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Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

Washington, DC
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Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

As Hertz Gold members, we have generally always rented from Hertz but would never do so again at Edinburgh Airport. We had rented an "Audi A4 or similar" specifically because we own an A4 and love the navigation system. When we arrived, we discovered that Hertz had no A4s at Edinburgh Airport and their idea of "or similar" was a giant Volvo SUV. Knowing that we would be driving on narrow roads in the Lake District for our trip, we were less than enthusiastic about the switch, but were willing to look at the car. After several attempts to figure out the nav system in the Volvo in the Hertz lot, we asked for help from the lot attendant, who told us that he couldn't figure it out either. We went back inside and asked if, given that this car was nothing like the one we had ordered and had a horrible navigation system, Hertz would at least be willing to provide a Neverlost GPS free of charge. We were told that we would have to pay for the GPS, so we promptly walked over to the Avis counter, where they were more than happy to rent us an Audi A5 and at a lower rate. Initially, Hertz was going to charge us for a day's rental for the car we never drove off the lot, but finally relented. The Hertz service staff at the location were all just incredibly unhelpful and, because of their inflexibility, lost the rental.

Amsterdam, The...
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1. Re: Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

Rarely do you get a specific car type (if you rent cars regularly then you should know this) and actually it sounds like they upgraded you. I think I would personally be overjoyed at this but I understand if the car overawed you.

So your gripe seems to be that you could not figure out the sat nav in the Volvo (XC90??). I have driven the Lake district many times and the roads are not that narrow that this vehicle would have difficulty negotiating them.

It is actually only 6 inches wider than an A4. In fact the A5 is about exactly the same width as the XC90.

So you paid for a days rental which is about the same price as buying a sat nav or renting one from Hertz in order avoid using the Volvo's system?

Washington, DC
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2. Re: Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

Yes, we do rent cars regularly and are aware that you can't necessarily expect exactly the car you ordered, but there were a lot of things about what happened that were really inexcusable. First, the lot attendant told us that Hertz didn't have any A4s on the lot -- not just that day, but they didn't have any available there period -- ever -- hadn't had them for months -- so they should never have advertised that availability on the Hertz website. The Volvo was not just slightly larger, it was huge. I'm not sure where you went in the Lake District, but many of the roads we were on were barely big enough for two sedans to meet so having a giant SUV would have been a major inconvenience. And the thing was awful to back up and park. Again, some of the parking spaces we were in were tight for an easy-to-maneuver Audi.....forget about taking a tank there! The Volvo navigation was incredibly primitive -- probably about 5 years behind the Audi media technology and the car's instruction book was no help what-so-ever. Not only that, but it was operated from the driver's steering column. I never set my navigation system while driving, but when my husband and I travel together, it's great for the passenger to be able to use the navigation system while we're traveling. With the Volvo, we would have had to stop every single time we needed to set the direction. What Hertz DID have on the lot were a couple of Mercedes, which would have been considered comparable to an Audi A4, but they weren't offering us one of those. We gave Hertz the option to offer us a Neverlost as a way of keeping us a customer. We would still have had to drive the clunky vehicle, but at least we would have had a navigation system that was usable. As for paying for the day's rental, it was out of the question. A rental contract starts when the car LEAVES the lot and we never did. It only took a short circle inside the lot to convince us that we didn't want the car so we didn't pay for a day's rental. In fact, Hertz's own lot attendant was the one who suggested that we should either ask for a complimentary Neverlost or rent from someone else. So we got a car we wanted from Avis at a lower price than we would have paid for Hertz and Avis got a new customer.

UK
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3. Re: Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

Without commenting on the whys and wherefores here

If considering which car to rent for use in the Lake District go smaller rather than larger

Obviously don't compromise comfort and space but for two people an intermediate or even a compact will be suitable

Most cars of say 1.4 engine capacity will deal with any hills in the Lakes comfortably and when on single track unfamiliar roads then small cars can raise your confidence

They tend not to come with over complicated gizmos which can overawe drivers

A good point about the passenger being able to operate the Sat Nav

Forget the Merc go for the Mini or the Focus or the Golf

Edinburgh, United...
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4. Re: Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

I gave up using Europcar some time ago because every time I requested a VW Golf I seemed to end up with a Kia - either something tiny or on one occasion a large and thirsty Kia Magentis (which was the worst car I've ever driven). I've rented from Hertz in many different European countries and have always had good service.

5. Re: Avoid Hertz at Edinburgh Airport

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