Aloha...I just rented from Avis (through DiscountHawaiiCarRental -- excellent service from them) and wanted to mention a disturbing trend. I was third in line at Avis and listened as the two renters ahead of me were talking to the agents. There was intense pressure to upgrade to the next level type car, and to bring the car back empty and pay Avis for the privilege of filling the tank and also to purchase insurance. The agents made it sound as though they were doing a favor for the renter. "I wouldn't want your family to be uncomfortable in a small car while on vacation". "Why waste your time filling the car with gas on your last day here?". "Do you really want to be responsible for the full price of the car if something happens?"
When I reached the counter I was prepared and turned down each offer as it was presented. The agent approached my refusals with a slightly different tactic. "Let me see if I can help you and find a really inexpensive upgrade for you". Lo and behold she did but it would have added over $200 to the rental. I refused. Miracle of miracles another upgrade materialized and this one would have added just $100. Turned that down as well. Asked if there was a Ford Fusion or Focus available -- and there was but not at the rate I had requested. Funny that last year at the same rate they gave me a Fusion....but she found an older model Ford that she could give me for just the extra $100 and she so wanted me to have the make/model I requested. I turned everything down and she rented me a Jetta...very nice no issues with the car.
I'm assuming that the agents are being told to up-sell by their companies. I don't think that this is limited to Avis, I think it's across companies. I'm actually wondering now if next time I rent I should intentionally request a smaller car than I really want and 'let them' convince me to take a larger one. Of course that could backfire if only the smaller size is available.
In any event once I managed to keep the rental at the price quoted by Discount Hawaii everything was fine and there were no further issues. I am mentioning this intensified pressure so that everyone will be prepared in advance (especially when you arrive exhausted and can't think). By all means if they offer something you do want at a reasonable price then take it. I don't mind upgrades, I just don't like pressure or being manipulated. YMMV, and since it's a car rental it definitely will.