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Renting an Electric Vehicle / EV / Tesla from Hertz

Old Aug 7, 2023, 3:31 pm
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Last edit by: dayone
It is not uncommon to see an EV as the cheapest (or only) car offered by Hertz, so there will be questions. This Wikipost is currently focused on rentals in the US.

Hertz policies for recharging:
https://hertz.ltschat.com/terms-conditions/?rentaldate=2024-03-02 (change the date as you see fit)

Return the EV with the same level of battery charge as at the time of pick-up to avoid a fee. If You return the EV with less battery charge than the charge level as at the time of pick-up, You will be charged an EV Battery Recharge fee of $35.00 (non-member) / ($25.00 member).

Furthermore: "Battery charging limit on an EV should be set at 80% maximum."

Tips:
-The second clause basically allows you to pick up a car at 100% and return it at 80%. Hertz does not honor this language. Ignore the 80% bit in the terms. Or be ready to fight about it.
-The $25 "member" rate is discretionary and not hard coded; make sure to ask for it specifically or get it adjusted after the return.
-The % at pick-up is often wrong; you will want to verify it at the gate a couple of times.
-Some on here report a 5% leeway, but this is not in the terms anywhere.
-Hyundai Ioniq or the Kia equivalent will charge 4x as fast via CCS as a Chevrolet.
-The refuel fee is taxable so it will end up being about ~25% more than you might suspect. At 60 cents a kwh (Electrify America) and a $35 refuel fee ($25 + tax), the break even is 58 kwh. If you can pick up a 77 kwh battery Hyundai and run it down to 19 kwh, you should NOT recharge it.

EV types bookable with/carried by Hertz (including internal car classification group code and travel agency ACRISS code) (This list is incomplete.)
Tesla Model 3 - Group E7 - JCAE
Tesla Model 3 Long Range - Group E8 - JCAC
Tesla Model Y - Group E9 - RFAC
Polestar 2 - Group C4 - JDAE
Kira Niro EV or Chevy Bolt EUV - Group E1 - IFAC
Kia EV6 - Group L8 - SGAC
Subaru Solterra - Group L7 - SGAE
Volvo C40 - Group C3 - JFAC
Manager's EV Special - Group C6 - XXAE (location's choice of EV)
Manager's Special - Group A6 - XXAR (location's choice of any car, can include EV)
Also carried: Chevy Bolt EV (not reservable but often used as Manager's EV Special?)

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Renting an Electric Vehicle / EV / Tesla from Hertz

Old Oct 25, 2021, 5:51 pm
  #16  
 
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I know a number of Tesla owners who routinely take the cars on long journeys

they seem to have none of the problems that posters on here expect
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 7:07 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Orange County Commuter
I know a number of Tesla owners who routinely take the cars on long journeys

they seem to have none of the problems that posters on here expect
Everyday use and long distance journeys to/from home are very different from car rental usage. For long distance you can plan your route and gas/re-charge stops (though for gas there is no need as pretty much every offramp on I-5 will do now). Maybe for death valley you need to think about where to fill up. In Hawaii there is gas in all major tourist areas.

I don't know about you but when I rent a car I don't give 1 second of time to thinking about where I will refuel. Because there is no need. Maybe people with electric vehicles don't worry about this either, but as a non-Tesla owner I sure would, particularly the places that I have visited the past year outside California.

Again if you are driving <100 miles around town and the hotels or offices have chargers then I am sure this is no big deal. But I can't imagine it would appeal to leisure travelers driving long distances or to traveling salespeople.
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 7:17 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
Everyday use and long distance journeys to/from home are very different from car rental usage. For long distance you can plan your route and gas/re-charge stops (though for gas there is no need as pretty much every offramp on I-5 will do now). Maybe for death valley you need to think about where to fill up. In Hawaii there is gas in all major tourist areas.

I don't know about you but when I rent a car I don't give 1 second of time to thinking about where I will refuel. Because there is no need. Maybe people with electric vehicles don't worry about this either, but as a non-Tesla owner I sure would, particularly the places that I have visited the past year outside California.

Again if you are driving <100 miles around town and the hotels or offices have chargers then I am sure this is no big deal. But I can't imagine it would appeal to leisure travelers driving long distances or to traveling salespeople.
Sure, if you're not used to a Tesla it feels daunting. Once you've tried it, the navigation is easy. You put in your destination. If it's long distance, the car shows you where the Tesla chargers are and you stop at them as needed. After 8 years with a Model S, I can tell you it's easy.
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 7:45 pm
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by Exiled in Express
As an non Telsa EV owner I welcome this. I drove my first Prius 15 years ago as a result of the Emerald Aisle selection and suspect many drivers will be won over by a real world extended test drive.
I ​​drove a Prius 10 years ago as a rental. Let's just say I was not won over by my real world test drive.
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 8:12 pm
  #20  
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Originally Posted by pgh234
I ​​drove a Prius 10 years ago as a rental. Let's just say I was not won over by my real world test drive.
A Tesla today is a very different car than that Prius. And I say that as someone who would rather be able to fill up the fuel tank in a couple of minutes rather than wait even 20 minutes for a battery charge.

I was going around in a relative's Polestar around MSP this past summer, but even that is a very different car than the Teslas Hertz is buying.
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 10:00 pm
  #21  
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This is great news. Some of the Hertz cars I get are real clunkers, with unreasonably low MPG ratings for no particular reason. I just hope they're not going to put the Teslas in a premium category.

I'm not an expert, but my sense is that 99.9% of rental cars are not for "road to Hana" trips. If they are, then someone can probably make some money by operating a restaurant/charging station halfway through.

It also doesn't seem to be too hard to find hotels that offer free charging, and the valets can move cars around overnight - a Tesla supercharger provides 200 miles of range in 15 minutes, and over time, surely more hotels will be adding charging facilities, and capacity for more cars per location. And for most rentals, a charge every few nights is probably all that anyone needs - again, most people are not renting for 300+ mile/day trips. And there is free EV charging at the Oasis at Death Valley for those concerned! I looked into renting a Tesla for a roadtrip with stops in a different city every day last year, and all the places I wanted to stay offered free charging anyway; actually getting my hands on a Tesla was the hard part.

The small minority of renters who are doing the road to Hana or a cannonball run can just rent a different car! And in a few years the charging infrastructure, battery capacity, and charging speeds will obviate most of the concerns here anyway. This thread reminds me of people who a few years ago were saying that wind and solar would never compete with fossil fuels on price. Businesses need to plan for where the ball is going, not where it used to be.

I do think that the only practical way for this to work is for Hertz to offer free recharging at return, though, or some reasonable policy (e.g. return >25-50%). It's rare that I have an extra 20 minutes available to wait for charging. And that assumes that there's a high speed charging station nearby, and it has spaces available at whatever time I happen to be ready to do the return recharge. The press reporting indicates that Hertz is going to build charging infrastructure at its locations. Maybe they add a nominal fee for recharging - e.g. $5. Or just charge it at Tesla charging rates - although I'm not sure that doing so will be worth the trouble of complaints, chargebacks, arguments, etc.

Hope to get one of these later this year; they're so much nicer than most of what I end up with at Hertz, even as a PC member.

Last edited by Doppy; Oct 25, 2021 at 10:06 pm
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Old Oct 25, 2021, 11:37 pm
  #22  
 
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I rented from National last week at ONT and they had a Polestar in the Exec aisle. first time I had ever seen one - had to ask what it was! When I asked about recharging, the lot attendant said that it had to be returned fully charged or there would be a fee.

Unfortunately, that's a hard pass for me - at least until my company's expense reimbursement system catches up with 'the times'. As it stands right now, I am *required* to fill my rental before returning it. Having any fuel charge on a rental receipt will cause the expense to be rejected, and if the charge can't be removed, I have to provide a written approval from my one-over manager. Repeated violations are subject to discipline. Now, to put this in context, 80% of my team goes over their per diem 4 out of 5 days of the week. I can book a hotel $100 out of policy and nobody bats an eye. But I had a $3.00 fuel charge last year and I had to call National, tell them that I had a receipt for a fill up, and get them to remove the charge and issue a new receipt. Go figure.

Given that I usually book 'last flight home' flights on Fridays, and even then find myself just barely making the luggage drop deadline, the rental car companies are going to have to find a way to not require me to return it charged, and/or not call it "fuel" when they charge me for charging it back up.
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 1:56 am
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by Boraxo
I don't know about you but when I rent a car I don't give 1 second of time to thinking about where I will refuel. Because there is no need.
So, for me this dog doesn't hunt for three big reasons:
(1) I do put some effort into chasing down lower gas prices, since putting effort in on this front with apps out there now can save...honestly, 20-50 cents/gallon depending on the situation. That's non-trivial...for example, on a trip from VA to New England I'll try to peg one top-off in Fredericksburg (gas prices rise in Northern Virginia, and there's a Costco by I-95), one in New Jersey, and then hopefully get to VT or NH before I have to fuel up again. Managing to "jump" DC and New York makes a dent. Also, trying to map to hitting Costco for topping off is almost always a winner by quite a bit (that tends to get you the $0.50 differentals). And this is all WLOG: There is wild gas price variability between, say, some of the tourist areas of Orlando and other areas, or within South Florida, or at/near the border of two states (e.g. LA/MS/AL). Also, certain chains tend to be lower as a matter of course (e.g. RaceTrac).
(2) I tend to drive at night, and I cannot tell you how many times I've run into scads of randomly closed gas stations. Sometimes it's every station at a given stop, and sometimes it's only the most expensive one that is still open.
(3) On top of both of the above points, my personal car likes premium and does not like regular, so avoiding getting stabbed hard when I hit a station is sometimes a bit of a guessing game. Sometimes it's more than a little bit of one. With rentals that is very rarely a concern, but it's always on the edge of my mind.

Originally Posted by Qwkynuf
I rented from National last week at ONT and they had a Polestar in the Exec aisle. first time I had ever seen one - had to ask what it was! When I asked about recharging, the lot attendant said that it had to be returned fully charged or there would be a fee.

Unfortunately, that's a hard pass for me - at least until my company's expense reimbursement system catches up with 'the times'. As it stands right now, I am *required* to fill my rental before returning it. Having any fuel charge on a rental receipt will cause the expense to be rejected, and if the charge can't be removed, I have to provide a written approval from my one-over manager. Repeated violations are subject to discipline. Now, to put this in context, 80% of my team goes over their per diem 4 out of 5 days of the week. I can book a hotel $100 out of policy and nobody bats an eye. But I had a $3.00 fuel charge last year and I had to call National, tell them that I had a receipt for a fill up, and get them to remove the charge and issue a new receipt. Go figure.

Given that I usually book 'last flight home' flights on Fridays, and even then find myself just barely making the luggage drop deadline, the rental car companies are going to have to find a way to not require me to return it charged, and/or not call it "fuel" when they charge me for charging it back up.
This reminds me of a guy who got yelled at for taking the subway instead of renting a car when traveling in NYC, despite the fact that doing so for a one-day trip probably saved the company at least $100 between the rental, fuel, and parking. It also reminds me of another guy (a former user on here, RIP) who had to fight to get a client to let him take the train instead of flying (even though the train was significantly cheaper and time-competitive) and had to say "Either you let me expense the train or I'm invoking the 'door-to-door travel time' clause at my going rate" (he was in IT, in the 90s, traveling between NYC and DC...that was not going to be a small bill).

But you raise a good point about a certain amount of "blindness" in policies, as well as the issue that a lot of cars "default" to only charging to 80-90% (IIRC) to save battery life. It'll be one thing if the rental places decide to accept 80% on return and/or decide that they can probably absorb just charging the "market rate", but if they decide to jack folks at 3x the "market rate" for power on that "top 10-20%" that cars don't want to charge...well, I suspect they might ultimately lose the resulting class action suit, but it'll probably take that or a settlement with state AGs to get them to back off a bit.

One thing that does seem plausible is this: A rental company could both (1) offer a "buy the battery" option and (2) permit you to charge that separately (perhaps billing it to an "in-house charging station" so that, if relevant, it registers as indistinguishable from a gas stop; heck, I could see BP or Shell doing some sort of branding deal to aid-and-abet this). Even failing that latter point, depending on the going rates, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of folks in your shoes just decide to eat $10-15 out-of-pocket to do cut that Gordian knot.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Oct 26, 2021 at 11:56 am Reason: consecutive posts merged
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 2:16 am
  #24  
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Hi, I thought Hertz went bankcrupt in early 2020.
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 2:43 am
  #25  
 
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and sends the stock into the stratosphere. I'm kicking myself today for selling a few months ago.
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 3:16 am
  #26  
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Wink

Originally Posted by Boraxo
I laughed when I discovered this was the cause of the TSLA stock bump today. It's a great deal for Tesla, Hertz is paying non-discounted full-price for these vehicles. For Hertz, not so much.

As a former Hertz renter (mainly due to price), I find zero of interest here. First, I see these will be "premium" vehicles, and I am almost always a midsize or SUV guy. Second, if I am renting a vehicle I do not have the time or inclination to find a charging station much less wait 30 minutes or more to juice up. I will likely end up at a hotel and I have yet to see a hotel with more than a handful of chargers, if any. So where do I charge overnight? Third this won't work for the drive to Hana, national parks etc where chargers are even more difficult to find than gas stations. Fourth, business travelers often don't even have time to gas up at the end of the trip, so I can't see them renting a Tesla that may run out of juice during the middle of the day, much wasting time during the hotel rez process to research charging capacity.

I honestly don't see the appeal here except for green nuts who think that renting a Tesla will somehow save the planet, or maybe as an ego boost for those who would normally rent a BMW or Benz.

But hey, what do I know, I work for an oil company...
Hana? Tesla can easily do the range required for that.
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 3:56 am
  #27  
 
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Originally Posted by Doppy
This is great news. Some of the Hertz cars I get are real clunkers, with unreasonably low MPG ratings for no particular reason. I just hope they're not going to put the Teslas in a premium category.

I'm not an expert, but my sense is that 99.9% of rental cars are not for "road to Hana" trips. If they are, then someone can probably make some money by operating a restaurant/charging station halfway through.

It also doesn't seem to be too hard to find hotels that offer free charging, and the valets can move cars around overnight - a Tesla supercharger provides 200 miles of range in 15 minutes, and over time, surely more hotels will be adding charging facilities, and capacity for more cars per location. And for most rentals, a charge every few nights is probably all that anyone needs - again, most people are not renting for 300+ mile/day trips. And there is free EV charging at the Oasis at Death Valley for those concerned! I looked into renting a Tesla for a roadtrip with stops in a different city every day last year, and all the places I wanted to stay offered free charging anyway; actually getting my hands on a Tesla was the hard part.

The small minority of renters who are doing the road to Hana or a cannonball run can just rent a different car! And in a few years the charging infrastructure, battery capacity, and charging speeds will obviate most of the concerns here anyway. This thread reminds me of people who a few years ago were saying that wind and solar would never compete with fossil fuels on price. Businesses need to plan for where the ball is going, not where it used to be.

I do think that the only practical way for this to work is for Hertz to offer free recharging at return, though, or some reasonable policy (e.g. return >25-50%). It's rare that I have an extra 20 minutes available to wait for charging. And that assumes that there's a high speed charging station nearby, and it has spaces available at whatever time I happen to be ready to do the return recharge. The press reporting indicates that Hertz is going to build charging infrastructure at its locations. Maybe they add a nominal fee for recharging - e.g. $5. Or just charge it at Tesla charging rates - although I'm not sure that doing so will be worth the trouble of complaints, chargebacks, arguments, etc.

Hope to get one of these later this year; they're so much nicer than most of what I end up with at Hertz, even as a PC member.
This is just fantasy. In 2008 they were saying every car was going to be a hybrid in 10 years. Now hybrids actually have decreasing market share. Absent major battery technology breakthroughs, EVs are going to be a niche for California and the DC-New England corridor.
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 4:03 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by drvannostren
and sends the stock into the stratosphere. I'm kicking myself today for selling a few months ago.
If the new CEO does what he says it's not too late to buy back in again. I also hold SIXT and the performance was better than expected due to rental prices which have obviously skyrocketed, so not sure why Hertz won't benefit as well in the mid term.
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 4:58 am
  #29  
 
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This is great news and another step towards the predominance of electric vehicles. Lets take better care of this planet. ❤️
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Old Oct 26, 2021, 7:31 am
  #30  
 
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Originally Posted by GrayAnderson
This reminds me of a guy who got yelled at for taking the subway instead of renting a car when traveling in NYC, despite the fact that doing so for a one-day trip probably saved the company at least $100 between the rental, fuel, and parking. It also reminds me of another guy (a former user on here, RIP) who had to fight to get a client to let him take the train instead of flying (even though the train was significantly cheaper and time-competitive) and had to say "Either you let me expense the train or I'm invoking the 'door-to-door travel time' clause at my going rate" (he was in IT, in the 90s, traveling between NYC and DC...that was not going to be a small bill).

But you raise a good point about a certain amount of "blindness" in policies, as well as the issue that a lot of cars "default" to only charging to 80-90% (IIRC) to save battery life. It'll be one thing if the rental places decide to accept 80% on return and/or decide that they can probably absorb just charging the "market rate", but if they decide to jack folks at 3x the "market rate" for power on that "top 10-20%" that cars don't want to charge...well, I suspect they might ultimately lose the resulting class action suit, but it'll probably take that or a settlement with state AGs to get them to back off a bit.

One thing that does seem plausible is this: A rental company could both (1) offer a "buy the battery" option and (2) permit you to charge that separately (perhaps billing it to an "in-house charging station" so that, if relevant, it registers as indistinguishable from a gas stop; heck, I could see BP or Shell doing some sort of branding deal to aid-and-abet this). Even failing that latter point, depending on the going rates, I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot of folks in your shoes just decide to eat $10-15 out-of-pocket to do cut that Gordian knot.
All good points. I was really bummed because this particular trip would have been an excellent use case for an EV - 20 miles from airport to hotel on Monday, 10 mile round trip from hotel to job site Tuesday - Thursday, then 5 miles to customer and 20 back to the airport on Friday. So, 85 miles? I think it cost $16 to fill up the Jeep Compass that I ended up in.
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