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Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

Millersburg, Ohio
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Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

The last detail of our trip is getting a rental car when we arrive at LAX and hoping this forum can give me the advice needed. While I can look up reviews for each company, I can't figure out if the pickup lots are on-site or if we have to be shuttled out. When we return we have a very early flight to come home and want a location that is an easy drop-off and can get us quickly in the airport.

We don't mind paying a bit more for the convenience. We also don't want a company that has a lot of hassles.

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Norwich, United...
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1. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

You can search on Google Maps - pan and zoom to LAX, then search within Google Maps for each rental car company name to discover where their depot is.

Or alternatively you can search within Google Maps for something like:

alamo near lax

Edited: 22 June 2014, 14:29
Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

All car rental facilities at LAX are off-site, and you will need to take a shuttle from the terminal to get to one. I would stick with the major firms - Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty.

For the least hassle, you should book the car through the agency's website, NOT through Priceline, etc, It may cost you a little more on the rental, but will save you a lot of time at the pickup point. Whatever agency you pick, JOIN THE FREQUENT RENTER CLUB and enter all your info into their system. The clubs are free, and go by various names - Budget FastBreak, Hertz Gold, National Emerald Aisle, Thrifty Blue Chip. I cannot stress this enough - even if it is just for this one rental, the time and aggravation you save at the counter will more than make up for the effort you use joining the club.

Note that for some clubs, you may need to rent somewhere else first so they can verify your info. Go to a local rental office in your home town sometime before your trip and have them do this. You may not need to rent a car (but you can if you want - might give you a chance to test how the system works). Just have them verify your info.

When you get to LAX, take the shuttle to the rental lot, and if you are a club member you walk straight to the vehicle and drive away - no waiting in lines, no hassle, no wasted time on your vacation.

I am a huge fan of Hertz Gold, and that is what I normally use at LAX. They have my info on file (including E-mail and cell phone) and send me a text message, literally within minutes of landing, that tells me what kind of car I have and what stall number it is in on their lot. I catch the Hertz shuttle, tell them "Gold lot", and when they drop me off I walk straight to the car and drive away. It rarely takes me more than 30-45 minutes after deplaning to get to the car (this includes time spent walking to Baggage Claim and waiting on the shuttle). Have your family wait for the baggage, and probably by the time they have collected it you will be ready to pick them up.

For discounts, you should check and see who the agencies partner with. I think Avis partners with CostCo, so if you are a member of CostCo you might get a break there. Hertz partners with Delta, so if you are a Skymiles member you get a pretty good rate booking through Delta. Just make sure that the system takes you to the rental agency website with some kind of discount code. Avoid websites that do a proxy rental in your name (with a voucher or something) that you cannot manage yourself.

The big key is not doing anything that would force you to stand in a line. Avoid that and you will have a very smooth rental experience.

-JimG

Millersburg, Ohio
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3. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

Jim G - thank you so much. We will do as you said today! What great and thorough advice. I love Trip Advisor forums.

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4. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

Could not have said it better than Jim

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5. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

Avis

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6. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

You might look at dropping the car off the night before at a location near your hotel and taking a taxi or some other transfer option to the airport. For example, Hertz has a location at the Hollywood Loews Hotel. By dropping the night before, you avoid the hassle of dropping off the car and transferring from the car rental lot to the airport as well as the cost of the car rental for that last day, gasoline for the trip to the airport and, possibly, overnight parking charges at your hotel. Compared to a taxi for around $50, this could be a good option -- even if there is a 'drop charge' imposed by your car rental company.

Some neighborhoods have express buses to the airport. For example, if you're staying in downtown L.A., there's an Budget and a Hertz counter at Union (train) Station from which you can catch an express bus to LAX.

If you're staying in the Westwood neighborhood, there's an express bus there as well -- not far from an Avis location.

Millersburg, Ohio
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7. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

We have booked and this information really helped. We signed up for the Hertz Gold and booked through them. We did decide to return the car the night before as our last night's hotel is the Hilton Garden Inn LAX and they have a complimentary shuttle to the airport.

One issue since we are new Hertz Gold members is the email stated we would have to go to the counter since this is our first rental after enrolling. I did a live chat and asked if there was any way around this. The agent said it is to confirm ID, etc. I asked if I could go to our local airport that has a Hertz rental agency onsite and try to get our ID and CC confirmed before that and they thought it was worth a try. I will call ahead and see but from the info on this forum I know we want to try to avoid the lines. The local airport is very small and I can zip in and out quickly. Hope this works.

Thanks to all for the info.

Atlanta, Georgia
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8. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

I think that any Hertz location should be able to verify the info for you - doesn't have to be an airport location necessarily. I don't think you actually need to rent a car to do this - just explain that you are a new Hertz Gold member and you want to them to do whatever they need to do to check your credentials. Worst case you might have to do a one day rental, but that would be worth it to me to avoid the lines at LAX.

Just make sure that Hertz has all your info in their system - driver's license, insurance preferences, etc. You also have to tell them what flight you are on, and "opt in" for their E-mail or SMS notifications. Outside of that you should be in good shape.

-JimG

Millersburg, Ohio
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9. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

Thanks for the advice again. Hertz was great at LAX. We received a text as we landed telling us which spot our car was in and the type. Since this was our first rental as a gold club member we thought we would have to go in to register. We did not which was great. They do have a separate office for gold members with fewer people in line though. We ended up returning the car the night before and Hertz even provided a driver to take us back to our hotel.

LAX is very busy which we expected. I would probably leave even more than two hours to get thru dropping bags and the long security lines. We were lucky enough to get pre-approved TSA on our boarding pass leaving Cleveland which zipped us right thru the security line. Wish we would have had that at LAX.

We are now believers in Hertz. We decided the hassles and nickel and diming attempts by some cheaper rental car agencies isn't worth the supposed savings. Unless Hertz disappoints in the future, we will continue to use them.

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10. Re: Which Rental Car Companies Are Easiest at Airport

Glad things worked out. Have been renting with them for 25 years and am generally happy with both Avis and hertz. It is a bit of a fantasy to expect 100% problem free or issue free rentals but overall you will be happy

Right Jim ?

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