Avis to National --- Is the grass greener?

Discussion in 'Avis | First/Preferred' started by Indiana Delta Diamond, Feb 5, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Indiana Delta Diamond
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    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

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    The company I work for makes me choose Avis or National (unless their are extenuating circumstances). I have been considering moving from Avis to National. The title says it all, is the grass greener over there?
     
  2. What are you looking to be 'greener'? Better rates, upgrades (bigger cars, cars with more options, fun cars, SUVs), cars with less miles, promos, quicker check-in/check-out? Also, I think it will greatly depend upon which location you're frequenting.
     
  3. Indiana Delta Diamond
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    Indiana Delta Diamond Silver Member

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    Thanks for your question. Mostly I don't care about price. I don't care about airline miles. Car choice is a minor issue. Quick in and out is a big deal. And some type of free rentals is nice and I am definitely underwhelmed by Avis' free weekends...which the one time I needed it they wouldn't even let me use it since I kept the car less than 24 hours.

    My locations are all domestic but about as diverse as they come in the US.
     
  4. For your first concern (quick in/out), I can't really comment for National. Avis is not consistent enough to make a blanket statment, in my opinion: sometimes they're fast (busses, car pickup, etc) and sometimes they're horrendous. The only one consistency is that I find DTW to be very poor in this respect. I've sometimes waited over 20 mins for their bus.

    Regarding free rentals, Avis is pitiful here. Their free weekends are close to a joke. When I used to ge them, they often wouldn't take them. I opted to just show it when I picked-up a car ("oh, the coupon isn't listed?!? When I called to book the reservation, I told them to apply it... Oh, it's blacked out this weekend, well I wasn't told that on the phone. Can you please apply it anyway?") and it usually worked. Their recently ended free-day promo wasn't too bad, though (rent 2x for 2+ days and get a free day). They have come in handy and don't have the weekend restriction, either.
     
  5. benolaa
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    benolaa Gold Member

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    National Emerald is great you simply pick a car and drive off and once you reach executive you can get a really nice car for the price of a full size. As its self service its always fast.
     
  6. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    At large airports, National is far superior to Avis. The ability to choose your own car is huge if you have developed a dislike for certain models in the car class you rent and/or are upgraded to. As for location availability, you are fine at most airports in the US, however I have been to a few where National is not an option, and Avis would be your only work option.
     
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  7. While it's not the exact same with Avis, if you request something other than what you're given, you should always be given a list of available vehicles in that class. Before I was a Chairman, I usually rented full-size and walked the lot to see a premium that I liked and asked for it. Once in a while (usually CLE), they claimed Premiums were "all spoken for" but gave me a choice of full-size ones to pick from.
     
  8. rajuabju
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    rajuabju Gold Member

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    I cant speak for National, but I used to be a Hertz renter. Had nothing problems with Hertz. Screwed up billing, charging old CC's, dirty cars, trying to overcharge me for mileage... bleh.

    I switched to Avis Preferred about 2 or 3 years ago and never looked back. I've used Avis in Oakland, Kauai, Maui, Seattle, Portland, Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee, Houston, Vegas, Phoenix.

    Never had a bad experience with them. I wouldnt say they are outstanding, but the fact that they have always gotten my reservations correct, never been over charged, never had to wait in lines (Preferred Service), and they have so many AWD and other discount codes that I can usually find amazing rates with them, lower than just about anyone else.

    We definitely need to start a rate code thread here and keep it up to date with the latest & greatest.
     
  9. Wow, I've been on a roll with incorrect charges: 3 of my last 4 rentals! In LAS, they never switched the car to the card I requested at pickup. So I had to go back to the desk when returning the car. They upped the rate by $5/day even thought the original times matched my actual times. In BOS last week, I asked for them to remove my USAir #. Again, I had to go to the desk at check-in b/c my receipt showed miles. They said they would email me a new receipt... they did and the cost/day was about $7 higher. I'm still waiting for a response from Avis.com on that one. And at MDT last weekend, I called to tell them that I'd pick-up the car at 8PM instead of 9AM. They never modified the contract so I got charged an extra day b/c it showed me as picking it up at 9AM. It was a hassle at return because the guy at the desk "can't change anything." His boss took care of it yesterday, though.
     
  10. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    Going over to National in large airport locations can be a bit of a culture shock. If you are a hurried business traveller, and something does go wrong; it's my opinion that maybe Avis can get you on your way a little faster.
     
  11. bthobe
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    bthobe Silver Member

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    Below is my two cents with regards to National vs. Avis:

    Avis:
    • Crappy frequent renter program with regards to attaining status levels, ie. there is basic and Avis Preferred. President's and Chairman's status can not be earned but can be attained via certain credit cards, business dealings, purchase etc....
    • With regards to free rental days, your limited to free weekend's only. Last time I checked, it's based on the number of rentals and not days. This could have changed recently or since the last time I checked. However, you can earn frequent flyer points and still get credit towards those free weekends.
    • If you do have President's or Chairman's club status, Avis does seem to go a little above and beyond for you,especially as a Chairman. Chairman tend to get the pick of the lot with regards to cars, however, YMMV.
    • Upgrades are fairly decent as a President's Club and Chairman, and many times they are ok to switch out the car they have pre-selected for you if you find something else you prefer. (YMMV)
    National Car:
    • The Emerald program has multiple tiers that can be attained via # of rentals or days, via certain CC's and other various business dealings etc.... I find this much better for the average business traveler.
    • The ability to pick your own car is a big selling point for me as I like to be able to pick the best car on the lot available to me and best suits my needs. This is even better when you attain Exec status as you get charged the full size price but can take anything available in that section. Granted, if your at an airport that does not have Emerald Aisle service, you just roll the dice like at Avis.
    • You either earn points or free days on your rentals. However, the free days are not restricted to the weekends only.
    • On occasion you get lucky and find an awesome car in the Executive Selection, ie. Infiniti M35, Acura TSX etc.... but usually they consist of Full-Premium size, a handful of mid-size to premium SUV's and if your in Vegas, a lot of pickup trucks.
    Hope this helps you out and anyone else to!
     
  12. rustyr
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    rustyr Active Member

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    If you don't care about FFPts/miles then Avis is fine because once you put in either on your rental, then the rental will not count towards a free day. I think Avis is the only company that does that. The free days you get from Natonal, 1 after 15 rentals are great as bthobe mentioned above you can use them any day of the week. Also for the past several years they have been doing the 1-2 free promotion which gets you a free day after 2 cheap wknd rentals if you want. Hertz finally matched it this past year as well as Avis- it runs for about 5months. And in a lot of cases, they can be used for one-way rentals.
     
  13. jackal
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    jackal Gold Member

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    How so? Just curious. Haven't had any issues with National, but what does Avis do better that makes them faster?
     
  14. 2soonold
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    2soonold Gold Member

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    Personally, I prefer National.[​IMG]
    It's a subjective call. These businesses all have a flow pattern which keeps them operating successfully. Subjectively, I and others have opinioned that a disturbance in the flow(such as a low tire pressure light on) results in a slower fix at National. If everything is operating correctly that never happens. But, it is my guess that the "choice factor"(the very thing that makes us prefer National) is what causes the slower response. Where to go to get another car; EA,ES,Full, Premium? I've even been told at ATL to take any car from the Alamo side; nice gesture, but that's quite a hike! At the other guys it's, "Sorry about that,sir. HEY JOE, send up the beige Gran Marq."; and your on your way.[​IMG]
     
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  15. jackal
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    jackal Gold Member

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    Makes sense. If that's the extent of it, then I'd prefer National, too. Car choice is a big draw for me.
     
  16. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    You can no longer doubledip FF points and free weekends.
    David
     
  17. bthobe
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    bthobe Silver Member

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    I did not know that, thanks for the heads up!
     
  18. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    They did that a while ago, maybe at the same time the free weekend requirement went from 3 to 4 rentals. Right now the 2 rentals = 1 free day deal is better anyway, but still has the same requirement that you can't double dip. Lots of folks had many issues trying to use the free weekends. I got quite a few, but only ever managed to use one.

    David
     
  19. For the most part, yes. However, I like to take 2-day weekend trips and with the 2 rentals/1 free day, you can't stack them for 2 free days on the same rental (at least as far as I've seen). With the free weekend, this wasn't a problem.
     
  20. Actonma
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    Actonma Silver Member

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    We switched from National to Avis a couple of years ago and I've never found the Avis service as good, nor are their promotions as rich (e.g. National's 1-2-Free promotion). I'd choose National....
     
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  21. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Since Avis is so picky with using awards, that doesn't surprise me. I think some have run into issues with locations that weren't accepting the weekend certificates for various inane reasons.

    I wonder if you can drop out of the free day promotion after being registered. I think it runs through May 31st?

    David
     
  22. Morgan
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    Morgan Silver Member

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    We've got small biz discounts with both Avis and National. Avis always comes out way cheaper (often times in excess of $20/day difference). Is National perceived to be a more expensive brand?
     
  23. ctporter
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    ctporter Silver Member

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    If you travel with a lot of tools etc like I do, then National is better, because for some reason at many of the Avis locations have the preferred cars are quite a hike from the drop off point, at least for me especially at LAX. For me that is a deal breaker, which is why I have been using National lately.
     

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