Hertz vs. Alamo (in Arizona)

Old Jan 21st, 2002, 11:53 AM
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Hertz vs. Alamo (in Arizona)

We'll be renting a car (full-size or SUV)in Phoenix in early March.

While Alamo's quote is a lot cheaper than the 2nd best (Hertz), is this just another case of getting what you pay for?
- Is Alamo's off-airport location a lot less convenient?
- Is pickup/dropoff a lot slower (vs. Hertz Club Gold)?
- Are the cars in good condition, especially given Alamo's recent Chapter 11 filing?

Any help/advice would be appreciated!
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 12:05 PM
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Let me confuse you even more. I've done the same research as you but for Phoenix at the end of March and found that Avis was the cheapast and booking on-line was even cheaper. Both Costco and BJ's have discounted fares (if you belong to either one) and coupons which bring the rates down. We rented with Alamo last year and their "airport" location ended up being well away from the airport although the shuttle does take you there. They were also out of the mid-size vehicle we wanted and ended up with an SUV for the same price. It was in good condition and worked out really well for us. I was also told by all the rental agencies last week to keep calling because they frequently put on promotions closer to the dates...does this help or not???
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 03:14 PM
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I agree with Karen about Avis. We are going to be in Phoenix the beginning of Feb. & found the best deal for a midsize by reserving through Avis online. It beat aarp, etc. Also, be careful when get rate quotes. Be sure you compare rates with all the misc. taxes included, since that can add another 25% on to the total fees.
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 04:27 PM
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I can't remember the location of Alamo rental desk at Phoenix, but I do remember turning the car in and walking directly into the terminal, being chased by one of the attendants because I had left my camera in the car. I have never had a bad experience with Alamo and have consistently found their internet fees less than others for comparable automobiles. Go to 'travelocity.com'; register and get their rate code for 25% off. You will get an online quote to use to make your e-reservation; print it out and take it with you. Also, continue to check rates up to and including the morning of your flight into your vacation destination. I recently rented a car in New Orleans and the rate decreased more than $100 between the time of my reservation and my trip...more than 1/3. Sign up for Alamo's Quicksilver program and you don't even have to talk to a representative to pick up your automobile, whereas I had to wait more than 1 hour for Hertz once.
Old Jan 21st, 2002, 04:55 PM
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As for location, Hertz is not too close to the airport either, so there's no advantage there versus Alamo.
Hertz is the utmost in dependable.
But my favorite at PHX is still National because with Emerald Aisle you get to select your own car from the lot (which, also, is quite a few blocks from the airport).
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 08:25 AM
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Be careful returning. The signs/directions for car returns in Phoenix is god awful.
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 11:02 AM
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I have a SUV booked with Alamo for late March $258.00 a week plus taxes. But I always check about 1 week prior and sometimes find National to come in with a better price. Also I heard Alamo filed for bankruptcy.
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 11:30 AM
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Thanks to all of you for the helpful postings!

To clarify the price issue: I live in Europe and the majors all have specials in the US for overseas residents. This time, Hertz & Alamo came out on top, while Avis & National were most expensive (go figure).

Regarding my original questions:
- From the postings, it seems clear that location isn't an issue.

- Regarding Alamo's speed of service, where is Quicksilver membership available (couldn't find it on their web site)and does it cost anything?

- Has anybody rented from Alamo (or National - same parent company) since the bankruptcy filing?

- Oh yes, and a new question: for a tour to Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Petrified Forest etc. is it better to get an SUV or a sedan?
Old Jan 22nd, 2002, 06:59 PM
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Andre here are my general impressions after well over a hundred car rentals in the US.
Hertz tends to be most expensive but service and reliability are best (both the company and its cars). The cars are cleaner overall and better maintained. BUT: there are exceptions to every rule, it seems. I've had dirty cars at one time or another from every rental agency.
National and Avis are next on the list in terms of quality, and in Phoenix at least Budget is pretty much on their level.
Alamo and Thrifty and such are cut rate agencies which usually work out fine, but can cost you time if you're in a major hurry (on business) and sevrice can be spotty, cars can be older and less well maintained (though the latter is a pretty minor point since none of the cars you'll get from the airport will be on their last legs).
If the best price you got was from Hertz, that's the direction you should go without question.
No SUV required unless you're planning on offroad travel, which isn't necessary to see any of the key sights in AZ.
Hope your trip works out well!

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