Hertz Chicago Cragin / Oak Park - anyone?

Old Jan 29, 19, 8:13 am
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Question Hertz Chicago Cragin / Oak Park - anyone?

Hi everyone. I am trying to figure out where/what to rent for our summer trip, which will start in Chicago. If I rent at O'Hare I get, let's say, 100% as price. If I rent in downtown Chicago (Loop area)
I can leave the car at ORD with no additional cost, but it will cost me 150%. There are a few other non-central locations where I could rent, leaving the car at ORD, at the price of 70% or even less.
Two of these places are Chicago Cragin HLE (W Belmont Ave) and Oak Park HLE. They are almost at the same distance from downtown.
Any comments on these location would be greatly appreciated. I read some rude comments on the web but you know people get screwed up maybe for waiting 10 minutes more or so ...
Also, should I rent in one of these locations, which of the two is more easily (quickly) reachable from downtown (both ways as I should drive back to downtown to pick up family and luggage ...)?
And .... more important: would it be better to rent at ORD, paying the extra fee (that would mean around $200 in my case)?
Thank you !!!

Last edited by dukefleed; Jan 29, 19 at 8:15 am Reason: forgot ...
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Old Jan 29, 19, 2:00 pm
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Just so I understand, you'll be downtown with your family, and you'll need to get a rental car, and eventually drop it at O'Hare, right? Can you give a ballpark $ amount for what renting at O'Hare would be, vs. in the Loop, vs. Cragin or Oak Park?

A few things to think about:

1. In terms of vehicles, you'll definitely get the best selection (particularly if you're 5* or PC) at O'Hare than at an HLE.
2. Depending on the time of day, going from downtown to O'Hare, getting a car, and then coming back downtown, could take well over two hours.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by cestmoi123 View Post
Just so I understand, you'll be downtown with your family, and you'll need to get a rental car, and eventually drop it at O'Hare, right? Can you give a ballpark $ amount for what renting at O'Hare would be, vs. in the Loop, vs. Cragin or Oak Park?

A few things to think about:

1. In terms of vehicles, you'll definitely get the best selection (particularly if you're 5* or PC) at O'Hare than at an HLE.
2. Depending on the time of day, going from downtown to O'Hare, getting a car, and then coming back downtown, could take well over two hours.
Agree completely on both points. I think you will be potentially fighting a lot of traffic to execute this. Neither location is particularly convenient to downtown. Have you looked at the location on 2828 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60657? It is closer and depending on where you are you can probably get there in 15-20 minutes from downtown.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 3:17 am
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Sorry for replying only now, we have timezone issues
I will better explain our situation: we'll arrive at ORD on Tuesday, we'll sleep one night in Chicago Loop, we'll leave Chicago on Wednesday late afternoon.
The options are:

1) Rent a car at ORD upon arrival. Reach downtown by car, park at a valet garage (cost: ~$40), leave by car next day. Cost of rental would be around $715 (prepaid).

2) Rent a car in a HLE next day (one day less of rental), reaching this location by Uber (for both locations Uber gives me around 20-25 minutes and $18-20), park it for a few hours
in the Loop (around $15, already checked on Parkwhiz), leave when desired. I can return the car at ORD with no surcharge. In this case the options are:

a) Rent the car in one of the HLE in the Loop: this would cost me around $1000 (even from the HLE at N Clark St!) -- DISCARDED!

b) Rent the car at a HLE not so near to the Loop (e.g., Cragin or Oak Park) - in this case I'd pay around $550.

Solution 2b means that on Wednesday I'll waste at least 1.5 hours for the car pickup ... maybe 2 hours if traffic is bad (I could choose a relatively low traffic time, like early afternoon).
Solution 2b means also that we'll have to reach downtown from ORD by Uber (around $40) or using the Blue Line ($20 for all 4).
All in all, solution 2b has a total cost (including transfers, parking etc) of around $600 (and the loss of time), while solution 1 has a grand total of around $760.
Car would be a midsize-SUV (Q4).
I am no 5* nor PC, just a Gold member ...
Thanks for you helping me decide.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by dukefleed View Post
Sorry for replying only now, we have timezone issues
I will better explain our situation: we'll arrive at ORD on Tuesday, we'll sleep one night in Chicago Loop, we'll leave Chicago on Wednesday late afternoon.
The options are:

1) Rent a car at ORD upon arrival. Reach downtown by car, park at a valet garage (cost: ~$40), leave by car next day. Cost of rental would be around $715 (prepaid).

2) Rent a car in a HLE next day (one day less of rental), reaching this location by Uber (for both locations Uber gives me around 20-25 minutes and $18-20), park it for a few hours
in the Loop (around $15, already checked on Parkwhiz), leave when desired. I can return the car at ORD with no surcharge. In this case the options are:

a) Rent the car in one of the HLE in the Loop: this would cost me around $1000 (even from the HLE at N Clark St!) -- DISCARDED!

b) Rent the car at a HLE not so near to the Loop (e.g., Cragin or Oak Park) - in this case I'd pay around $550.

Solution 2b means that on Wednesday I'll waste at least 1.5 hours for the car pickup ... maybe 2 hours if traffic is bad (I could choose a relatively low traffic time, like early afternoon).
Solution 2b means also that we'll have to reach downtown from ORD by Uber (around $40) or using the Blue Line ($20 for all 4).
All in all, solution 2b has a total cost (including transfers, parking etc) of around $600 (and the loss of time), while solution 1 has a grand total of around $760.
Car would be a midsize-SUV (Q4).
I am no 5* nor PC, just a Gold member ...
Thanks for you helping me decide.
Based on your calculations seems to me that you have to decide if all the back and forth (during your family vacation) is worth savings of $160 and probably a less choices of cars.

Have you tried looking at other rental companies? or does it have to be Hertz? Also you can try a service like Autoslash to see if rates change.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 8:04 am
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What are the postpaid rates like? Often times promo codes will make the postpaid price same if not lower than the prepaid one. You'd also get the additional benefit of not being locked into a decision now, and you could keep an eye on the rates in case they go down.
If you're US based, you can use Autoslash to look for best deals and track price changes. If not, booking on your native website should give you the insurance coverage you want included in the rate, and will most likely be cheaper than Autoslash rates.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by dukefleed View Post
Sorry for replying only now, we have timezone issues
I will better explain our situation: we'll arrive at ORD on Tuesday, we'll sleep one night in Chicago Loop, we'll leave Chicago on Wednesday late afternoon.
The options are:

1) Rent a car at ORD upon arrival. Reach downtown by car, park at a valet garage (cost: ~$40), leave by car next day. Cost of rental would be around $715 (prepaid).

2) Rent a car in a HLE next day (one day less of rental), reaching this location by Uber (for both locations Uber gives me around 20-25 minutes and $18-20), park it for a few hours
in the Loop (around $15, already checked on Parkwhiz), leave when desired. I can return the car at ORD with no surcharge. In this case the options are:

a) Rent the car in one of the HLE in the Loop: this would cost me around $1000 (even from the HLE at N Clark St!) -- DISCARDED!

b) Rent the car at a HLE not so near to the Loop (e.g., Cragin or Oak Park) - in this case I'd pay around $550.

Solution 2b means that on Wednesday I'll waste at least 1.5 hours for the car pickup ... maybe 2 hours if traffic is bad (I could choose a relatively low traffic time, like early afternoon).
Solution 2b means also that we'll have to reach downtown from ORD by Uber (around $40) or using the Blue Line ($20 for all 4).
All in all, solution 2b has a total cost (including transfers, parking etc) of around $600 (and the loss of time), while solution 1 has a grand total of around $760.
Car would be a midsize-SUV (Q4).
I am no 5* nor PC, just a Gold member ...
Thanks for you helping me decide.
My recommendation would be to submit the O'Hare rental and the downtown HLE rental to Autoslash (autoslash.com), and see if you can get a better price for either. Trekking out to Oak Park or up to Belmont is definitely a hassle.

As for parking, there are a bunch of garages downtown that are around $20-22 for 24 hours (try spothero) that are probably no more than a 10 minute walk from your hotel.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 8:18 am
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Thank you for your suggestions. Postpaid prices are always higher, already checked, I'd say at least a 10-15% more. I am European-based so I don't think I can benefit from Autoslash.
My main concern was about the availability of cars at HLE's ... the hassle of renting at HLE's next day maybe is not the main concern, I could resolve everything in under 90 minutes.
Actually, I have another option, which is trying to buy a few points to get a free week and rent from ORD that way. In this case I should settle for a full-size rather than a midsize SUV,
and add the money for the points but it wouldn't be that much, maybe 30 bucks.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 9:54 am
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HLE will probably have your booked car class, though it might be just that one car and that's it, possibly with higher mileage too. In case of a downgrade, you'd be in the right place to either ask for a partial refund or stop by an airport location to exchange the car.
Does Hertz have any discount coupons? 10-15% is a typical promo code amount, so you could still get the same price but keep the flexibility. On the US website promo codes don't apply to prepaid rates, I reckon it's the same for the European websites.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 10:18 am
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Of course I am using discount coupons, on European sites they work for prepaid as well. All in all, it seems better to rent at ORD and settle for a fullsize ... still pondering ....
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Old Jan 30, 19, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by dukefleed View Post
Thank you for your suggestions. Postpaid prices are always higher, already checked, I'd say at least a 10-15% more. I am European-based so I don't think I can benefit from Autoslash.
My main concern was about the availability of cars at HLE's ... the hassle of renting at HLE's next day maybe is not the main concern, I could resolve everything in under 90 minutes.
Actually, I have another option, which is trying to buy a few points to get a free week and rent from ORD that way. In this case I should settle for a full-size rather than a midsize SUV,
and add the money for the points but it wouldn't be that much, maybe 30 bucks.
If you get a week from ORD, you could get a Premium (not just a fullsize) which is likely to have more space (interior and cargo) than a midsize SUV. Probably a Chevy Impala or Chrysler 300.
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Old Jan 30, 19, 11:22 am
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AUTOSLASH can monitor price for the cars and will notify you if they have found something cheaper. No credit card or membership involved. Just submit the info of the current reservation you have and it checks for you.
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Old Jan 31, 19, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by cestmoi123 View Post
If you get a week from ORD, you could get a Premium (not just a fullsize) which is likely to have more space (interior and cargo) than a midsize SUV. Probably a Chevy Impala or Chrysler 300.
If I get a free week it will only be for a vehicle up to F class, upper classes means too many points and would not be convenient to buy (like 1500 points more!).
But, a fullsize could reach for the four of us ... don't know what you get for fullsize now, but I think something like a Chevy Malibu?
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Old Jan 31, 19, 5:57 am
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Originally Posted by dukefleed View Post
Sorry for replying only now, we have timezone issues
I will better explain our situation: we'll arrive at ORD on Tuesday, we'll sleep one night in Chicago Loop, we'll leave Chicago on Wednesday late afternoon.
Are you looking at spending $600 for a rental car for one day?
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Old Jan 31, 19, 5:59 am
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Originally Posted by m907 View Post
Are you looking at spending $600 for a rental car for one day?
Not really ... the rental would be of 15 or 16 days, depending when I pick the car up
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