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Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

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Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

Hi all,

Just wanted to share our experience with Dollar/Thrifty car rental in Israel/Tel Aviv. We booked a Ford Fiesta for 10 days in July 2013, but we actually got a banged up old Mazda 2 with 75000km on it. The car proved reliable enough but it shook badly at 110kph - I originally suspected wheel balancing issues but it goes away if you are accelerating - so I'm guessing it could be a transmission issue. Worrying, but it keeps you below the speed limits which is a good thing! The car really was not fit for rental in my opinion.

Beyond that, the expensive GPS that we rented from them packed up after two days. First the dodgy cable finally broke and we couldn't charge it without manipulating the wires to make contact, then it plain wouldn't switch on. Luckily we had a paper map so we resorted to using that instead of GPS. So they rent you crap, badly maintained equipment at a very healthy margin.

Finally, their service is rude and aggressive. We collected the car from the most impolite staff I've ever encountered at a car rental agency in my life. To their credit, they did help us find our car when it got towed in tel aviv (we parked in a forbidden zone accidentally), but not before they said "it's your responsibility, you get the car back" and refused to help. After much protesting that every number I called was auto-answered in Hebrew, which I can't understand, they agreed to help and indeed located the car.

Summing up, I wouldn't use Thrifty Israel ever again and advise fellow travellers to exercise caution when considering their services.

Edited: 20 July 2013, 16:34
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1. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

I am sorry you had such a bad experience. In terms of the rental you received--ALL agencies do not guarantee a specific type of vehicle. You are renting in a given "class" If the vehicle you receive is the same class as the one you reserved ( or better) they have met their obligation. Also, during high season 75K is not considered unheard of.

In terms of the car shimmying and the GPS.--I would have gone to the nearest agency and exchanged it. ( although there are almost no places where you can legally drive 110! )

Israel
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2. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

It is ashame that you had such a negative feeling about your experience. I have rented from Albar(the Thrifty agent in Israel) many times and found them to be professional, curteous and helpful each time.

Regarding your 'complaints'. When taking a rented car off a lot and finding it to be substandard you can always ask for a different car, did you? Ford cars are known to be unable to handle high speeds (110 kph) and going up hills. 75000 km is not alot for a rental which is on the road for 3-4 years as cars last much longer here than in N. America and Europe.

Re the GPS why didn't you ask for a replacement cord or just return the device, thus forgoing your fruatration? Lastly, the culture if behaivor in services is most likely different than what you are accostumed to. One must accept that as a foreigner in a foreign land you may find differences in how people ineract with you.

Note to rdgldy - the 110 speed limit is on all the express ways - 1, 2, 6(only one for entire length) as well as certain areas of certain other limited access freeways throughout the country.

Chana

Israel

Edited: 20 July 2013, 22:43
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3. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

I'd add hwy 431 for a 100kph speed limit as well (runs from Modiin with exits to Rehovot, Tamle, Rishon LeZion etc.).

Plus, I also had the 'pleasure' of renting from Thrifty in Canada - the car was okay, but the GPS was old and stopped working at some point - we didn't bother replacing it because the nearest office was 2 hrs away...

Frankfurt, Germany
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4. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

We rented a car from Dollar/ Thrifty for 9 days in March/April this year and were very happy with the rental company. The car was a brand new Hyundai and the people from Thrifty in Tel Aviv we dealt with were friendly and efficient. We will use them again next time.

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5. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

Yes Chana, I know there are places you can, in theory drive 110. I just came back from Jerusalem. It would have been nice to have driven 85 in those areas--traffic etc. makes the 110 not very realistic a good portion of the time.

In terms of the Ford. I have a number of friends who own a Ford Focus. Conversations with them reveal that they have not had problems going 110 ( and more) The car the OP received was defective and, as said, should have been exchanged.

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6. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

Thrifty is a mixed bag. We got a much nicer car than we reserved, but the service was painfully slow and the "Israeli extras" nearly doubled the cost from what we expected. We had MasterCard liability coverage, but the clerk informed us that the compulsory Israeli insurance was $14 of the $17 daily fee, so it really wasn't worth it to have two separate coverages and have to deal with MasterCard in the event of damage. That's a lot of insurance cost for a $600 deductible. Then there's the surcharge in case you use the electronic tolls on the central freeway in Israel, another ILS50, which you really can't avoid. Finally, there's the argument at the end about whether a scratch on the rear fender from being bumped in a parking space is normal wear or something you have to pay far. We persuaded them not to charge us, but only because we had plenty of time. If you're running late, beware -- they are very slow on check out. All in all, if you go in with your eyes open about all the fees, you can get a very nice car for an OK price.

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7. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

I assume you made your reservation on an international website. Unfortunately, all charges ONLY appear when using the Israeli site. The compulsory Israeli insurance is 3rd party liability--its' requirement is ALL rentals and I assume a government requirement. In terms of the 50NIS surcharge--are you positive that is for everyone OR just those who use Route 6. Every company charges the clerical fee and it is easily understood why--but generally just for those who use the road. BTW it is not necessary to use the road. I drive all over and avoid it!

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8. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

I agree with the bad assessment. I rented a ford mondeo and it was in bad condition. It was not washed or cleaned, had scratches all over it and the engine and brakes sounded very bad like they'd never been serviced. On return the customer service was terrible when all I was just trying to do was pay for the car! I think Thrifty needs to think about whether they should trust their brand to this company in Israel.

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Hradec Kralove, CZ
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9. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

"I think Thrifty needs to think about whether they should trust their brand to this company in Israel."

Avis and Sixt franchises in Israel are just as bad if not worse.

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10. Re: Be wary Dollar/Thrifty israel car rentals!

Sorry for the bad experience that the OP had.

All the charges are very clear on Thrifty.com. You need to pay approx. $12 per day for TP/Liability. With the rates on the site starting at $7.50, you will not find such cheap prices in any other normal country; ~20-25/day! The 50 Shekel surcharge, per rental, not day, is only if you drive on Hwy 6, a toll road. You also have to pay the fee for actually driving on it.

I have rented from Thrifty/Albar nearly one hundred times. I almost always had great service and great cars.

If you do not speak the local language, find someone to help you get through to the car rental for help. Do not just complain about it here.

Edited: 22 January 2014, 16:49
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