Customer service: It actually Hertz

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  • Anonymous


    OK so I know that car hire is a huge black hole for complaints and bad experiences, and it can be a localised problem too depending on the branch, but I really do not know how Hertz manages to keep any customers.

    I am a Corporate renter, so I have very little choice in the matter. But I am constantly renting a car from Hertz in the UK after changing jobs. I now work for a European organisation as their UK rep, and my company car during the probationary period of employment is provided by Hertz.

    So this means I get a pretty good idea of how they operate as I am renting so much.

    I won’t go into detail about every problem (on almost every rental I have had some problem or other, mainly caused by staff members) but is the grass any greener elsewhere?

    I have always had a good service (which seemed genuine) from Enterprise.

    Is Hertz really that bad, or am I just a magnet for poor service at this company?

    General thoughts welcome.



    I would concur with the comments about Enterprise. Their Heathrow team is probably the friendliest on the airport, at least in my experience.


    I am not a corporate renter, however I rent a car perhaps 25 times a year (twice a month on average) and I am part of the loyalty scheme of both Avis and Sixt. I have used a mix of operators, but typically, in order of frequency:
    1. Avis
    2. Sixt
    3. Goldcar (Spain)
    4. Record Go (Spain)

    Avis I find generally problem free and when problems do occur, the solutions have always been satisfactory (albeit their customer care team are a bit slow to manage complaints once they have been filed). However their website is full of bugs which is really annoying as I rarely am able to book online.

    I have had mainly smooth rentals with Sixt, the one problem I did have wasn’t handled that well (I don’t have that much confidence in the customer care team as a result) but I would rent with them again as most rentals have been problem free.

    I would avoid local companies as, from my experiences, they only work in their interests (not the customer’s), have staff who are trained in extreme hard-selling and they don’t seem to care about feedback or repeat custom. (As an aside, I’m aware that Goldcar are upping their game a bit with new loyalty packages however past experience tells me it’s all show!)

    Therefore, if you are consistently having problems, I would recommend Avis or Sixt, if that were an option!


    Avis has been roundly panned both in the press and on TV (Watchdog) recently also. Issues from fiddles wrt insurance, only providing agreement in local language so you may not know what you are signing up for, very minor scratches costing many hundreds with no evidence of work done etc.

    As said, it is down more to the branch than the company.


    And watch out (in my case with Budget) at Geneva – flew in with Swiss to Swiss side last week having booked my car with Expedia – was told “your booking is on the French side you have to go through to them and pick it up”. Stupidly I am a believer so went through and helpful French Girl expressed surprise but got me a car. Sadly the car didn’t have the Swiss motorway sticker and so I was forced to pick one up at 40 CHF as all our trip was to be in Switzerland.

    Dumped car off on the Swiss side (just try to get from Switzerland to the french side drop off), peeled off the sticker just in case and complained. Swiss Budget chap said its Expedia’s fault the booking phone number is in France. He lied through his teeth as the number was 41…..!

    Have picked up 3 cars (not with Budget) in GVA this year so far, all booked through and and all with no problems for a Swiss pick up (& Swiss motorway sticker).

    What is it with Budget and the stupidity of car rentals all having double desks some 100 yards apart!


    I wouldn’t trust any of the big chains. They will all rip you off or in some way screw you over given half a chance.

    On the rare occasions I use one I always use an independent. Quite often cheaper as well.


    I tend to agree with SimonS1, with the smaller local company’s I find you tend to pay less for it and get a more personal service. You also seem to get more choice rather than the tick box mentality of the corporates trying to sell you what you don’t want and not really interested in what you do want.

    I avoid Hertz like the plague, use Avis at a push and will use Enterprise if they have a good deal on. I find Budget not too bad, and have never used Sixt, mainly because I don’t know how to pronounce it! I will always check a local or two before using one of the above.


    I use Hertz without considering others anywhere in the world. With the exception of a very small issue with a staff member at ADB where it is a franchise I have never had any sort of problem.

    I guess none of them are perfect but I got to Hertz through a process of elimination being dissatisfied with others.


    Fully agree Hertz and Avis leave a lot to be desired, but where they come into their own is if you have an accident or breakdown. Thanks to their large network they’ll quickly have a replacement car for you but you do have to be careful to check what you’re signing or declining and that all the equipment, tyre, triangle etc is in the car.


    I try to avoid the big chains where possible and like others find the small independent renters much better. There are exceptions, Avis at Istanbul airport is good because the manager there cares about his customers. Hertz at Warsaw also good, again down to the staff at the desk.

    On the opposite Avis in Glasgow is so bad it’s beyond belief


    So, hit and miss service it seems from all hire companies. I don’t have a lot of choice over which company to use, as it’s always Hertz unless unavailable for some reason.

    My negative experience relates to the NCL branch mainly, and I had a poor experience at LBA once too although not bad enough to warrant writing it off completely.

    I’ve got to say that at NCL, the Avis bunch seem a lot more friendly and professional.


    My rental experience with Avis has generally been good, both in the US, New Zealand, the UK and the rest of Europe. Worst issue was a problem with the Peugeot I rented in Barcelona, and found the manual supplied for the vehicle to be in Catalan.



    I’ve been renting regularly for more than 30 years and far prefer Avis – I have NEVER had a problem with them: I call that pretty good (just once at LHR, not a problem, but the car was damaged far more than shown on the form – they changed the car for me).


    We tend to operate more on price considerations than anything else when hiring in the UK unless some special considerations (pick-up points or timing being the main ones) apply. The last few trips we have, with one exception, hired through Thrifty and, save for one issue (at their Heathrow drop-off point it can take some time to get the car checked back in), been very pleased, not least because on every single occasion we have had upgrades. So early in the summer the Memsahib spent three weeks charging around in an AMG estate that was rather larger (and a lot more fun) than the car she booked, and I got to drive back from Norfolk to Kent and thence Heathrow in an XF R Sport. But then maybe that is just my karma balancing out my lack of upgrades on CX!!

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