Renting with Hertz abroad

When we decided to travel to England and see the country, we agreed that we would drive. Driving around England would allow us a wonderful opportunity to see the country on our time. The only schedule that we needed to meet were our own. I researched with a few car rental companies and settled with Hertz. We’ve rented with Hertz regionally and our experiences with them have been positive. Plus, they offered pre-paid rentals which saved us a bit of money especially when the GBP is at a stronger rate than the USD.

A few things you should be aware of when opting with a pre-paid rental.

  1. It is NOT refundable! So make sure your itinerary is set before booking a pre-paid rental.
  2. Automatic cars are very limited in supply, which means your options are also limited. At the time of review and booking, I found a car that wasn’t too expensive to rent but may not be big enough for two large luggage and carry-on items. Or a larger car that may not fit within your travelling budget.
  3. For whatever retarded reason, Hertz does not allow you to also pre-pay for your insurances until you pick up the car. As a result, when we picked up our car, we were presented with an insurance payment that was worth more than the car rental!! It was ridiculous!
  4. Luckily, I purchased my pre-paid rental with an American Express card, which offered car damage insurance only without additional charges. So before you book your next car rental, check to see what your credit card company offers for insurances when you travel, you may end up saving lots of money!
  5. Also, if you want to add another driver, you can’t do that with pre-paid. That has to be done when you pick up the car, which is ridiculous because if the purpose is to help customers save with pre-paid, I just don’t see why it can’t be offered as an option. Other options like sat-nav and baby seats are offered upon pre-paid; why not the additional driver?

We were given a new VW Golf which ran on diesel fuel. It was a great compact and amazingly fitted our two large luggage and our carry-on bags as well without having to adjust any seats! It ran perfectly until the second day when the oil signal started to beep for reasons we did not understand. Again, we were lucky to be near a Hertz car rental and took it into get it checked out. And to our surprise, there was a faulty plug in the oil tank. Apparently, all the oil had leaked out and we were fortunate in that the engine did not seize during our drive from point “A” to point “B”. Unfortunately, this particular Hertz office did not have any automatic and advised us that we would need to go to one of the airports to get an automatic. They gave us a manual and advised us that Gatwick was the closest airport so off we went as fast as we could to the airport.

At Gatwick, we were upgraded to a Mercedes that was a cross between a mini van and an SUV; a very unattractive car. No additional cost for the upgrade but offered as a gesture for our troubles. But 2 minutes after pulling out of the Hertz lot and onto the highway, we got an annoying front passenger seatbelt beeping sound. My seatbelt was on. The beeping started out with a gentle beeping reminder and would crescendo into this irritating loud and compulsory beeping that just freaked us both out. The beeping eventually stopped after some bit of distance but would start up again any time we stopped and began to drive. To say the least, the remainder of our driving through England was less than pleasant.

We came to the conclusion that the Hertz managers at the Gatwick Hertz location gave us a Mercedes upgrade with knowledge that it was a faulty car. It’s pretty shitty of Hertz to pawn off that Mercedes to us when they should repair it. I’m sure there were other automatic they could have given us. It didn’t have to be an upgrade. Plus, the Mercedes wasn’t able to fit our two luggage without adjusting the back passenger seats.

I have to say that I would not be quick to book my abroad car rental with Hertz in the future especially when I return to England. I recommend that you look at other car rentals that allow you to pre-book your car rentals with insurances and any other options you may require. Also, with Hertz’s pre-paid offer, you have to give them a fax number so they can send you a voucher which proves you pre-paid for the car rental and present it to the agent at time of pick up. Who the hell uses the fax anymore!?

Hey Hertz! Get with the times! There’s this new way people are communicating. It’s called email and you can also add attachments to emails like the voucher you want to send people faxes.

If you’ve rented with Hertz, I’d love for you to share your stories here!


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