Help with Rental Car

Old Sep 15th, 2003, 04:03 PM
  #1  
Les
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 456
Help with Rental Car

Hi.
I need a quick response on this, please.
I am about to book a car rental, for a month in NZ, with Apex Car Rentals. Their web site looks professional, their rates seem reasonable, they have multiple locations, and I've received timely and complete reponses to my e-mailed questions.
But, as with anything on the internet, better safe than sorry.
So, are any of you familiar with this rental company? What kind of reputation do they have, and what if any, was your experience with them?
Thank you for any information you can provide.
Also (just in case the replies are negative), do you have any recommendations for reliable rental companies with new or near-new vehicles and reasonable rates?
Les is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2003, 04:06 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 48
I'm leaving Thursday for 2 weeks on the South Island and researched this board and travel guides pretty thoroughly and Apex sounds like a winner. I just booked mine about an hour ago. I think you'll be fine with them. Have a great trip. Rob
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 07:51 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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I have used Apex several times and have always found them reliable. They are one of a number of cheaper car rental firms that use imported secondhand Japanese cars.

Similar companies include Pegasus and A2B Car Rentals, these and similar companies can be found on the Internet.
Tangata is offline  
Old Sep 15th, 2003, 09:51 PM
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We used APEX for a 2 week trip around the S Island earlier this year. They had great service and the prices were by far the most reasonable we found.
I would not hesitate to use them again or to recommend them.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 10:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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We also rented a car through Apex earlier this year during part of our stay - agree with Lindsey completely.
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Old Sep 15th, 2003, 10:40 PM
  #6  
Les
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Thanks, all!
I just finished booking my reservation with Apex. I spoke to them via phone; they're very accommodating, and a pleasure to deal with. I suspect that I, too, will be a satisfied customer.
Thanks again.
Les
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 05:24 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I had a negative experience with APEX this past summer (NZ winter). I, too, booked for a month before I arrived. Once I was in NZ I had some changes in plans and I wanted to cancel my reservation. They gave me a VERY hard time, despite the fact that I was giving them plenty of notice. It tooks weeks to get refunded as they make you pay upon pickup THE FIRST DAY and it was very stressful for me during my holiday.

In addition, I made positively sure, via email documentation, that I would have chains in the car. I was at Tongariro National Park on July 4 and woke to a huge snowstorm. My friend said not to worry, we have chains. Well sure enough-NO CHAINS. When we called Apex we were told they do not include chains for the North Island. I emailed with Apex for months. Never once did they mention that chains were included only for South Island rentals. I was so angry, esp. b/c we spent a good part of the day digging ourselves out when chains would have made the whole ordeal much easier. The public transportation in NZ is easy and less stressful (in my opinion) than driving on those narrow roads. The Apex situation was the only downfall of a fabulous holiday in New Zealand. Watch out.
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Old Sep 17th, 2003, 07:38 PM
  #8  
Les
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Hi, Abby.
Thanks for your reply.
Let me address your points, mainly to ease my own mind, since your warning came after I booked my reservation.

I don't know that any other car company would have given you a less difficult time getting a refund under those conditions. Generally (according to the person that I spoke to at Apex), a full refund will be provided up to 7 days before the rental, and thereafter there would be a 20% fee for cancellation. He did not say (nor did he imply) that there would be any refund after the car was picked up ( which is when the contract is consumated).
I would expect to pay the entire amount if I initiated the cancellation. I would expect a pro-rated refund if Apex initiated the cancellation. Any other reason for cancellation would be a point for negotiation. I don't know what your "changes in plans" were, but if I felt that I had a valid case for a refund, I would enlist the aid of my credit card company (you did use a credit card, didn't you?) to recover my refund.

As for the chains, that was unfortunate. I didn't notice anything that said South Island, either. I did, however, immediately e-mail Apex to ensure that the chains would be available when I picked up the car. Since I'm starting my trip on South Island, this should be OK. I'll be there in early November, where there is always a possibility of snow at the higher elevations (I live in Denver, and I know this). By the time I go to the North Island, it'll be mid-november, and with the lower elevations there, I would expect that snow is unlikely.
But if the forecast is iffy, I have the option of keeping the same car and taking it across on the ferry, and of course, the chains will come with me.

Anyway, thanks for the heads-up. I appreciate it.
Les
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Old Sep 20th, 2003, 07:53 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Les-Apparently you feel you had to write what you do to make yourself feel better and I guess defend a car company that you don't even own or work for. And yes, you were not there with me so you don't know what my circumstances were and why I needed to cancel. What happened to me is my situation and I was simply just offering a recall of that to try to warn you that these people don't always play fair. Just FYI-I did stop in a few other car rental places and asked them what they would have done in my case. Two of them said if I had given them 7 days notice they would have cancelled without penalty. Apex gave me a particularly hard time, and considering the circumstances as to why I had to cancel, I thought was ridiculous. Plus, although I had confirmation in writing (3 different emails) about the chains NEVER ONCE did they mention there were no chains in the NI. So imagine my surprise when I got buried in a snowstorm and guess what...no chains! Thank god I had it all in writing. I thought that was pretty unethical, considering I rented the car in Auckland. They would know I was staying the NI!

Oh, I did call my credit card company for help and they were of no use.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 07:27 PM
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We rented a used Camry from Omega and had a good experience.
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 10:31 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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Les, We rented a car from Apex for two weeks last April and found them reliable, courteous, and affordable. Everything was handled over the internet, so it was easy. The cars are older but in good condition and the one problem we had was resolved immediately to our satisfaction. We rented a cell phone with the car but the phone didn't work. They promptly credited our card for that charge without the usual fuss car rental companies put up. We'd certainly go with them again. Have a great time.
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Old Sep 24th, 2003, 08:24 PM
  #12  
Les
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Krisz, jahlie, thank you for your response.

Abby, I'm sorry if you found my response to your posting offensive. That wasn't at all my intention.

Les
Les is offline  
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