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taupo

Which car rental program and why?

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I rent cars about three times a year, and from one to five days at a time. So an infrequent renter.

Is it worth my while joining a FC program, why and which one?

I have rented a car for five days out of AKL for five days this coming June. I used Hertz due to price and AP miles. Hertz had the lowest price and I can collect AP miles. NZ$358 (C$280+-) for 5 days all in ^

In the past I have used Avis out of habit and brand name. They pissed me off this past sumer when they overbilled me and took 6 months to make it rights, the buck was continually passed. This does not mean I wouldn't use the again if price and perks made it worthwhile.

Thoughts?

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I get a 20% discount at Hertz, so that is the only place I bother with. I don't even look around for other prices because when I did, Hertz was still cheaper after the discount.

This makes me Gold with Hertz which generally gets me treated well. Sometimes too well in YVR as they have at times given me an upgrade to a car that my CC insurance probably wouldn't cover. They offered me a Hummer H2 last time. I ended up taking a Mazda instead.

Another time, in Halifax I rented a car to be picked up downtown by my daughter who would then go to the airport to get my wife. I was never there. The downtown office was closed unexpectedly but Hertz paid the $50 for a taxi to get to the airport and gave her a $50 voucher to use the next time she/we rented a car.

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For some reason National sent me an Emerald Club card a few years ago, I think back when you had to pay for it.

I tend to use it because I can usually go direct to the lot without going to the counter first (unless the counter is the only point of contact) and they don't charge for adding a spouse as a second driver.

I have no idea if other programs have these features.

I will not use National if they are much more expensive than another option.

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I like Avis generally, and because I get program membership/discounts through employer contracts. But, for personal use their prices are getting less competitive. Budget (owned by the same company) has been a more frequent choice for me lately.

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I'm with exAc on this and use Hertz for the same reasons. They give me presidents gold a free day every three or so rentals(depending on days per rental) and good upgrades. You go straight to your car at major airports also. They also have a decent frequent user program that I use as opposed to sending my miles to AE.

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I'm an Avis member and I use them for domestic business rentals mainly because the car is ready with the key and contract is in it and I can drive away without having to stand around waiting for some-one with 15 minutes training to prepare a contract and find a car. Avis also have the remote receipt machines so you can get a receipt as you unload the car on your return.

On foreign rentals and vacation rentals I use search engines like expedia, kayak and carrentals.com and get the best price. I find all the majors prices are all over the map depending on date and location so I search for the best deal.

The other one I'm using this summer is the discount link offered by AC when you book a flight on the AC site. I checked that link for a price this summer in BC and got an excellent price so I took it.

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Yes you can get AP miles.. just make sure you note it in the #1 club gold profile.

The other benefits of #1 club gold are shown on hertz's website. One of those benefits include being able to find your name on a board and parking spot before you reach your car so no waiting in lineups!!! go straight to car, plop luggage in trunk, walk around car and get in and go to the exit booth then you are on your way! :)

Sanosuke!

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Still loyal to Avis as they have been loyal to me. Still using my old SE discount code. Not sure about other programs but it is hard to beat a full size for $40/day plus AE miles and upgrades to something better most of the time. I also get free day rentals every month or so. This is such a good deal I have been using it for my airport transfers to and from YYZ as well. Saves the company money and I get the use of a car for 24 hours. Win-Win-Win I guess you could say!!

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Yes you can get AP miles.. just make sure you note it in the #1 club gold profile.

The other benefits of #1 club gold are shown on hertz's website. One of those benefits include being able to find your name on a board and parking spot before you reach your car so no waiting in lineups!!! go straight to car, plop luggage in trunk, walk around car and get in and go to the exit booth then you are on your way! :)

Sanosuke!

This is exactly the same as Avis at YYZ, you should your license at the gate, only problem I have experience sometimes is when they put your slip in the wrong car and you have to go back to the garage to get the proper one. It has only happened once in the last several years so not that bad, just an annoyance when it does happen.

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Still loyal to Avis as they have been loyal to me. Still using my old SE discount code. Not sure about other programs but it is hard to beat a full size for $40/day plus AE miles and upgrades to something better most of the time. I also get free day rentals every month or so. This is such a good deal I have been using it for my airport transfers to and from YYZ as well. Saves the company money and I get the use of a car for 24 hours. Win-Win-Win I guess you could say!!

Mind sharing the SE code?

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Still loyal to Avis as they have been loyal to me. Still using my old SE discount code. Not sure about other programs but it is hard to beat a full size for $40/day plus AE miles and upgrades to something better most of the time. I also get free day rentals every month or so. This is such a good deal I have been using it for my airport transfers to and from YYZ as well. Saves the company money and I get the use of a car for 24 hours. Win-Win-Win I guess you could say!!

Mind sharing the SE code?

You know what they say, it you were meant to have it, you already would!! :wink:

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This offer may not apply to mere Super Elites, but I just logged in to aeroplan, clicked on Top Tier, and scrolled down to Elite Offers and saw this:

Receive Complimentary #1 Club Gold status and Double Aeroplan Miles from Hertz

As an Air Canada Elite member, you may take advantage of a complimentary one-year membership in Hertz #1 Club Gold®, the fast and easy way to rent a car from Hertz. You'll be on your way in minutes because there is no waiting and no unnecessary paperwork. If you're not currently a #1 Club Gold member , click here to enroll. Hertz looks forward to welcoming you soon as a new Hertz #1 Club Gold member.

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I belong to them all but don't use their rewards programs--always deposit miles to ff program. I use AVIS for the most part as the discounts I get with SE status are better most of the time than the others. Also 500 Aeroplan miles for each rental suits my mostly 1 day rentals.

In the US, Budget is usually best for me.

I have been known to use Thrifty, National/Alamo and even some local no name brands depending on location. I even use Priceline occasionally. I have found more issues with the smaller companies, especially Thrifty and especially in developing countries in terms of nicks and dings so am especially careful to look and record, especially in countries like Mexico and South Africa.

All companies have treated me well overall although some locations have had their issues, e.g. YOW Avis.

I agree with exAC that I sometimes get upgrades I don't want, ie. humungous cars when I am going downtown where parking is tight, cars without trunks to secure luggage etc.

I am Preferred Select with AVIS, Gold with Hertz and nothing with the others. Not sure if National still has its Emerald Aisle where you get to pick whatever car you want when you rent intermediate or larger. . . (useful for road trips).

The whole point is to be a low price shopper I think. There are discount codes on the other board on the AVIS thread that can help in some areas but I find SE discount generally the best.

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Avis has always treated me well and I have had good rates and cars in Canada, the US and Europe.

A few years back, I was upgraded to an E Class Mercedes in Malaga, Spain (from an Opel) and the all-in price for the week (with great gobs of insurance) was less than $500. The second best part about the Mercedes was that it was always parked right next to the door of the hotel when I wasn't driving it.

The one disappointment was a one way rental I had in New Orleans (to Florida) where they were clearly wanting to rid themselves of a dog of a car with California plates on it - it had lots of miles on the odometer and had a peculiar smell.

I have almost always had a new car with choice when renting in Canada.

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