In the past few years I’ve had to rent more than my fair share of rental cars. I’ve rented from Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, Dollar, and a handful of smaller local companies. Some of those were better than others, but rarely did I find a reason to try to go back to the same rental company the next time. In fact after joining Hertz’s loyalty program hoping that I could establish some kind of regular purchase/reward deal with them I found myself constantly playing middle man between what Hertz corporate would tell me, and the privately owned Hertz Local Edition shops that acted like Hertz corporate was screwing them and it was my fault. Combined with them frequently not even having cars available I gave up.
I bitched about this on twitter and someone suggested I try out National and holy crap, I can’t believe I never tried them before. I’m seriously kicking myself for the last 2 years of rentals that weren’t with them. As a member of their Emerald Club (free sign up online) you get to choose any car on the lot and all at the same price. Yeah, a minivan costs the same as a compact, a cost which is generally cheaper than what you’d get a piece of crap car from any other place. For instance, I have a Toyota Prius for a week right now, it’s costing me $170. Last time I rented from them I had a Nissan Altima for a weekend, that was under $100. And seriously, they have rad cars, they aren’t the super cheep-o model you’ve never heard of, I’ve got a Prius right now for crying out loud.
Anyway, literally this is the first time I’ve ever been amped about renting a car so I thought I’m pass that on here.