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Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

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Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

Hi everyone

Can anyone recommend any car hire companies to use/avoid that are based at Detroit DTW? We're looking at hiring a car for about 3wks (ideally a Mustang or similar) in late July/early August and just wanted to get some pointers!

Cheers,

Sarah

Dearborn, Michigan
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1. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

I have been living part-time in another city and flying back to MI twice a month, so have been using Hertz with good results for the past few years. Discounts are available and are worth searching out. All rental companies also have periodic promotions and/or substantial discounts for longer-term rentals (like yours). A Mustang, however, is likely to be considered a premium vehicle for rental purposes, so be aware of this.

Here in the US, Hertz offers corporate discounts (up to 20%), discounts for auto club members, discounts for senior citizen organizations, discounts for longer-term rentals (like yours) and others as well. What I do not know is whether you will find similar discounts applying to your case.

There are several large rental car companies from which to choose. Check out some of the online reviews of them before booking. Some companies (more specifically, the local agents for some rental car companies) seem to have a reputation for falsely claiming that renters damaged the vehicles and this is done only after the cars have been returned and the customers is back home. I have never had any problems with the Hertz agency at Detroit Metro Airport, but still advise a little research. With a 3-week rental, you also should consider whether you want to get frequent renter/frequent flier points for your rental. That is a lengthy period and you might even qualify for a free day or week-end rental once you are back home (or traveling elsewhere).

Edited: 19 March 2013, 17:58
Detroit, MI
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2. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

All of the major rental companies (Hertz, Avis, National, Alamo, Enterprise, Budget, Dollar) are at DTW. All are going to offer roughly the same level of cars and service. Price will be your biggest concern unless you already have a preference. Sites like kayak.com let you compare all agencies, but you can often do better with corporate discounts or other discount codes booked directly at the rental company website. That can take some legwork to search out the codes to find the best deals. Flyertalk, fatwallet.com, slickdeals.net and some other sites maintain lists of discount codes. There is also AAA, AARP and other associations you may be a member of. Costco, airline partners, hotel partners, etc. will have even more codes.

The Mustang is going to be considered a premium or sports car and be much more expensive. Just using avis.com as a guide, a Mustang for a 3 week rental in July/Aug is $1316. A Ford Fusion is $885. You can do better than those prices if you are not fussy about the exact vehicle, but it illustrates the difference among a basic intermediate/standard car and a specialty vehicle.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

Just a thought, but typically rentals at an airport are more expensive than renting a car from a location outside of the airport, especially for three weeks. Depending on where you plan to spend your first night after arrival, you might take a shuttle from the airport and then book your car at that location. I like Enterprise car rentals, and find that the car rental function on www.travelocity.com works great to compare prices and locations.

Detroit, MI
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4. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

The problem with off-airport rentals, especially at DTW, is getting there. The closest Enterprise (other than the airport) is about five miles away on Telegraph. While enterprise neighborhood locations will usually pick you up, my guess is they are not going to make a run to the airport. DTW tightly controls who can shuttle people to/from the airport, and charges them for the privilege. I have also found Enterprise locations to be highly territorial. The one closest to my house will not pick me up since I live in the territory of one about a mile farther away. The Telegraph location is not going to steal business from the airport. You would need a taxi which is going to wipe out any savings in airport taxes. Their limited hours and fleets can also be an issue. I used to rent from Enterprise two or three times a month. Since I was a regular they would always give me any vehicle I wanted at the midsize rate, but selection was often tight. Often they only had full size SUVs or Pickups left, leaving me with a much higher gas bill for my road trips.

San Diego...
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5. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

You're thinking close to the airport, but I'm thinking going a little farther. If they're going to spend their first night or two in a location that has inexpensive and efficient transportation from the airport, they'll likely save quite a bit. For example, if they stay the first two nights in Ann Arbor, they can take the michigan flyer bus from the airport for about $15 one way and rent a car in Ann Arbor (and Ann Arbor would be a great place to start a U.S. vacation from England!). (Taxis aren't too pricey in Ann Arbor, as it is a small city, so it wouldn't be bad to take a cab there to a rental car lot in Ann Arbor). A quick check of rates on Travelocity shows that they'll save several hundred dollars this way over renting at the airport.

I have found that renting in DTW is often a pain in the wazoo -- it can take up to an hour and a half on the best of days just to get your car and get on the road. You could easily be in Ann Arbor by then. :)

Again, just a suggestion -- but for three weeks of a rental car, I'd check all options before assuming renting at the airport is the best bet.

San Diego...
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6. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

Here's the michigan flyer bus link: http://www.michiganflyer.com/Home.aspx

(There is also other easy transportation to Ann Arbor from DTW)

San Diego...
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7. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

Of course, they may not want to spend the first night or two in Ann Arbor. But, I think it might be fun for a UK couple to experience one of America's best college towns. :)

Dearborn, Michigan
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8. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

"I have found that renting in DTW is often a pain in the wazoo -- it can take up to an hour and a half on the best of days just to get your car and get on the road."

Really, 90 minutes to get your car on the BEST of days? I don't know what that is about, but I fly into Detroit two or three times a month (living both out of state and in MI for the past 3+ years) and rent a car every time to drive to and from my MI home.

Hertz bus (and I presume other companies' shuttles as well) take 8 to 10 minutes to reach the rental cars from the airport. Admittedly, I have a Hertz membership and my car is waiting for me when I arrive. All that I do is get in the car and go. There is a 2 minute process at the exit gate for them to print my documents. Even if I had to stop at the desk and do the processing there, it is very hard to imagine airport to highway taking more than 30 minutes on a typical day.

9. Re: Car hire from Detroit DTW airport

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