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Why does Hertz discriminate against US Citizens???

Why does Hertz discriminate against US Citizens???

Old Jul 13th, 2007, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I know most people on here like AutoEurope, but don't totally discount Avis,either. I've rented from them for the past 5 years, once or twice a year, and have been quite happy. I had an accident in one of their cars in France in May. I had travelers insurance through Access America, and was putting the claim though them (around $3000.00 in damages). Of course, my Visa was charged the $3000.00 right away. However, about a month later, Avis called me and said they were crediting my Visa for the amount! I was really astounded and happy, as it was a hassle getting the documention etc. to Access America that they required. Now I am a lifetime Avis fan!
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Old Jul 13th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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As I stated before, we have always rented an automatic.

We haven't rented from AutoEurope for quite some time. Their rates for an automatic are just not competitve and no they would not match the other price.

The last time I contacted them, they did not have an compact car available and they wanted twice as much for the next class up that they did have available, which I believe was an economy.

The time before that, they would not provide a basic rental, one with no insurance. I could use my credit card and did not want any insurance.

Make sure you compare the exact same rental terms with the different companies.

Sher is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Honestly, check out nova car hire's rates (they are a broker that operates out of northern Ireland). We have rented with then TONS of times because of their great rates. Once I had AutoEurope match their rate, but one time even the manger at AutoEurope said he couldn't match their rate even though AutoEurope says they'll match rates.

But, we always rent manual transmission, so I don't know how that figures in here. Really though, I bet all of you would remember how to drive a stick if you gave it 20 minutes here at home to try it. I think it is one of those things that is just programmed in your brain and you don't forget.
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Old Jul 13th, 2007, 03:48 PM
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Thanks for the excellent advice Julie. It looks like Nova offers a choice of three good size automatic cars at excellent rates - much better than AutoEurope.
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Old Jul 13th, 2007, 05:05 PM
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Glad you checked out Nova! We have rented with them the last 3 trips and have been delighted with the service. The last 2 trips we were upgraded at no extra charge,,,returned one car a day and a half early and the refund showed up on our CC the day we returned. We always have ordered an automatic and have never been disappointed.
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Old Jul 13th, 2007, 08:22 PM
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"If you are a non US resident renting a car in the US, the rates are much more expensive than for US residents."

As an Australian that hasn't been my experience. I think US rental companies do discriminate between residents of various countries, though.

I prefer to rent an automatic in countries where I have to drive on the right, because it's one less distraction in city traffic. But I'm also puzzled that one could forget how to drive a manual, unless the original experience had been extremely brief.

Another vote for packing light - but even so, squeezing four people's luggage into the boot (trunk) of any conventional sedan seems a big ask. We once managed it in New Zealand, but our daughters had backpacks, which are easier to squeeze into odd spaces. Maybe a van/people-mover would be the best idea?
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Old Jul 13th, 2007, 08:39 PM
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have you looked at kemwel.com ? we rented from them in 2004 in Madrid. their rates are competitive and if you have done enough shopping around, they match the lowest quote you have received for a similar vehicle. you have to tell them who quoted you the rate (maybe so they can verify?) happy planning for your trip.
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Old Jul 13th, 2007, 08:48 PM
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We rented our car in Croatia through Economy Car Rentals because their price was significantly lower (hundreds of dollars) than any competitor, including Auto Europe which is who we usually use. We were a little nervous using them but everything went without a hitch. They actually drove the car to us at our hotel, which was an added bonus. The only negative was that they left us with about a fourth a tank of gas and we couldn't find a gas station until we were almost on empty.

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Old Jul 14th, 2007, 12:22 AM
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US residents do not have to pay all the car rental insurances (EG CDW) when renting in their own country - that in itself can half the price of car rental.

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Old Jul 14th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Both Hertz & AVIS in Europe do have prefered rates for non US residents. Up to the mid 90's they used to give cheaper preferred rates to US residents, but now it's the opposite.

I've called AVIS in Europe about it and they told me that I can still qualify for another country rate if I have proof (hotel/restaurant/rental bill) that I was in that other country on the day of my online reservation. Since then I've tried to make my car online reservation while I was abroad and I saved a hotel bill as proof. They usually don't ask but once I did have to show proof because there was another American on the next counter renting the same identical Benz for over 1600 euro a week while my weekly rate was less than 800 euro in Linate/Milan. Fortunately I had carried my hotel bill from Germany for the date of my online reservation to show as proof.

The AVIS site recognizes you as an American resident if you've entered USA before and will not let you pick a different country. Hertz lets you choose your residency if you arrive on the webpage a certain way. The easiest thing is to use a new "User" on your computer which the companies haven't identified as a US resident user.

Calling the US 1-800 number guarantees you the american rate, the agents can't give any other country rate even if you are a non american resident. BTW Canadians get the same higher rates. I've never tried the Mexican rate.

Airlines do the same preferential treatment based on where you start your journey (US or the other country). Many of their websites recognize you in the future once you enter your residency.
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Old Jul 14th, 2007, 09:36 AM
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:03 PM
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I finally received a reply to my email to Hertz:

"Thanks for your recent email. The WOW rate is only available on bookings made from the UK site. For bookings made from the US site, there are prepaid programs available. You will need to ask for the rate under step 1, you have 2 rates to choose from. The first option is "AOT" this rate includes all taxes, fees, surcharges and mandatory theft protection. The second option is "AOF", this includes the same as the "AOT", but also includes the collision damage waiver."

I tried the code AOF since CDW is mandatory in Italy, and the price is $2440.17!!!!

I will book with Nova as soon as they start accepting reservations for 2008.
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Another interesting reply when I emailed back to Hertz mentioning that the prepaid rate was higher than their non-prepaid rate, and asking again why WOW can't be used by US residents. It sounds like Italy wants more visitors from the UK!!!! Also Hertz's CDW deductible sounds terrible.

"It is a part of Italy's marketing strategy. If Italy feels they are not getting a good market share of people travelling from the UK, then they will reduce the cost of the rental to UK residents. It sometimes goes the other way, where US rates may be lower than UK rates.

As for the prepaid rate being higher, when we run promotional rates on the internet they are always non-prepaid rates. So if you were to compare the promotional rates vs. prepaid, it probably will be better with the promotional rate and add in the extra coverages. One benefit the AOF rate will have in Italy over any other rate is the amount of responsibility in the event of an accident or theft will be EUR 300.00. For any other rates the responsibility would be between EUR 900.00 - 1500.00 for an accident and EUR 1500.00 - 2800.00 for theft."
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Just to put the shoe on the other foot, if you, Sandy, and your travel companions, are in your late 60s, you no doubt take advantage of many discounts offered to members of AARP or to anyone over a given age. I don't get those yet - though my day will come - but it's not illegal for the hotels, car rental companies and attractions to charge you less than they charge me. It's done to promote business among the retiree demographic (and not, as mistakenly thought by some, as a reward for getting older!)

Keep up with your research and go for the best deal you can get.

If you plan to use the car after leaving Florence, you could also compare rates at other towns: Siena for instance.

All the rate variations are part of the puzzle of car rental: for instance, if you arrive at a US airport suddenly in need of a car, it can be cheaper to pick up the phone and call the 800 # for the car co., and book with them, than to walk up to the desk. Walkups generally aren't offered a discount - after all, you're standing right there, in need.

Have a great time - I love driving in Italy and I hope you folks do, too.
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Sandy, one tip on luggage to add to the others you've received:

Four people with four large bags will be hard pressed to fit them all in a trunk - but 4 small bags plus 4 smaller ones can be fitted around each other and into corners. A friend and I barely squeezed two 26" bags into the trunk of a 4-door Alfa Romeo, though there was lots of extra room - just not suited to larger format bags.
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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I get the same picture as Sandy. In the good old days Americans always got the best deals due to preferential treatment. Nowadays many companies in the world are rethinking and rebalancing their tourist visitors. It doesn't feel as good to be less desirable but it is the companies' prerogatives.
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 11:21 AM
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Sandy - I know this was mentioned...just because you reserve an automatic doesn't guarantee you one. I reserved (and paid for) an automatic for our trip and guess what...no automatic! Thankfully we managed since my DH drives stick...I'd forgotten but am relearning for our next trip!! Have a wonderful time!
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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We are four ladies 63 to 69 who travel Europe by car. We take 18 -22 inch suitcases and a tote. These are the best sizes to pack into a medium size car(and this takes a little practice to get them all in). Even in the larger size cars, that is about all the luggage you can get into the trunk.
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 08:29 PM
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At least the situation will be different than renting in the US, where in my admittedly limited experience, whatever you order, you get a Ford Taurus.
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