National/ Alamo FAQs and Questions

Old Mar 22, 2023, 3:07 am
  #1441  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 3,804
Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast
huskyflyer before covid, National had the nicest cars, followed by Avis. Hertz and Enterprise tended to have old, high mileage trash. Hertz and Enterprise more often had base models, or one level higher. 10 years ago, Kias with plastic window cranks and no cruise control were common there, but rare with Avis and National.
Hertz was getting better after they rolled out Ultimate Choice and actually began marketing that they had their "best fleet ever". This was in 2019 and early 2020. It wasn't as good as National but it was getting pretty decent. Then they went bankrupt and now their cars are consistently trash. The few times I've rented with them over the last couple years to burn points, the cars had serious wear and tear. And it seems like every time I peek at a Hertz lot walking by, it's all base trim Hyundais and Toyotas.
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Old Mar 23, 2023, 3:12 pm
  #1442  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 396
Originally Posted by m907
There may be something to that as Stellantis is foolishly discontinuing the Charger and Challenger and moving towards all EVs. I don't know anything about manufacturing but they've been making those cars with minimal updates for nearly 20 years so perhaps they are trying to use up all the capacity and parts before killing them off.
That could be it. I am noticing a sudden increase in Chargers at my local Enterprise, and they share the fleet across the city and with National at the airport. Some of them are quite nice as they have leather seats. They have been choosing them in the bright red/orange colors which honestly looks really good, but if someone is renting it on a business trip to see a client it may not be the best color choice. They must have secured some deal to buy off the remaining stock. Literally every Charger I see on the streets are either police cars or a rental car. I walk by a touristy place where lots of tourists drive rental cars to and I have noticed recently more people are coming in brand new Chargers than the usual Camrys, Malibus etc.

A Charger is a great car, but if it was a road trip I'd probably go with a Malibu for the better fuel economy.

I still remember growing up my dad rented a Pontiac GrandPrix on an ICAR reservation and I was so excited because of how it looked, and my dad was complaining about the car for the entire road trip across Utah and Yellowstone that it was hard to drive and sluggish.

Originally Posted by m907
Hertz was getting better after they rolled out Ultimate Choice and actually began marketing that they had their "best fleet ever". This was in 2019 and early 2020. It wasn't as good as National but it was getting pretty decent. Then they went bankrupt and now their cars are consistently trash. The few times I've rented with them over the last couple years to burn points, the cars had serious wear and tear. And it seems like every time I peek at a Hertz lot walking by, it's all base trim Hyundais and Toyotas.
Yeah I have noticed that I think National/Enterprise brings in the Chrysler 300 at a higher trim than other rental companies, but National also puts it as LCAR while I think Avis may have it as PCAR (not entirely sure).

I think Natonal/Enterprise is a bit behind in EV compared to Hertz.

The big shock I have is that National Corporate buys RAV 4s in the LE trim with plastic wheel caps! But the NAtional Franchise location in CAnada buys them in XLE trim.

Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast
huskyflyer before covid, National had the nicest cars, followed by Avis. Hertz and Enterprise tended to have old, high mileage trash. Hertz and Enterprise more often had base models, or one level higher. 10 years ago, Kias with plastic window cranks and no cruise control were common there, but rare with Avis and National.

NYC has a relatively captive audience- people who live there and don't own a car. They expect the rental to be locally available for weekend getaways. That means heavy usage. Garages are small, so don't carry that many cars during the week when people are working and commuting by transit. The cars are driven in from the airports on Thurs and Fri afternoons and driven back on Sun nights. This staff costs money. Airports can be cheaper for direct pickup but it takes a while to get there from Manhattan. Hence beat up 65k mi 2 year old Camrys for $175/day remain, even when OEM deals were plentiful.
Makes sense! It must be a lot of labor just to move a car around. I imagine moving just one car from Newark to Midtown will take at least 2 hours (even at min wage that is at least $30 in labor, and then another $30 to move it back to Newark on Monday so $60 in moving fees alone - that is enough to rent a car in some cities!) unless they are like trucking them in.

I do wonder given how much better/advanced cars are these days if consumer expectations have increased to or they think the car rentals are buying higher quality cars when in fact cars are just better these days. I think even a Chevy Spark today has more features than a FCAR from 5-10 years ago.
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Old Mar 23, 2023, 6:18 pm
  #1443  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
Posts: 4,230
Car carrier trucks are too big for Manhattan side streets where rental agencies have small underground garages and no dedicated street parking space.

I once walked past such an Avis on a Fri evening. I saw cars parked in adjacent no standing zones, and in meter zones without a meter receipt. They all had orange envelopes with tickets. The roving lot attendant said Avis pays the tickets. So figure another $200 each.

Meanwhile, a 15 passenger van was parked outside next door. It was full of men wearing Avis uniforms. They said they were each bringing cars here from LGA for weekend rentals, and stuffing them in the basement as fast as customers come.
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Old Mar 26, 2023, 6:44 pm
  #1444  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 396
Does anyone know if cars at National/Enterprise have a chip inside them? I was returning my Chrysler 300 at YVR. For whatever reason this car was the only car on the aisle that didn't have the usual barcode sticker on the windshield and no barcodes on the keys either. When I returned it, the agent took a device and scanned the windshield where the barcode usually is and then he opened the driver door and scanned the door where the VIN sticker is usually located. Ussually they use their device and scan the barcode on the windshield, and I always thought it was a camera to scan the barcode and not some chip inside the car?

My final receipt didn't have the exact amount of gas in the tank like I do with GM cars so I don't know if there was actually some chip he was scanning?
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Old Mar 27, 2023, 9:27 pm
  #1445  
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 3,804
Originally Posted by huskyflyer
Does anyone know if cars at National/Enterprise have a chip inside them? I was returning my Chrysler 300 at YVR. For whatever reason this car was the only car on the aisle that didn't have the usual barcode sticker on the windshield and no barcodes on the keys either. When I returned it, the agent took a device and scanned the windshield where the barcode usually is and then he opened the driver door and scanned the door where the VIN sticker is usually located. Ussually they use their device and scan the barcode on the windshield, and I always thought it was a camera to scan the barcode and not some chip inside the car?

My final receipt didn't have the exact amount of gas in the tank like I do with GM cars so I don't know if there was actually some chip he was scanning?
He was scanning the VIN in the door pillar.
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Old Apr 1, 2023, 11:45 pm
  #1446  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Full time Nomad
Posts: 846
Can I book my Enterprise rental thru Costco ( who always is the lowest price) instead of direct thru Enterprise, and get credits? What I mean is with hotel programs, if you don't book direct thru the hotel, you wouldn't get your points. Is it the same with Enterprise or not?? I will be doing a 30+ day rental.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 3, 2023, 9:44 am
  #1447  
Moderator: National Car
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SE MI
Programs: Delta PM, National EE, Hertz PC, Hilton DM
Posts: 2,171
Originally Posted by stan1162
Can I book my Enterprise rental thru Costco ( who always is the lowest price) instead of direct thru Enterprise, and get credits? What I mean is with hotel programs, if you don't book direct thru the hotel, you wouldn't get your points. Is it the same with Enterprise or not?? I will be doing a 30+ day rental.

Thanks!
YMMV. Usually third-party sites like Costco or Priceline will not entitle you to the benefits of status or points-earning but some folks have reported being able to take advantage of these things depending on the station and how they ring up the reservation.
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Old Apr 3, 2023, 11:04 am
  #1448  
Company Representative - AutoSlash and HotelSlash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: autoslash.com | hotelslash.com
Posts: 5,703
Originally Posted by dwbf11
YMMV. Usually third-party sites like Costco or Priceline will not entitle you to the benefits of status or points-earning but some folks have reported being able to take advantage of these things depending on the station and how they ring up the reservation.
FWIW, unlike with hotels, this actually isn't the case with car rentals. As long as you're booking a standard pay-later reservation, you can earn points and use your status benefits just like booking directly through the rental company's website. In fact, on the rental car company's end, aside from a little note tucked away on a sub-screen indicating it was booked through a travel agent that earns a commission, it is indistinguishable from a standard reservation booked through the website or rental company's 800 number.

This is true regardless of which travel agency (OTA or brick-and-mortar) the reservation is booked through or whether the reservation is booked with a corporate discount code (which is what CostcoTravel does behind the scenes and why AutoSlash can almost always find the same rates that CostcoTravel can, because all they're doing is searching standard GDS-published pay-later rates and adding discount codes, and we search the exact same discount codes, plus thousands of others.)

What doesn't earn points are prepaid reservations booked through third-party OTAs, since those are either net rates negotiated individually between the OTA and the rental company or booked through third-party wholesalers. But as long as you're booking a "pay later" or "pay at counter" rental, the source doesn't matter, and we have never seen an instance of someone not earning their points or being able to use their status benefits (except in the rare case of a technical glitch--there was a time a year or two ago where Priceline made some changes to their website and wasn't properly passing Hertz Gold numbers through on pay-later bookings, but that was a technical issue, not a policy issue, and we pushed them to fix it pretty quickly).
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Old Jun 11, 2023, 1:39 pm
  #1449  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 70
I tried to call the local branch for Newark (EWR) without any luck. I have a departing flight next Saturday at 7 AM which means I will probably be dropping the car off before their opening time at 5 am. Anyone use their drop box if they even have one? Any problems with it? I never flew out of Newark before so not sure if trying to drop off after they open will give me enough time to check my luggage with United, get through security, and fly out on time. We appreciate the advice.
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Old Jun 11, 2023, 1:48 pm
  #1450  
Company Representative - AutoSlash and HotelSlash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: autoslash.com | hotelslash.com
Posts: 5,703
Originally Posted by nicemann
I tried to call the local branch for Newark (EWR) without any luck. I have a departing flight next Saturday at 7 AM which means I will probably be dropping the car off before their opening time at 5 am. Anyone use their drop box if they even have one? Any problems with it? I never flew out of Newark before so not sure if trying to drop off after they open will give me enough time to check my luggage with United, get through security, and fly out on time. We appreciate the advice.
First off, dropping off the car at 5:00 AM should be plenty of time to get to the terminal for a 7:00 AM flight. As far as dropping off earlier than that, it should be fine. There is a key drop box there.

We highly recommend taking pictures and/or video showing the entire exterior of the car as well as one of the dashboard showing the mileage and fuel level just to be on the safe side.
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Old Jun 12, 2023, 7:20 am
  #1451  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Programs: Some/Most/All
Posts: 256
Originally Posted by nicemann
I tried to call the local branch for Newark (EWR) without any luck. I have a departing flight next Saturday at 7 AM which means I will probably be dropping the car off before their opening time at 5 am. Anyone use their drop box if they even have one? Any problems with it? I never flew out of Newark before so not sure if trying to drop off after they open will give me enough time to check my luggage with United, get through security, and fly out on time. We appreciate the advice.
I echo the above, but also ask an employee when you pick the car up. I had a similar situation in SNA and they told me they started accepting returns at x:xx, which was before the listed opening time. EWR, being a larger station, may have a similar practice.
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Old Jul 13, 2023, 2:09 pm
  #1452  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: São Paulo
Programs: Azul Diamond, HH Gold, Marriot Bonvoy Gold, ALL Gold, Sixt Platinum, Hertz PC, National EE
Posts: 30
Hi all! In a practical sense, has Premium Elite SUV been a higher category than Luxury (sedan) or I might end up getting the same kind of car, as I have been reading that is usual for Luxury category to get X3/Q5s, etc? I'm checking prices for MIA in August, and the Luxury category has been cheaper than the Fullsize, but I'd like to have the chance to choose between a wide variety of cars if I end up receiving something that I don't like. Would Premium Elite SUV be better for that or a Luxury reservation would be sufficient?
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Old Jul 13, 2023, 3:02 pm
  #1453  
 
Join Date: Dec 2022
Posts: 396
Originally Posted by gusdalcolmo
Hi all! In a practical sense, has Premium Elite SUV been a higher category than Luxury (sedan) or I might end up getting the same kind of car, as I have been reading that is usual for Luxury category to get X3/Q5s, etc? I'm checking prices for MIA in August, and the Luxury category has been cheaper than the Fullsize, but I'd like to have the chance to choose between a wide variety of cars if I end up receiving something that I don't like. Would Premium Elite SUV be better for that or a Luxury reservation would be sufficient?
I don't know about MIA in terms of upgrades and what cars they will give but Premium Elite SUV is many classes above LCAR (Chrysler 300, CT4, CT5). After LCAR, its RXAR (Audi A3) then GXAR (Audi A4 ) then its Compact Elite SUV (or whatever its called - its a Q3) and then its Premium Elite SUV (Q5). Strictly speaking, SUVs are seen as a different class than sedans, but in practice the hierarchy is what I gave you.
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Old Jul 30, 2023, 4:45 am
  #1454  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: France
Programs: Flying Blue
Posts: 3
Hi all,
New Executive member here.
I will be renting a car from ORD in a couple of weeks. I noticed that some members can check if a vehicle has an active SiriusXM subscription before taking the car.
How does this work exactly? Shall I turn on the system and try a couple stations? Or is there another subtle indication somewhere?
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Old Aug 2, 2023, 5:42 am
  #1455  
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: OSH
Programs: SWRR, HH, SM, TSA Pre
Posts: 773
Originally Posted by taktako
Hi all,
New Executive member here.
I will be renting a car from ORD in a couple of weeks. I noticed that some members can check if a vehicle has an active SiriusXM subscription before taking the car.
How does this work exactly? Shall I turn on the system and try a couple stations? Or is there another subtle indication somewhere?
One way that used to work, although I don't know if it still does is to try a station with an XL warning on it. Off hand I can think of Turbo (41) and Shade (45). Those channels are never included in the preview. Of course many times there are free previews going on where all of the other channels are available.
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