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US car hire

Adelaide, Australia
12 posts
US car hire

I see some recommendations not to hire cars in the US directly from the company but to instead use an agency. Any thoughts either way on this? And any reviews on one such provider drivenow.com?

Thanks in advance.

20 replies to this topic
Harvey, Australia
Level Contributor
314 posts
27 reviews
1. Re: US car hire

We always hire direct to the company. That way, if anything goes wrong, you are not dealing with a third party. I know a lot here advise to go through the (in our case) Australian website of the company due to getting quotes with full insurance etc, but we always have gone with the US website and added insurance. Has worked out best for us.

And another tip, which ever company you go through join their loyalty club. We've used Dollar twice, the first time not members and it took nearly 2 hours of queuing to get the car, 2nd time after joining, walked straight to dedicated service person and had a car in a few minutes.

Melbourne, Florida
Destination Expert
for Melbourne, Florida
Level Contributor
17,757 posts
115 reviews
2. Re: US car hire

As to the advice to use Dollar / Thrifty. It depends on where you are visiting. It may be fine in some states but in Florida, they advertise cheap rates but get you with hidden fees. In south Florida they charge the highest rates for toll transponders that you must have in the Miami area. If not visiting Florida then I wouldn't worry about it. Agree with joining loyalty clubs as you can then skip the long lines.

Bel Air, Maryland
Level Contributor
672 posts
145 reviews
3. Re: US car hire

While going straight to a rental company is probably the best, an excellent alternative is Costco Travel. Great rates and customer service. Your reservation appears on the rental company’s website. So can still go straight to the car if you have such privileges.

Are you a Costco member? I see they have a presence down your way.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
71,206 posts
123 reviews
4. Re: US car hire

I think Costco is a good option for US residents, but Australians may not get the insurance coverage that they need.

Bel Air, Maryland
Level Contributor
672 posts
145 reviews
5. Re: US car hire

If a US resident rents a car through Costco for travel in abroad, the website states that any additional coverage can be purchased at pick up. Of course, that may not be the most economical way to go. But in the US. if one has a problem, there are few companies any easier to reach than Costco.

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
26,295 posts
38 reviews
6. Re: US car hire

airpizz - Costco would be the bottom of my list of suggestions for an Aussie . Not only is it not a direct rental company, you always have to add the insurance - and the insurances a foreigner would need to add at pick up are rarely cost effective when purchased at pick up. As you then have to contact the rental company to ask what you need to pay, it can be hard to find out what the fully loaded, true rental price will be - even for simply comparison purposes.

As a regular on this forum, it is very clear that what works for Americans - including any where in the world - is generally the reverse of works for foreigners in the USA.

shane - I cannot remember where you will be picking up or dropping off the rental car, and haven't bothered to check. In general, these days, booking directly with the rental company is often cheaper than using brokers, and it cuts out any middle man, making problem solving (should that happen) so much easier. However, for unusual routes or locations, brokers are still sometimes cheaper, and noticeably so. As Linda rightly says, joining the loyalty scheme of the rental company is always a good idea.

Please repeat the pick up and drop off details - location, dates, etc - and I can comment further if required.

Separately, there's a long, boring topic linked to one of the questions on the right side of the forum page with a ton of other info for those who like to do their research more thoroughly. Just scan the topic and ask further questions here.

SWT

Wednesbury, UK
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
17,262 posts
7. Re: US car hire

Costco’s UK website has limited supplier options and quotes sometimes both with and without insurances depending which supplier you pick, and location, so you need to be wary using it.

I did not think it was that great in value terms either on a comparison with other broker or direct sources available in the UK when I looked at it last week.

Edited: 16 October 2018, 21:06
Wednesbury, UK
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
17,262 posts
8. Re: US car hire

As for direct or broker it all depends on what?, where?, when? and the best value overall.

I do both, and I don't really see a difference at the end of the day going either route other than the best overall cost.

I get a car at price I'm content with, it does the job, any issues usually get resolved with the rental company in either scenario.

edit.

Interestingly the rental I looked at with Costco last week now has insurance included on all options ( although the website is contradictory!).

Edited: 16 October 2018, 21:27
Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
26,295 posts
38 reviews
9. Re: US car hire

If UK Costco members get insurance included prices for USA rentals, then that is a change from when I last looked.

SWT

Wednesbury, UK
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
17,262 posts
10. Re: US car hire

It’s says it is included in the what’s included bit like so, even for Enterprise!?

<<Your Price Includes

Your Costco member discount

All taxes and fees

Additional driver

Unlimited mileage

COLLISION DAMAGE WAIVER FULL

SUPPLEMENTAL LIABILITY PROTECTION>>

The FAQ implies you need to buy it separately!! and the T&Cs are not the best written that I have ever seen as they appear to be slightly random extracts of the suppliers and the unlimited mileage qualification is interesting.

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