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Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

At Home in the UK
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Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

Hi All,

Heading over to CA soon for a couple of weeks and picking up the Car at SFO.

Will be using either Alamo or Avis but just wondering if anybody confirm if they allocate you a specific car at “Check in” or allow you to choose from a selection of cars parked in your paid for “Group” that are available ?

Many thanks in advance.

Cheers

JC

Melbourne
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1. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

Hi,

I don't know if this is at all helpful but at Avis in New Orleans we were given the choice of the two vehicles they had available in our selected group. I knew nothing about either vehicle (Chevrolet Impala and ??? - can't remember now; took the Impala, it was fine).

So it's possible they may do this but SFO is likely busier than Avis in NOLA was, especially as it was not that long after Katrina.

San Francisco...
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2. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

They will typically allocate a car for you in the class that you paid for and if you have a preference for a different car within that class you can ask them and I know Avis will change it for you. Avis along with Hertz cater to many business travelers and are used to such requests from picky frequent renters. Alamo I am sure will do the same.

Have you called the companies and asked them? All we can tell you is what our experience is but if you want the official answer, please call or email them if this is an important issue for you.

Edited: 23 April 2012, 15:20
Milwaukee
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3. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

I just rented from Alamo at SFO and loved the experience. Alamo is on the same level as where you exit the tram from the terminals and the cars are right around the corner from there, very convenient. You can pick any car in your class.

Also, if you join Alamo Insiders online you will get a discount on any Alamo rental. You can input all your personal info online and use a self service kiosk to avoid the check in lines.

The kiosks are blue and they are on the right side of the Alamo counter. There were about 10 people waiting in line when I arrived, but no one using the kiosks. You will be asked a series of questions, do you want to upgrade and all the insurance questions, etc., but in about 2 minutes you can print your contract and be on your way.

I don't have experience with Avis to compare.

At Home in the UK
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4. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

Many thanks for the replies – appreciated.

Apologies if my wording wasn't too clear...

..I'm not too fussy about a specific make/model but on my last visit to the States (Florida) some 18 months ago it was the first time I experienced the system where we were not actually allocated a specific vehicle by the rental agent and then have to find that license plate in the parking lot but rather after sorting out the agreement (or using self service as now seems available) you selected your vehicle from those available in the parking lot for the Group/Class you have paid and it is then matched up to your rental agreement when you drive out.

From PRZYK's reply it looks like that the way it is (with Alamo anyway).

Thanks,

JC

Edited: 24 April 2012, 17:28
Milwaukee
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5. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

JC,

I'm not fussy either, but for some reason white cars jut scream "I'm a rental", so I prefer to avoid white cars. It is nice to have a choice of a few different styles and colors.

San Francisco, Ca
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6. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

>>after sorting out the agreement <snip> you selected your vehicle from those available ...<<

I'm curious about how the choice works... does that mean your rental agreement doesn't have the actual vehicle info on it? Or does an employee add it by hand when you leave the lot?

At Home in the UK
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7. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

Hi Susan,

Yes, but no so much as "by hand", I can only go by my last experience with Alamo in so much as other than the Group/Class rented there was no specific vehicle on the paperwork when I left the rental desk/agent.

We were able to choose the vehicle from those available and then when we exited the secure rental area the final Alamo secuirty guard matched up the vehicle by use of as scanned barcode/VIN to my rental agreement.

I was wondering if this was now the way major (or smaller) rental players operated now.

JC

Edited: 25 April 2012, 22:28
Milwaukee
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8. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

Before you can leave the Alamo lot you have to pass thru a gate. Since I used a self service kiosk for check in no one had looked at my drivers license. The agent at the gate will do a final check of your drivers license, credit card and assign the vehicle at that point.

San Francisco, Ca
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9. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

But your paperwork has the actual vehicle license, mileage, etc. on it? (I think I'd be concerned about a contract that didn't have those details....)

Milwaukee
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10. Re: Quick Alamo/Avis at SFO query...

I really just look at the price on the contract to make sure it matches. I also look at the fuel gauge to make sure it's full. The mileage is not important to me because my rentals are unlimited mileage.

I'm not sure what your concern is?