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Consolidated "Renting at LAX; What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

Old May 19, 2019, 4:20 pm
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Last edit by: FlyinHawaiian
January 2021 Update, courtesy of CalItalian:

Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty are now permanently combined in the Hertz facility until the move in a couple of years to the under construction consolidated car rental facility/garage a mile to the west on the corner of Arbor Vitae and La Cienega.

Returns do not allow agents to check in cars and provide in-person receipts; it has to be emailed. Contracts will not be closed until the vehicle has been sanitized. Be sure to take a photo of your dashboard (fuel gauge/mileage) and any other photos of the vehicle before you leave it in case there are any issues.
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Consolidated "Renting at LAX; What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

Old Aug 26, 2023, 1:58 pm
  #976  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,535
Originally Posted by Rusty86
Heading to LAX early September for 17 days, doing a lot of miles, I've got a Premium Elite SUV from National booked as well as Luxury 7 Seater SUV from Hertz. I don't need 7 seats but want a luxury SUV (X3/5 Q5 Aviator/Nautilus etc) Used both national and hertz many times but always find stock options low at LAX. Arriving 2pm Tuesday Afternoon which one offers the better chance of getting a decent 5-7 seater SUV.

Im leaning to national as they are usually more flexible but im Gold PC with Hertz.
I would avoid Hertz LAX - especially if you count on your PC status giving you anything. This summer they brought in a number of used rather high mileage vehicles. They're in poor shape. Like trashed interiors - even in the 3 President's Circle aisles (saw a 2020 Lincoln MKZ with 68K miles and broken plastic in the interior in PC - crazy). Never seen anything like it. Even dating back to the days when Hertz had high mileage vehicles. They're not cleaning any of their vehicles well, either, because there are so many customers and not enough employees with the three brands on one lot. You might find a new or fairly new vehicle, once in a while, but for the most part they've got a lot a mileage on them.

There really haven't been any upgrades available at LAX this summer. It's what you booked, nothing else, if you're lucky. I've been there about 1/2 dozen times this summer and lot of customers are complaining. Not that it is a big deal to me since I know a number of the long term agents there but for some reason my name is never on the Gold board. Nobody knows why. That's another issue that I've heard many customers complain about.

They have LOTS of EV's, though. That's the issue. Most customers won't rent them. They counted on too much of buzz about renting one and brought in too many. They plan to be 50% EV's when they move to the new consolidated car rental garage next year. Be forewarned.

I hope things change soon. Certainly U.S. based summer travel is leveling off with back to school well under way. But last year it was quite busy through the end of September with European travelers.

Originally Posted by Soccerra
This location Gold just about doesnt exist. Far and away the worst location in the system. When they move to the consolidated facility I am hoping that maybe things will change/be more organized.
I asked again about the consolidated car rental garage move. Earlier this year in this thread I reported they had been told the end of this year. They've now been told next April or May 2024. Maybe. But there's still a lot more construction for the automated people mover and it's not going to open until it is in operation.

Originally Posted by DJ_Iceman
0%. In fact the chances of getting an EV even if you DON'T rent in that class are decently high at LAX. After my multiple weeks in a row of renting and returning cars while mine was in the shop, I finally asked one of the agents in the gold booth why there were so many Teslas and Polestars all the time. She rolled her eyes and opened up about how someone (it wasn't clear if it was corporate or at the location) had the bright idea that everyone flying into LAX would love electric cars but the reality is that very, very few people do. So they're stuck with a lot full of them, people don't choose them off the aisles, they can't foist them off as "upgrades", and people won't even book them when they are significantly cheaper than gas or hybrid vehicles.
I'll second that. I have known a number of Hertz LAX agents for a long time, some decades. Nobody wants EV's. It's made for a horrible summer of frustrated travelers at Hertz LAX and the worst selection of PC vehicles I have ever seen at any Hertz station at any time of the year. You'll even notice that the lowest rates bookable now at LAX are EV's. You can get practically any EV you want for $600 a month on a Managers Special EV AAA rate during September and October.
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Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Aug 26, 2023 at 2:52 pm Reason: consecutive posts merged
CalItalian is offline  
Old Sep 1, 2023, 7:48 pm
  #977  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 53
Hi all, have booked a mid-size luxury SUV (T4/RFAR) from LAX for 4 weeks from mid December (was only about $10 more for the upgrade from mid size SUV)

Will be doing a lot of miles including a few days in Lake Tahoe so would like to ensure the car has AWD + M&S tyres in case of slippery conditions. Is there anyway to confirm that prior to pickup?

I'm currently 5-Star and hopefully will be upgraded to PC prior to the trip so can also look at what is on the lot at the time. Need the space for luggage but don't want to get a massive 4WD as will be a pain around the city.

Thanks!
bergsey is offline  
Old Sep 1, 2023, 11:28 pm
  #978  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,535
Originally Posted by bergsey
Hi all, have booked a mid-size luxury SUV (T4/RFAR) from LAX for 4 weeks from mid December (was only about $10 more for the upgrade from mid size SUV)

Will be doing a lot of miles including a few days in Lake Tahoe so would like to ensure the car has AWD + M&S tyres in case of slippery conditions. Is there anyway to confirm that prior to pickup?

I'm currently 5-Star and hopefully will be upgraded to PC prior to the trip so can also look at what is on the lot at the time. Need the space for luggage but don't want to get a massive 4WD as will be a pain around the city.

Thanks!
No chance of knowing ahead of time. Unless the vehicle is from another station outside of Southern California, which has very little in the way of winter conditions, you aren't going to get anything but stock tires. Luxury SUV's are assigned so unless you get lucky in PC, you're not going to have the ability to look around the lot.
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Old Sep 2, 2023, 12:52 pm
  #979  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
Posts: 4,229
States with snowy conditions often won't let AWD vehicles leave for one-ways. You can try looking for an SUV with CO plates or such, but it may still not be AWD.
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Old Sep 2, 2023, 8:49 pm
  #980  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 53
Thanks guys. Have now been upgraded to PC so that might open up some choice on the day. Weird when booking through LAX can't see an option anywhere to specify an AWD or 4WD vehicle.

I did look at flying into SFO and doing a one way to LAX but the difference in cost was eye watering. So have decided to go LAX return.

Cheers
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Old Sep 3, 2023, 1:17 pm
  #981  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,535
Originally Posted by bergsey
Thanks guys. Have now been upgraded to PC so that might open up some choice on the day. Weird when booking through LAX can't see an option anywhere to specify an AWD or 4WD vehicle.

I did look at flying into SFO and doing a one way to LAX but the difference in cost was eye watering. So have decided to go LAX return.

Cheers
Hertz LAX really doesn't have many of its own 4WD SUV's. They're heavily invested in EV's now. More than any station. Quite frankly, you're going to find few to no AWD Luxury SUV's. Also, you mention mid-December. Peak season at LAX is 12/12 until 1/1. The most difficult time of the year to get an upgrade. It's really best to book what you need during this time and your best chance of getting what you want is with their largest SUV.
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Old Sep 4, 2023, 1:45 pm
  #982  
 
Join Date: Apr 2023
Posts: 33
I had to book a last miniute reservation via Hertz LAX around 8PM, as a result of re-routed (and later cancelled) flight. It has been the worst car rental experience I had because of very ineffient operation: took more the 40 minitues for the shuttle to arrive the rental parking lot, and another 40+ miniutes to stand in the line to wait for the car. I was put in wrong lines multiple times, and the shuttle was not properly operated, etc. Hopefully it will be improved when they move to the consoliated rental garage.

DP: Booked a full-size sedan as a PC member, and got a chevy malibu (waited in the line for a long time and took whatever was available when it was my turn).
JonLC is offline  
Old Sep 17, 2023, 11:31 pm
  #983  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 53
Me again!

I have found a really good deal booking via Sixt UK website for an (XCAR - BMW X5) at around the same cost as the LFAR from Hertz including insurance. I'm thinking of going with that as more likely to be an AWD. I rented from Sixt LAX about 5 years ago and didn't have any issues.

As a contingency thinking of retaining my existing Hertz booking (it is a pay later). If i needed to go Hertz, based on others experience would i be more likely to get a better Presidents Circle selection on a Thursday night vs picking up Friday morning? The cost works out the same either way.

Cheers!

Last edited by bergsey; Sep 18, 2023 at 12:18 am
bergsey is offline  
Old Sep 18, 2023, 1:16 pm
  #984  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: UA 1MM, AA Plat, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Glob, IHG ♢ Amb, Hilton ♢, Hertz Pres
Posts: 6,032
Originally Posted by CalItalian
I would avoid Hertz LAX - especially if you count on your PC status giving you anything. This summer they brought in a number of used rather high mileage vehicles. They're in poor shape. Like trashed interiors - even in the 3 President's Circle aisles (saw a 2020 Lincoln MKZ with 68K miles and broken plastic in the interior in PC - crazy). Never seen anything like it. Even dating back to the days when Hertz had high mileage vehicles. They're not cleaning any of their vehicles well, either, because there are so many customers and not enough employees with the three brands on one lot. You might find a new or fairly new vehicle, once in a while, but for the most part they've got a lot a mileage on them.

There really haven't been any upgrades available at LAX this summer. It's what you booked, nothing else, if you're lucky. I've been there about 1/2 dozen times this summer and lot of customers are complaining. Not that it is a big deal to me since I know a number of the long term agents there but for some reason my name is never on the Gold board. Nobody knows why. That's another issue that I've heard many customers complain about.

They have LOTS of EV's, though. That's the issue. Most customers won't rent them. They counted on too much of buzz about renting one and brought in too many. They plan to be 50% EV's when they move to the new consolidated car rental garage next year. Be forewarned.

I hope things change soon. Certainly U.S. based summer travel is leveling off with back to school well under way. But last year it was quite busy through the end of September with European travelers.

I asked again about the consolidated car rental garage move. Earlier this year in this thread I reported they had been told the end of this year. They've now been told next April or May 2024. Maybe. But there's still a lot more construction for the automated people mover and it's not going to open until it is in operation.


I'll second that. I have known a number of Hertz LAX agents for a long time, some decades. Nobody wants EV's. It's made for a horrible summer of frustrated travelers at Hertz LAX and the worst selection of PC vehicles I have ever seen at any Hertz station at any time of the year. You'll even notice that the lowest rates bookable now at LAX are EV's. You can get practically any EV you want for $600 a month on a Managers Special EV AAA rate during September and October.
Yup, EVs definitely have the lowest rates (and not just in LA). I book the EV rate often and then just take whatever gas car is on the PC line. Like everyone else I don't want to rent an EV. Just too much trouble. However although Hertz made an error buying too many of these things, the other car rental companies rates aren't much lower, if at all. I've had to put together a hodge podge of rentals lately, from Sixt, Budget and Enterprise to steer clear of the EVs and Hertz' otherwise high rates. May lose PC status next year for the first time in over 5 years due to it.
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Old Sep 29, 2023, 12:30 pm
  #985  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,535
FYI. Aviation will be closed from September 30 to December 17, 2023 for the new automated people mover construction between the airport terminals and the coming new consolidated car rental garage. Allow for extra time to return your rental as this is going to add traffic to Airport Blvd (Hertz is on the NE corner of Airport & Arbor Vitae). Arbor Vitae is also partially torn up right now for widening and resurfacing.

I was at Hertz LAX on Thursday, September 28 in noon hour.
It's much calmer than the chaotic summer they had. The longtime employees I know could actually talk for a little bit with me.

When I arrived, PC wasn't completely full but close. As I left, it was completely full. I even picked a nice, nearly new (2000 miles) upgraded full leather 2023 Ford Explorer XLT (that belongs to this station) that was brought out to PC while I was browsing the aisle.

Over in the SUV area, 60 to 99, on the other side of the Gold office, there were plenty of standard package small to midsize SUV's to browse. Plenty of EV's, as always, too, on the lot.

Being that gas prices are over $6 a gallon in Southern California currently and the summer season is over, you're more likely to find larger SUV's in PC these days, I was told. There were a few Mustangs & a Mercedes CLA 250 in PC as well. Otherwise, a lot of Rogue's and a number of Florida plated vehicles. They were a lot cleaner than what I saw in July & August.

I was third in line at the exit gate and no line had more than 4 vehicles. All were open around 1 pm.
CalItalian is offline  
Old Sep 29, 2023, 8:37 pm
  #986  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
Posts: 4,229
Most of the FL plated cars probably have a used car dealer sticker. I wonder if these were expensive holdovers from the peak of the chip shortage, now with 50-60k mi, or if used cars are still being bought at auctions to supplement rental fleets.
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Old Oct 1, 2023, 10:36 am
  #987  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 15
Anybody had any experience what would get for a T2, is a Yukon likely or something else ?
couple of months ago they clearly didn’t have my car (T2 boooked) but offered an upgrade for a small amount to an Escalade so happy with that and took it. Dropping off this time in LAS so I am sure they don’t want to give away anything good.
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Old Oct 13, 2023, 10:44 pm
  #988  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 265
Picked up earlier in Presidents Circle.

There’s no shortage of SUVs here. There were a couple Ford Explorers, a large Honda, small Honda, Nissan Rogue, Toyota 4-Runner, Buick Encore, a single Cadillac XT4, and a bunch of other basic SUVs. Mixed in the sea of SUVs were some minivans.

The only sedans available were a single basic Dodge Charger, a Kia K5?, and a bunch of timeless Malibu.

I spotted what looked like an Alfa Romeo Giulia somewhere on the lot (not PC). If that was in PC it would be mine❕
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Old Oct 28, 2023, 8:06 pm
  #989  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 15
Lots of other issues on the day getting to LAX (had to go via Santa Ana and drive up to LAX due to flight change), anyway arrived to find my T2 was a Ford Expedition, no complaints other than it was a bit dirty, not as in not vacuumed but somebody had clearly got it muddy inside at some point, was only 6000 miles old as well (2023 model), anyway figured they wanted to pass it off to LAS since it was a one way.
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Old Nov 6, 2023, 2:44 pm
  #990  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 286
I had a pre-paid reservation for an EDAR yesterday with Hertz at LAX. They told me I could pick any car from "Section 3" of their parking lot. There were maybe 20 cars to choose from, many Hyundai and Kia Sedans, none of which looked brand new. I drove off with a 43.000 miles Toyota Camry; hopefully that turns out to be a good choice for a long-distance trip.
I wonder why Hertz is specifically pricing economy, compact and intermediate cars differently when you end up choosing from the same line anyway.

As mentioned above, the same rental center also houses the counters for Dollar and Thrifties, both of which typically provide a bit cheaper offers than Hertz (apparently you end up getting the same cars). I keep reading reviews, also very recent ones, about horrible waiting times when picking up with both these companies at LAX (reports of three hours waiting time seem to be no exception). On Sunday around 8 PM both brands had at least one staffed counter, but no customers present or waiting (at Hertz I had to wait for maybe three minutes). So I'm wondering where those reports come from. Did anyone of you have a recent experience renting with Dollar or Thrifty at LAX?
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