National Car Rental Luxury Suv – Darren Murphy entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most prolific professional blogger on the planet. He is an explorer at heart who has traveled to over 50 countries and all 50 US states. He has flown more than a million miles on Delta alone and serves as a senior writer for TPG.
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National Car Rental Luxury Suv
When it’s time to rent a set of wheels, we all want a nice (ideally stylish) ride that doesn’t cost too much. In recent years, two major rental car programs have launched their own car pick-up programs. National’s Emerald Executive Corridor was introduced in 2004 and Hertz’s Ultimate Choice President’s Circle was introduced in 2016. These programs give Elite members the freedom to choose a vehicle, get in and out of the vehicle of their choice. There is an excitement surrounding the surprise that awaits you with every rental.
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TPG wanted to find out which program was the best, so the team traveled to 13 US airports over three months from May to July 2019. More than a dozen employees gathered information on 621 vehicles by looking at lots, checking license plates and odometers, and registering the type. car’s. Are you getting old? We’ve crunched the numbers on how likely you are to land a luxury car to find out which program offers the newest fleets and which usually pays the least for the privilege of self-selection.
Overall, the National Program offered elite members the best value and choice, but there were nuances to consider. Below, we’ll go over each point in detail, including a guide to securing elite status in both programs simply with the right credit cards.
You must reach a certain level with National and Hertz to enjoy the ability to choose your own rental car in the Emerald Executive Aisle and Ultimate Choice President’s Circle. You can do this the hard way by hiring and moving up. Or you can just add two credit cards to your wallet.
Typically, Emerald National Executive status requires 12 paid rentals or 40 days of paid rentals per calendar year. If you hold any of the cards below, you will automatically be upgraded to this status level, which will give you access to the Emerald Executive Aisle at the respective airports in the US and Canada. Not only does this provide a free upgrade when you book an average fare, but you’ll be able to choose any car (full size and larger) in the Executive Zone and only pay the average fare in Emerald at the airports. corridor. .
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Other Emerald Executive benefits include a second driver fee waiver, car renewals at participating locations in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and Germany, and faster free rental days.
To achieve Hertz Top Elite status, you must typically complete 20+ rentals or spend $4,000 in a calendar year. A smart way is to stick one of the following cards in your wallet, which allows you to claim Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status in the mail as soon as it arrives.
President’s Circle members earn 50% bonus Gold Plus Rewards points on vehicle class upgrades and all eligible car rentals. With Ultimate Choice at airports, you’ll be able to book a mid-class or larger car and get access to exclusive cars based on your status.
It should be noted that First Class President’s Circle membership is also available to the following elite members of other travel programs. To upgrade your Hertz status, you must read the terms and conditions of these programs.
Luxury Car Hire
It’s the dream of car renters everywhere to pay for a modest to midsize car, show off and drive away in a luxury car. While both programs provide their elite corridors with above-average cars, high-end cars are usually reserved for paid upgrades only. If it’s a Land Rover, BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz or Infiniti you’re after, it’s best to pay for car insurance in this class.
Luxury cars take off faster than a regular Chevrolet. We underestimated the travelers because they came and took the best cars they could find. During our research several times we saw employees from BMW or Volvo just a few minutes later.
We found that about 12% of cars at Hertz Ultimate Choice locations were deluxe, while only ~2% of cars in the National Emerald Executive Corridor fit the bill. If getting into a luxury car is very important, it is better to choose Hertz, but remember that the odds are not in your favor.
Of the 621 cars tested in our study, 252 were offered through Hertz and 369 through National. About a quarter (21%) of Hertz Ultimate Choice vehicles were one year old, and 78% were current model years.
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12% of vehicles available through National’s Emerald Executive Aisle were previous model years and 87% were current model years.
If you’re looking for a newer fleet, choose National, but note that both programs offer two or more older vehicles.
Almost half of the crossover options at both Hertz and National are sedans. National offers a higher percentage of SUVs and trucks, while Hertz offers a higher percentage of coupes and minivans. If you want to jump ahead, it’s best to reserve a convertible early, as cars in this class make up less than 1% of each display fleet.
We reached out to Hertz and National for comment on the US car models, but both companies declined to comment.
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Among the 621 cars we saw, 24 makes were counted. The top five national brands are Nissan (37%), Ford (10%), Chevrolet (9%), Toyota (9%) and Dodge (9%). Hertz’s top five brands included Chevrolet (27%), Kia (12%), Dodge (12%), Ford (7%) and Chrysler (7%).
TPG contacted National and Hertz to see if they had published an official review of the brands. National provided the following: “Enterprise Holdings offers a diverse mix of makes and models from nearly every major car manufacturer. Emerald Club members who reserve a midsize car can choose any car on the road, and 4 out of 5 cars will receive a free upgrade when they rent . Executive-level Emerald Club members have access to the Executive Emerald Aisle, where they are guaranteed a full-size upgrade or an above-average price.”
Based on SEC filings, Hertz presented the following breakdown of fleet composition by vehicle manufacturer: General Motors (24%), Nissan (20%), Fiat Chrysler Motor Company (19%), Kia (13%), Toyota (11%). , Ford (11%), Hyundai (1%), others (5%). Those numbers match our results from the company’s Ultimate Choice President’s Circle, though Nissan was conspicuously absent in the Choose Your Car section.
Collected odometer readings for 155 Hertz vehicles (62% of total vehicles) and 173 National vehicles (47% of total vehicles). The vast majority of cars in these self-selection areas are less than two years old, so it’s no surprise that mileage is pretty low across the board. The Hertz vehicles we studied had an average mileage of 9,912, while the national fleet had an average odometer reading of 8,195.
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Our data shows that Hertz has older vehicles on average, but both companies tend to keep vehicles on the road at the same time.
We contacted National and Hertz for further comment on the average car age. National stated the following: “National owns Enterprise Holdings, which operates a rental fleet of 1.2 million vehicles under three rental brands (National, Enterprise and Alamo). The average age of EHI USA’s rental fleet is 8 months.”
Hertz offered the following: “During the year ended December 31, 2018, the average estimated rental period for a vehicle in the United States was 17 months.”
TPG ran mock daily and weekly bookings during the data collection period and we found National to be cheaper overall. To maintain a level playing field, no discount codes are included for any company. Because both companies open car selection areas for members who book midsize cars, we publish midsize car prices on both websites. Below are our detailed findings, including taxes and fees, but excluding additional insurance.
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We have researched these prices on the Hertz and National home pages, but do not recommend booking a rental car directly. Instead, always start your car rental on AutoSlash.
The site works both to find discounted car rental prices and as an engine that continues to search for better prices on existing bookings, regardless of whether they are booked through the site or not. If it finds a lower price, it will notify you by email and send you the new price so you can rebook your rental car. It’s an amazing tool that continues to save TPG employees hundreds of dollars in car rentals with little effort. You can