 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lexington KY/Coronado, CA
Posts: 952
San Diego

Ultimate Choice at San Diego yesterday afternoon. Very random selection as Gold and below seemed better stocked than 5*/PC.

Premium Upgrade section was completely packed - easily 30-40 cars to choose from. You name it, they had it.

PC and 5* were looking a little thin. Lots of empty spaces. The usual array of Sonatas, Camrys, Malibus, Altimas, a few old-style Impalas, and a couple of Buick Veranos. No smaller cars and not a single SUV or Premium/Luxury car to be found except in their respective aisles, the "reserved" spaces, and upgrades. Nicest car might have be an old-style Impala LTZ.

Gold section was completely full with a somewhat more interesting selection than 5*/PC. Variety of low-mileage F cars, only one lone Hyundai, and a better selection of smaller cars (including several brand new '17 Cruzes) and a fully loaded Buick Regal.

Full size section was completely full, Intermediate and Compact sections were almost empty. Since they were running short on small cars they were mixing Standard and Full cars into the Intermediate section with no upgrade charge. Ended up grabbing a Jetta out of the Intermediate section since it's a car I've always been curious about. No fuss from the exit gate.

Last edited by SixAlpha; May 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm
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Old May 8, 2017, 1:38 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash
I think I misread and was thinking it was the Gold or 5* aisles the OP had access to. PC is definitely a step up, but it still certainly isn't guaranteed (c.f. results in this very thread).
My recent experience with UC at SAN was shockingly good, and I hope it is indicative of a broader trend. The PC section on Friday and Sunday had the following:

Camaro SS
Q60 3.0T
Q50 3.0T
Q70
Camaro RS
GLA250
Jag XE
GMC Yukon XL
GMC Yukon
Toyota Sequoia

And a host of premium/luxury cars- Cadillac XTS, Toyota Avalon, Volvo V60 etc. I was in a rush, otherwise I would've grabbed pictures. It was probably just a slow weekend, but perhaps the take rate in the upgrade section was too low.
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Old Jun 10, 2017, 9:39 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SFO
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Hertz Ultimate Choice in San Diego. This was terrible for me. I rented a full size car and was told to go to the Gold Area to find my car. When I arrived in the Gold Area, a sea of shining cars awaited me to pick one. I was paralyzed by the choice. What car did I want, which one had car play, which was the fastest, the newest, the one with the lowest mileage? Was there a Mercedes snuck in here?

Mrs. Returnoftheyeti immediately grasped the situation and said, "O hell no, you get to pick one car, we are not looking at every single car in this garage. You can look at each one, but once you pick, thats it".

Confounded knowing that to the Mrs the most important feature of the next rental car was that it had 4 wheels, I walked the row. There were shining Kias and Hyundai's. Sad old faced Malibu's. A new Malibu, prehaps, nahh, that has an eco badge on the back, that cant be fast. A lone burgandy Fusion at the end of the row. The only Ford in the gold area. Should I take it with me? Nahh, its ugly as sin. I walk back down the row. A Chevy Cruze? And then I see it. A Buick Verano.

Buick. A luxury car in my gold row. This is the car for me. I slide in and take stock of the leather wrapped wheel and accented seats. I smile at the cheap parts bin USB connector that does not match the trim inside the center console. I take in the faint smell of cigarettes and broken dreams and look at the 30000 miles on the clock and I know this luxurious Buick is for me.

Mrs Returnoftheyeti says "can we go now?"

And so off we went, where the credit card was decliened at the gate, the Gods were trying to keep be from my Buick. I promptly provided another card and off we went to the GPS sync zone.

Seriously, San Diego airport has a designated area to pull over in outside of the garage to sync your gps. What crazy witchcraft is this?

I am returning the Buick to Burbank. She deserves her chance at a Hollywood lifestyle.
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Old Aug 30, 2017, 3:11 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: SAN, MIA, GOT
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 353
Happy to report from SAN using UC in PC parking lot there was a Camaro SS convertible, Jaguar XF, Infiniti Q70, Volvo xc60, and a Chevy Subruban to choose from ^

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 30, 2017 at 5:15 am Reason: moved from ultimate choice thread
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Old Sep 12, 2017, 9:49 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: GRR
Posts: 544
SAN Saturday 9/9 around noon:
PC had an odd mix of a Malibu, a Fusion, 2 Camrys, a Q50, a Expedition and the QX70 w/10k miles that I grabbed. They were bringing in a Volvo S60 as I pulled out. Upgrade area had 2 Q50s, a Suburban and an SLC roadster that I wanted but had no keys in it. No Adrenaline/Muscle cars anywhere to be found.
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Old Apr 30, 2018, 9:39 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lexington KY/Coronado, CA
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SAN Sunday 4/29 Noon

Lot was packed full... so many cars parked in the aisles that half of the vehicles parked in Gold/Full Size/Intermediate stalls werent even accessible.

PC had several Infinitis, a Camaro, a small banged-up Mercedes SUV, a Cadillac SUV, and a good variety of full size and larger SUVs.

5* had several full size cars including a Malibu and several Ford Fusions, including 2 or 3 Titanuim-trimmed Hybrids, a Cruze hatchback Premier, fully loaded Mazda 3, an older but fully loaded VW Tiguan, small Nissan pick-up, Ford Escape, and various Altimas and Rogues.

The handful of Gold cars accessible looked to be mostly base model Sentra and Camrys.
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Old Jun 25, 2018, 9:15 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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Sunday early evening. PC had lots of 300s and Camerys. A few small SUV's. And two very nice Gems... A Jaguar XE and a Jaguar XF. I grabbed the XE. It was a 2017 with only 4k, but no Sat Radio. Nice Car however.
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